New Years Home Safety Resolutions

After watching the ball drop in Times Square and celebrating with friends and family, the first thing on everyone’s mind is their new year’s resolution. While considering your resolutions this year, take a moment to ensure home safety is included. The new year is the perfect time to refresh your commitment to the safety tips below: 

  • Install at least one carbon monoxide alarm in sleeping areas and on every level of your home.
  • Install visible, reflective house numbers
  • Service your furnace annually
  • Clean chimneys
  • Never leave cars running in the garage
  • Shovel out fire hydrants for easy access

For more tips on home and fire safety, you can check out NFPA.org.

 

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Give the Gift of Safety this Holiday Season

Finding the perfect gift for loved ones this holiday season can be a real challenge. But there is one gift you can give that will always be appreciated – the gift of safety. With loved ones all around, there is no better way to show your appreciation than to help keep them safe.

Luckily, the team over at Universal Security Instruments feels the same way! When choosing your safety gift, why not give the most you can with the 4-in-1 smoke, fire, carbon monoxide and natural gas detector?

Using smart technology, this clever device combines the IoPhic smoke and fire alarm and the dual-sensing carbon monoxide and natural gas alarm into one single alarm. It’s fast and easy to install using the existing alarm wiring and the larger mounting base covers old paint marks.  It’s cost effective and is a way to promote a safe holiday for your family. To learn more, you can check it out here.

Knowing your loved ones are safe, whether near or far, will also be the peace of mind gift you can give yourself. 

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Cooking & Baking Safety

With the holidays quickly approaching, we have so much to look forward to, especially when it comes to holiday meals!  Whether it is baking delicious holiday cookies or preparing for a New Year’s feast, you can be sure that your oven will be in high demand for the next few months. Spending so much time in the kitchen means a refresh on cooking and baking safety because without the proper safety guidelines, you could have a recipe for disaster!

 

According to the U.S. Fire Administration,

  • Watch What You’re Heating – With so much going on, sometimes it is easy to get sidetracked and forget that you preheated the oven or are boiling water. If you turn any heating equipment on, you must remain in the house and nearby. Also, setting a timer is a great way to remind yourself that you are cooking.
  • Always Have a Hand Handy – Always keep oven mitts nearby when baking to prevent burns. Never use a wet oven mitt because they can cause burns.
  • If a Fire Occurs – In cases of an oven fire, turn off the heat and make sure the oven door is closed to prevent burning to you or your clothing.
  • Safety First – Make sure your smoke alarms (link to: http://smokeandgasalarms.com/protecting-your-family/ ) are installed 10 to 20 feet away from a cooking appliance. Also, remember to test your smoke alarms to ensure they are working.

Never remove your alarm if it sounds during cooking – press the silence button. Remember these helpful tips because you can never be too careful when it comes to something as valuable as your safety this upcoming holiday.

 

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Carbon Monoxide Garage and Car Safety

As the snowflakes begin to fall and the temperatures drop, it can get pretty chilly during the upcoming winter months. We all want to stay inside and keep warm, even when we’re traveling in the car. While it is tempting to let your car warm up in the garage before heading out for the day, nothing could be more dangerous! Carbon monoxide (CO), also known as the silent killer, can be released into your home even if your garage door is open. Here are some facts about CO garage and car safety that could save your life.

According to the New York State Department of Health:

  • A running automobile releases carbon monoxide into the exhaust and increases indoor CO air levels.
  • Whenever there is accumulated snow, it is important to check your car’s exhaust pipe. If an exhaust pipe is blocked by ice or snow in a running vehicle, carbon monoxide can seep into the interior of the car and cause leaks and cracks in the floorboard, not to mention it can affect the driver’s and passengers’ health. 
  • If you can smell engine exhaust, you are inhaling carbon monoxide and your body is not getting the oxygen that it needs.

So when it comes to carbon monoxide this winter, please remember safety over comfort – your life depends on it!

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Holiday Tree Safety

With the holidays just a few weeks away, our to-do’s have already started piling up: wrapping presents, baking, cooking, and (of course!) getting the perfect tree. The holidays just aren’t the same without a great tree, but did you know, trees start an average of 240 home fires annually? These fires can be caused from incidents like electrical malfunctions, heat sources too close to the tree or open-flame candles and can cause serious injury and property damage. Whether your family adventurously chops down the perfect Fraser Fir or opts for an artificial spruce, be sure to follow precautions to keep holiday havoc off your list.

  • Keep trees away from exits for safe escapes (LINK TO FAMILY ESCAPE PLAN).
  • Make sure there is ample space between trees and heat sources like fireplaces and radiators.
  • Look for an approved “Fire Resistant” label if you are purchasing an artificial tree.
  • Once needles start to drop, it’s time to get rid of the tree. A dry tree is more likely to catch fire.
  • Stick to unbreakable ornaments if young kids will be in your home during the holiday season.
  • Never attempt to dispose your tree by burning in a fireplace or near the outside of your home. Most communities offer tree removal services.

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Brighten up the Holidays with Safety

The sight of twinkling lights lining the neighborhood is always the first thing to put everyone in the holiday spirit. Although holiday lights brighten up the season, they can also create home safety hazards. By taking a few extra precautions, electric lights, candles and other seasonal necessities can keep risk-free holiday cheer around all season long.

Electric Lights  

Before you hang anything, make sure you are using lights that have been tested by an approved laboratory (such as Underwriter Laboratory or ETL Testing Laboratories) and comply with safety standards. If you are using lights that have been in storage, check for frayed wires and only hang lights outside that have been climate approved. As a rule, connect no more than 3 strands of lights to one another. Put all lights on timers or remember to turn them off before you go to bed.

