Get Serious About Fire Safety

Fire safety. Take it seriously.


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Because if you don’t, you run the risk of becoming a statistic. According to the NFPA, seven Americans lose their life due to fire every day in the United States.  It’s a startling statistic when you sit back and think about the way that technology has developed over the past several decades to help prevent these deaths from happening.

These stats aren’t to scare you, rather they’re to educate you. One of the main causes for the initiation of fires in homes goes back to carelessness, misuse, kids playing with lighters/matches, and accidents.  Many of these fires, whether fatal or not, could have been completely avoided in the first place.

Smoke detectors have come a long way in recent years.

When you look at the statistics about the number of deaths in homes that occur each year because of fire, there’s one VERY startling conclusion that is found year after year: most of the homes that had deadly fires had no working smoke detectors or inoperable ones (dead batteries, not connected, etc.) By simply being alerted, more than half of the reported deaths are estimated to have been avoided.  Read that sentence again.

In 2013, I watched an episode of “Dateline” that really resonated with me. Since then, I’ve included the following verbiage on all of my inspection reports.  Here’s how it currently stands:

Safety Issue: (Electrical/Smoke) We recommend dual sensor smoke detectors (photo-electric plus ionization type) and carbon monoxide detectors be installed on each level including the basement and mechanical room (if separate room) and in each bedroom and the hallways outside the bedrooms. We also recommend voice activated alarms in lieu of beeping alarms. We also recommend hard wiring with battery back-up by a licensed electrician. These should be checked every 6 months and the batteries changed every 6 months (minimum) as well, and the alarm should be replaced every 7 years (minimum). Please watch the 2 part YouTube video from March 25, 2013 from the TV program “Dateline” as well.
The videos I’m referencing can be watched here:
Dateline – Fire alarms Part 1
Dateline – Fire alarms Part 2
A good rule of thumb to remember how frequently to change your alarm batteries is to change them each time you change your clocks ahead and back for daylight saving time. You’ll never forget!
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Last but certainly not least is the reminder to add a working carbon monoxide detector in your home.  It is suggested that you have one in each bedroom, one per floor where people sleep, and one on any floor with a natural gas operated appliance (stove, cooktop, furnace, dryer, etc.)
A modern CO detector

A modern CO detector

The most common problems that can lead to CO emergencies are old and inefficient furnaces, stoves, and dryers. Most deaths are reported as the result of a CO leak when the victim was asleep – they never even knew they had a problem.
The bottom line is that for less than $100 dollars you can outfit your home with the most up-to-date smoke and CO detectors today and greatly increase your safety.
Do you have a question about fire safety or detectors?  Feel free to ASK JIM: