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October is a time when fire awareness is emphasized, as it marks the final month of fire season for many areas and fire crews are already training for next year. How does this affect homeowners? Wildfires may not threaten homes, but house fires are always a possibility. Test your knowledge of house fires with these facts from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

Most Common Room for House Fires

It may not come as a surprise that the kitchen is the most common room for house fires. More than half of all house fires start in the kitchen; it’s the space where food is cooked on open flames, placed in hot ovens and heated in high voltage microwaves.

To reduce the risk of kitchen fires, keep the oven and stove top clean – and always, always keep flammable items like dish towels and pot holders away from the heat. As for the microwave: Only use containers that are microwave safe, keep aluminum foil and other metals out of the microwave, and never plug in a microwave with an extension cord.

More than half of all house fires start in the kitchen; it’s the space where food is cooked on open flames, placed in hot ovens and heated in high voltage microwaves.

Other Common Rooms for House Fires

Bedroom fires can happen too, accounting for 6% of house fires. The cause of many bedroom fires is the flammable mattress, which is combustible and should never have candles or lighters sitting nearby. Even if a mattress is newer and sold as “fire safe,” it’s not safe to burn anything near them.

Fire risks are also present in the living room, as a variety of fire sources are present: fireplaces, chimneys, cords, lighting, and more candles. Combine these with flammable furniture or curtains, and that’s a recipe for a house fire. Keep candles away from flammable items, practice safe plug-in of all your electronics, and have older lighting re-wired if necessary. The fireplace and chimney should be cleaned when residue builds up to 1/8th of an inch inside; a professional cleaning is recommended.  

How Your Security System Can Help

Your home security system can be your best assistant in house fire prevention. With a smart home security system, you’ll receive a smartphone alert if smoke is detected in the home – and, your smartphone notification will say what room the smoke is coming from. The security operators monitoring your alarm will reach out to you immediately and make sure help is on its way to your home. After getting up to speed on house fire awareness, Delaware homeowners can contact Security Instrument to inquire about home security monitoring services.

About Security Instrument

Security Instrument is a full-service, independently-owned security integrator that offers numerous residential and commercial security options. We serve thousands of customers located throughout Delaware, MD, NJ & PA.

“Plug and play” may be a popular catchphrase for salespeople, but when it comes to a fire and life safety system, it is never a good idea to walk away from a system permanently. A fire alarm system needs regular maintenance in order for this critical investment to be protected. Here are some reasons why regular fire alarm maintenance is important.

Electronics are Temporal

Yes, electronics become outmoded – but we’re not talking about the need for upgrades. This is actually a reference to the slow death of the system, which will surely happen over time. The fact is, electronic components can degrade no matter how well they’re taken care of, thereby compromising the way the system functions. To prolong it for as many years as possible, it’s critical that the system undergoes routine maintenance.

The Air Isn’t Clear

Even the cleanest office space, hallway or lobby can still be subject to dust, dirt and pollutants. The more traffic goes through the area, the greater the risk of contaminants. Dirt and dust can absolutely interfere with smoke detectors, which are a crucial part of the fire alarm and life safety system in a building. But with regular inspection, a cleaning will take place that wipes away pesky pollutants.

People Can Tamper with It  

Fire alarm systems are delicate; they need proper handling in order to operate the way they were designed. That’s why it’s important to make sure the person performing the maintenance is from your licensed security integrator. There are important professional certifications that your integrator has; these enable the company to properly handle an intricate commercial system. Additionally, your integrator should be contacted to deploy to your location as quickly as possible after a break-in or a vandalism episode to check out the system and make sure it hasn’t been compromised.

These are some common sense reasons that every fire alarm system needs regular maintenance and upkeep. To speak with a security integrator that can provide competent fire alarm maintenance in Delaware, contact Security Instrument.

About Security Instrument

Security Instrument is a full-service, independently-owned integrator that offers numerous home security options, including security systems for senior citizens. In Delaware Valley, Security Instrument serves thousands of customers located throughout Delaware, MD, NJ & PA.

