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Fire Safety Month

October is Fire Safety Month, but we think that fire safety awareness should be every day! 

Every home must have: Image

  •  Smoke Detectors, located on every floor of the home
  • Carbon Monoxide Detectors, also on every floor including the attic
  • Fire Extinguishers, near the kitchen, garage, fireplace, utility room

 What kind of smoke detectors should you buy?

Photoelectric detectors operate quickly and are good for detecting smokey conditions.  If you accidentally set off photoelectric detector, a short blast from a can of air can clear the sensor.  

Ionization detectors measure ionization in the air and are excellent at detecting things like smoldering wires inside a wall.  

So which type should you use?  Both types, of course.  Do you really want to take a chance with your family?

Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Carbon Monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can kill.  Install CO Detectors on every level, including your attic.  

Some smoke and CO detector tips:

  • Cover them during construction, or when sanding and spackling walls.  Dust covered sensors aren’t effective.
  • You can have them hardwired so that if one detector goes off, all of them will go off.  This could save your life if you’re sleeping on the 2nd floor and and something is burning in the basement.
  • Replace the batteries whenever there is a time change (every six months)! 
  • Smoke and CO detectors may lose their sensitivity over time.  Check the manufacturers specs, but you should replace them with new detectors every 5 to 10 years.

Fire Extinguishers come in three separate types, A, B and C.  Each type combats either combustibles (paper, wood, etc.), flammable liquids or an electrical fire.  Most fire extinguishers sold in home stores will work for A, B and C.  Check the expiration date on the extinguisher and replace it if you’re past the expiration date.

Stay safe!

What do you need to know about Chimney Fires?

Over 70,000 chimney fires occur annually. Most of these could have been prevented.

What causes a chimney fire?

A chimney fire is the result of burning of creosote which builds up inside the chimney on tiles and liners.  Creosote is the soot or residue that builds up as a result of incomplete burning of fuel in the fireplace or wood stove or coal stove. Un-burned substances accumulate when they contact the cool tiles or liner of your chimney and condense into soot. Layers can build up and eventually may ignite. Using green wood instead of dry wood in the stove or fireplace may increase creosote. Using the stove or fireplace without enough air intake can also increase creosote deposits.

A chimney fire can also result from the burning of organic material which may have fallen into the chimney – things like birds nests or leaves can build up and be ignited when the temperature in the chimney heats up.

How can you prevent a chimney fire? Cleaning your flue regularly will prevent the buildup of creosote or organic material. Hire a chimney sweep at least once a year, more often if you use your stove or fireplace frequently. You can prvent organic material from falling into the chimney by using a wire guard over the chimney.

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