Keep your family safe from Fires and Carbon Monoxide by following These Tips

At Cransten Smart Security, we believe that every home should be a haven from the craziness of the world, which is why we do everything we can to add value to you, our beloved customer.

In this article, we’ll be helping you and your family to become confidently prepared in case of Fires or Carbon Monoxide hazards that may arise within your home.

Carbon Monoxide:

Starting with the latter, carbon monoxide (CO) is a silent but deadly killer, it kills over 400 unsuspecting Americans each year and sends a further 4,000 for an unscheduled visit to the hospital.

What’s most sinister about CO poisoning is its speed: it can kill an otherwise lively and buoyant human being within minutes.

Once this poison has got you by its grips, before its completely taken you over – the symptoms include headaches, dizziness, nausea and breathlessness.

During this short window of opportunity, you need to let in as much air as possible by opening a window or a door so life can flood back in. However, this is way too late, and there are better ways we’ll discuss below in this article.

Common Signs You May Have a Carbon Monoxide Leak:

  1. Symptoms only occur when you’re in your home and disappear or get better when you leave.
  2. Others in your home are experiencing similar symptoms – including your pets.
  3. You get symptoms when certain appliances are in use. For example, when the boiler is on.
  4. The pilot light in your home frequently blows out.
  5. Black, sooty marks on the front covers of gas fires.

  1. Sooty or yellow/brown stains on or around boilers or stoves.

  1. Yellow instead of blue flames coming from gas appliances or flames are not fully formed – for instance, if the flame isn’t all the way round on a gas hob burner.

  1. Flames are not fully formed – for example, if the flame isn’t all the way round on the gas hob burner.

  1. You notice increased condensation on the windows

To prevent things from getting too far gone, simply install a carbon monoxide detector on each floor of your home. These should be place at knee level since carbon blends in with the air around it, which is why you’ll want to place it lower.

As always, if you need any help with this, Cransten are always for you – whether you need our expertly engineered equipment, or installation help from our professional and friendly staff, we are here for you.

Cransten Tips for Fire Protection

Firstly, you need to have a plan in place. Large enterprises like Schools and companies all take this seriously and so should you.

is your life not worth the same whether you’re at work or at home/school?

So, have a solid plan in place and make sure everyone within your home knows their role and escape routes should a fire ever arise.

Also be prepared if a fire blocks your designated escape route by having an alternative one. And have an escape ladder to help you get down if a fire should ever start in each second story bedroom.

For example, if the fire rages in the room below, as shown in the picture below, so make sure to have an alternative route prepared.

Since the smoke of a home fire is extremely dense and toxic

it is virtually impossible to see through – so if a downstairs room is on fire, a window will usually be the only way to escape out of a room upstairs.

Be sure to practice your drills a couple of times per year, since being prepared and having a plan of action is the best form of defence should a fire arise.

General Tips for Surviving or Preventing Fires:

  1. Do not plug too many appliances into an electrical outlet.
  2. Make sure that combustibles aren’t too close to fireplaces, stoves or heaters.
  3. Never smoke on soft furniture or fabrics.
  4. Do not use damaged or frayed electrical or extension cords.
  5. Keep matches and lighters out of the reach of children and teach them about the dangers of playing with fire.
  6. Never use extension cords with heating or air conditioning equipment.
  7. Have smoke alarms and fire extinguishers for each floor in your home.
  8. Make sure to close your downstairs doors at night before going to bed.
  9. Make sure that screens or storm windows can be easily removed.
  10. Ensure that you have tools available if windows must be broken.
  11. If you live in a two-story home, you should have an escape ladder for each occupied bedroom

What to DO and NOT to Do in The Event of Fire:

  1. Do not linger getting dressed or hang back to hoard your valuables or look for the family pet. In the event of a fire, there is only 1 valuable and that is your life. So, move it! Seconds count!
  2. Stay low by going on your hands and knees when evacuating the building in order to avoid the smoke. The smoke is actually what causes more initial harm to your body. The toxic flames suffocate you way before the fire scorches you. Which is why seconds count!
  3. Before you open any closed door during your exit, make sure to feel the door first. If it’s warm, be sure to open it slowly but close it quickly if heat or smokes rushes in.
  4. Never go back into the house once you’re out, for ANY reason. Call the fire response once you’re out, not before or during your evacuation.

Smoke Alarms:

You need to have a smoke alarm!

You are 400% more likely to die in a fire if you don’t have a smoke alarm that works.

Make sure to have one on every floor in your home and be sure to place it correctly as instructed by the manual.

As a rule of thumb, smoke alarms ought to be placed near bedrooms, either on the ceiling or six to twelve inches below the ceiling on the wall.

For maximum effectiveness, do not place the alarm near air vents or within 6 inches of where the wall and ceiling meet on either surface.

Make sure to regularly test your alarms to ensure they are working as they should, and if you have a battery powered alarm, be sure to change the battery every 6 months.