Decorations

When decking the halls, use only flame-resistant materials or keep candles and electrical sources at a safe distance from flammable décor. If you find yourself on a ladder, be sure to have another adult nearby to prevent a fall. Artificial snow sprays and spun glass add a festive touch, but can also irritate lungs – follow directions carefully to avoid inhalation.

Menorahs

Keep your menorah in a safe place. The tendency is to display menorahs on a windowsill, but defer to a table or fire safe surface (like aluminum foil sheets) if you have blinds and curtains. If your family uses an electrical menorah, check that the wires have not frayed or knotted while in storage. Finally, always supervise your children around the menorah to prevent accidents.

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Good Housekeeping Magazine: Heloise’s Holiday Safety Guidelines

Six Simple Safeguards:
1. Never put a cooked turkey back onto a platter that held the raw meat. Clean counters, utensils, and pans right after use with hot, soapy water.

2. If you use a disposable aluminum roasting pan, check the weight limit and consider using two. Put the pan on a sturdy baking sheet for stability.

3. Keep a box of baking soda handy. Never douse a fat or oil fire with water. Instead, cover with baking soda. Store a fire extinguisher in the kitchen, too!

4. Put out extra trivets and pot holders for hot casseroles. You’ll need them because there will be many helping hands in the kitchen.

5. Don’t throw paper products or dried flowers in the fireplace. They may have been treated with chemicals and could explode into flames.

6. Don’t place candles close to dried foliage, flower arrangements, or decorated paper goods such as napkins and place mats. Never leave candles burning unattended in any room — including the bathroom.

Read more: Heloise’s Holiday Safety Guidelines — Six Simple Safeguards – Good Housekeeping

SOURCE: GOODHOUSEKEEPING.COM

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SheKnows.com: Keep Your Family Safe

When there’s a fire, your home can be engulfed in flames and smoke in a matter of just a few minutes. Keep your family safe by developing an escape plan and practicing it regularly.

Your fire escape plan

According to an NFPA survey, only 1/3 of Americans have developed and practiced a home escape plan. Here are some helpful tips on how to create your plan.

  • Draw a map of your home with all doors and windows indicated. Each room should have two ways out. Use arrows to indicate the easiest ways to exit the home from each room.
  • Install enough smoke detectors. Smoke alarms should be in each sleeping room, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of the home. All smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years. For the best protection, all smoke alarms should be interconnected — when one sounds, they all sound.
  • Make sure that your house number is visible from the street.
  • Designate a place outside your home (such as a tree in your neighbor’s yard) where everyone in the family will meet in case of a fire or other emergency.
  • Have a fire drill at least twice a year (preferably every two to three months) to practice your escape plan.

Make sure your home is safe

With this fire safety checklist, you can make sure your home is as safe as possible.

 Smoke alarms are tested every week.

 Batteries are replaced every three to six months.

 All electric cords are in good condition — not frayed or damaged.

 Extension cords are used properly — not under carpet.

 The furnace and fireplace have been inspected and cleaned in the last 12 months.

 The clothes dryer vent and filter are cleaned regularly.

 Curtains (and other flammable objects) are well away from the stove and heater.

 Portable space heaters are at least three feet away from anything that can burn and are always turned off when adults leave the room (or when everyone is asleep).

Teaching kids about fire safety

Talk to your children about fire safety from the time they are young. Provide your little ones with toy fire engines, fire stations and other such toys. The Matchbox Cliff Hanger Fire Station ($23) and the Fast Lane Light & Sound Fire Truck ($23) are good options for young kids.

Talk about the fire department, as well as the jobs of the firemen and other emergency personnel. Remind your kids about what to do if there is a fire in your home:

  1. If the smoke alarm sounds, get outside first and then call the fire department.
  2. If you have to escape through smoke, get low and go under the smoke to your way out.
  3. Go to the designated place in your escape plan and stay there until your parents (or emergency personnel) tell you what to do next.

Visit the National Fire Protection Association website to learn more about fire safety.

SOURCE: SHEKNOWS.COM

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IoPhic has a Degree

We sent the IoPhic smoke and fire alarm to school and it graduated with honors!  A recent study from the School of Fire Protection Engineering at the University of Maryland (UMD) tested the nuisance alarm immunity of the new IoPhic technology along with 10 different smoke detections technologies. The study revealed the new IoPhic line of smoke and fire alarms using smart technology are more resistant to most nuisance alarms.

What does this mean for you? While nuisance (or “false”) alarms caused by cooking smoke or steam are annoying, they can also lead to deadly situations when they are disabled to stop the ongoing shriek. By installing IoPhic smoke and fire alarms in your home, you can protect your family from smoke alarm nuisances and ensure that you are protected from real fires.

 

Check out these stats that prove the effectiveness of the IoPhic smoke and fire alarm in the UMD study

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The Silent Killer

With temperature dropping outside, you’ll be cranking up the heat indoors. While a toasty fire or preheated car are a comfort on frosty days, they can let in scary fumes from natural gas or carbon monoxide that can poison or make you sick and even have fatal consequences. And if that’s not scary enough, symptoms can easily be confused with the flu. So how do you know if you are being poisoned by the air or are just a victim of flu season? Follow these precautions:

  1. Have your furnace checked by a professional at the beginning of the season to be sure there are not cracks in the furnace and the vent system is clear
  2. Make sure fresh air can get in the furnace and you have ventilation near heat sources
  3. Test your gas water heater by holding a lighted match under the hood
  4. Never use a gas stove for heating
  5. Do not preheat your car in a closed garage
  6. Make sure your chimney is clean and the vent is open when burning the fireplace or wood stove
  7. Install a CO/natural gas detector on every level of the home
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