Fire alarm and safety systems are like any other type of critical system in a building: They work as well as they are installed and maintained. When installing a fire alarm system in a Delaware building, the integrator will include devices in a variety of categories.

Fire Alarm System Categories

The components that make up a fire alarm system actually many devices networked together. The devices are categorized according to function. Here’s how they break down.

Detection Devices

The detection component in a fire alarm is the “beating heart” of the system, as it detects that a fire is present – or, that certain system and building conditions are either present or changing. Then, they communicate that information to the control panel to trigger the appropriate notifications. Devices in the detection category include the following: smoke detectors, heat detectors, beam detectors, duct detectors, temperature sensors, and water flow switches.

Manual Devices

The manual device in a fire alarm system can only be triggered if a human manually pulls a switch on its interface to tell the device that a fire is present. It then communicates to the control panel so that an emergency response can be initiated. As you may have guessed, examples of manual devices in a fire alarm are pull stations and button stations.

Notification Appliances

Naturally, it’s not enough for the fire to be detected; the occupants of the building must be alerted so they can immediately evacuate, the notification appliances are there to do the job. Devices inside a fire alarm system that are in the notification category are the audible component: the horn, bell or speakers. Some systems may also include a visible component to the notification device, such as a strobe light.

These are the devices that make up a fire alarm system. To ensure fire alarm systems in Delaware buildings are properly installed and maintained, contact Security Instrument for a free consultation.

About Security Instrument

Security Instrument is a full-service, independently-owned integrator that offers numerous home security options, including security systems for senior citizens. In Delaware Valley, Security Instrument serves thousands of customers located throughout Delaware, MD, NJ & PA.

Chances are good that you, like many people, have a smoke detector in the home. But there is a lot about fire protection that most consumers do not know, and that lack of knowledge can lead to not protecting our families and homes adequately.

Knowing your stuff can be the difference between life and death in a home fire, so we have developed a short quiz so you can test your knowledge, and then act on what you know.

 

How many smoke alarms does the average American home need if the home is 2 stories and 3 bedrooms?
A: 1 alarm
B: 2 alarms
C: 5 alarms
D: 14 alarms

According to the national Fire Protection Association, homes should have smoke alarms installed inside every bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and one on every level of the home including the basement. So, a 2-story 3-bedroom home needs at least 5.

How often should you replace smoke alarms?
A: Every 2-4 years
B: Every 5-7 years
C: Every 8-10 years
D: Every 15-20 years
In practice, most American replace the smoke detectors every 15 years on average. The correct answer however, is C, as most detectors have a lifespan of under 10 years.

How many minutes do you have to escape a fire safely?

A: 3 minutes or less
B: 4 to 5 at most
C: Nearly 10 minutes before it becomes consumed
D. 12-20 minutes
30 years ago, you had 30 minutes to get out of a home alive. Today you have about 3 minutes. This is due to the tighter envelop of today’s energy efficient homes as well as the highly caustic and flammable materials used to make todays products and furnishings compared to the natural fibers of the past.

Do most homes in the US have an adequate fire protection including smoke detectors?
A: Yes
B: No

According to the NFPA, Americans need 100 million more smoke alarms to be fully protected. This is based on actual visits to US homes where it found smoke detectors either missing or not working.

Do smart smoke detectors impact response times?
A: Some
B: Not really
C: Significantly
In a study conducted by the USFA and CPSC, along with the Naval Research Laboratory the reduction in alarm times due to smart technologies greatly increases response times to fire emergencies.

The odds of dying in a house fire are reduced by how much with a working smoke detector and monitored system?
A: 15%
B: 25%
C. 45%
D: 50% or more
Research shows that the odds of dying in a fire are reduced by at least 50% in homes with working smoke detectors and reduced further when the system is monitored. The sooner the warning, the faster you and emergency personnel can act.

Home Security Installations In Delaware Since 1960

Smart smoke detectors are one of your most valuable tools in protecting your family from fire. Our professional sales and installation team offer no obligation consultations on home security and automation systems. Call us at (800) 244-2261.