TIP OF THE MONTH!!! - FIRE SAFETY
When it comes to fire, small things can make the difference but, you have to put all of them together and take the time to do them.
Here are just a few steps that EVERY HOME should be doing on a regular basis.
1.) Change the batteries in your smoke detectors:
A good rule of thumb is, everytime the time changes for daylight savings, change your batteries and clean your detectors. If you live in an area that doesn't do time changes...make your own equivilent schedule. Don't wait for the beeping to annoy you so badly that you take it out and render it useless. Take the same effort to make sure it's ALWAYS WORKING!!!
2.) This negates "STEP 1":
Get monitored smoke detectors. Add the SMALL expense of adding multiple smoke detectors to your home that are tied to your alarm system. They are on 24/7/365...even if your alarm is not armed. Better than that...they call someone on your behalf; before a fire gets out of control. Simply put, it would be good to know that someone was on the way already when you colapse from smoke inhalation while still inside the burning house, instead of it not being able to be heard. If you are still in the home by the time someone is able to see the house is on fire because it's completely ingulfed...it's probably too late. In a hardwired system, the smoke detectors are "in-line" meaning that if, one sounds...they ALL sound. In a hardwired system, they are also powered by the alarm system itself which comes from your homes power and have a strong backup battery. In a wireless system some things may be different. However, keep in mind that the batteries in wireless devices are meant to last a very long time and will indicate on your alarm system when low bcause they are always "supervised."
2.5) This is a boost to "STEP 2":
As often as you have had to use your alarm; which we hope is NEVER...you may not know that there are two different alerts and/or tones to an alarm; one for a burglary and one for a life-safety event (Fire/smoke or CO2). It is very critical that you do one of two things; either run a test regurlarly of both so you know the difference OR get a voice alert for your system (some are built in). With a talking/voice alert, you will have regular alarm screaming followed by something like "FIRE! FIRE! LEAVE IMMEDIATELY" or "INTRUDER! INTRUDER! POLICE HAVE BEEN CALLED!" This is CRITICALLY important, ESPECIALLY, for families with children. You, absolutely don't want your child hiding under their bed when the alarm goes (like you told them to) because they think it's a burglar; while the house burns down around them.
3.) Have a plan and Practice it!!!:
Have a fire meeting spot and plan and PRACTICE IT. However often you need to do it so that it stays fresh in your mind...DO IT! Make it fun for the kids. Reward good results. Schedule them with neighbors. Just...DO IT!
4.) FUNCTION vs. FORM:
Make sure that the things in your home that could help a fire are spread out, contained or treated. Nothing worse than a fire that can go crazy because the wrong curtains were put up because they look pretty but aren't a treated fabric. Thse things can become a climbing fireball in SECONDS.
SURE...these are just a few things. And some of them paint a graphic picture of what could be. But, we would rather it just be a motivational mental image than your reality someday.
As always, please check back monthly for more tips and trick on how to make your home safer.
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