Also, note; not all alarms are the same. Some are best for the detection of fast flaming fires, others for the slow smouldering type. You want to be able to detect both types which is why it’s best to have both ionisation (best for fast flaming) and photoelectric (best for smouldering) smoke alarms.

Additionally, we recommend that you install linked alarms, particularly if you have a large house. These go off at the same time to avoid the risk of not hearing the alarms in a distant part of the house.

Furthermore, having 1 or more auto-dispatching sensors like we offer at Cransten, helps in case you ever get knocked out because of smoke or carbon monoxide poisoning!

Fire Extinguishers

Every home should be equipped with at least 1 first extinguisher on each floor. Additionally, the kitchen, garage and ground floor should also have their fire extinguishers.

This is because all fires start small at first and having an easy way to contain them while they’re small, can save lives.

Be sure to select the correct fire extinguisher because there are many different ones for different kind of fires. However, a new type of extinguisher: water mist, is now available, this provides cover for most types of fires including electrical fires.

Which is great because the last thing you need while a raging fire is soaring, is trying to figure out where the correct extinguisher is!

More Ways to Prevent Fires:

Anti-Arson Letterboxes

Arson is a serious problem, each year tens of thousands of arson attacks are committed, resulting in hundreds of people being injured and dozens dying.

The letterbox is a vulnerable area in your home, providing an arsonist direct and easy access. Which is why we recommend installation an anti-arson letterbox. These are designed to contain and eliminate the threat by holding onto any flammable liquid poured through the letterbox, which halts the fire is its track. The automatic extinguisher, triggered by a heat sensitive system, then finishes the job.

Fire Doors in Houses

Another extremely important means of protection in the home against fire is the often-overlooked fire door. Fires can easily and rapidly spread to engulf the entire room within minutes, destroying everything in its path.

A fire door is capable of containing this. These come with hardware including door hinges, frames and seals to make them fit for purpose.

And remember, If you need help with any of these projects, Cransten can help you with all of them!  And of course, any others we didn’t mention in this article.

So do not hesitate to contact our friendly staff for a free consultation, we’ll be more than happy to help!

Colour and Home decor trends for 2021


For a lot of us, 2020 forced us to go back to basics, many even have green thumbs and dough toughened knuckles to show for it.

We expect these primal habits to continue throughout 2021, particularly the rise of indoor plants.

As we spend more time in our homes, it’s natural that we’ll want to improve the air quality and brighten up the mood – which is exactly what plants will do.

The best part is there are plenty of plants that can achieve this for your home, while also being super easy to look after!

Zen Garden Vibes

As our homes also become our workplace, the need for them to become a sanctuary of serenity and peace rises.

Whether you place it on your balcony, your backyard or indeed your home, little details like this will remind you to let go of the worries and just be present.

A phenomenon which explains why this trend is growing and will continue to grow like wildfire.

Let the Light in

Staying with the zen theme, one of the easiest ways to incorporate more peaceful vibes into your home is to let in more natural light!

So, instead of heavy or overly patterned window treatments, try a more minimalist approach and opt for a semi-opaque cotton curtain finished with a tassel trim for a subtle dimension.

If a sense of comfort, calm and centeredness is what you’re after, more natural light will certainly not harm your cause.

Multi-functional Spaces

2020 brought a lot of changes, one of those was to rethink how we use our living spaces. With a lot of us spending more time than ever at home, it makes less and less sense to dedicate large portions of your space to just one purpose – especially in smaller spaces.

So, with this in mind – expect to see creative design solutions to this problem, both DIY and professional.

We predict designs to make dining rooms, living rooms, and even bathrooms to double up as home offices and workspaces!

Clean Work Slate

Once your home has also become your office, you will need to have a dedicated work space. Preferably one that is pleasant and efficient to work at. An easy way to do this is to have an uncluttered, minimalist setup, one that is clean-lined – but still has the space to tuck away all your work tools.

We predict this type of setup will be on many wish lists throughout 2021 and beyond!

Earthy Tones

You may be starting to pick up on the overarching theme for the décor to come in 2021 – a return to nature and earthy inspiration.

This of course also includes colour trends, such as warm and comforting color palettes. So we expect this  trend to apply to many of your interior design choices.

Sustainable Choices

Sustainability choices come in many forms, but the trend we expect to see an unexpected boom is the sustainability within your bedroom, specifically your bedding!

Rest and rejuvenation are more important than ever, and having bedding that’s comfortable, stylish and sustainable can be a major yet simple upgrade to your home.

We recommend looking for bedding made from materials which are hypoallergenic, such as linen, which is also sustainable making it a great choice.



Brave Ground

Deluxe colour experts have chosen brave ground as the color of the year, so rest assured its popularity is set to rise. And when you look at the picture above, it’s hard to disagree with them!

This bolstering shade connects you back to nature and the simple things. It’s warm, earthy and creates a feeling of stability and growth, while also provides a firm foundation for change and creativity in your home.

What’s not to love?

The great thing about brave ground is that it can easily be combined with other hues to totally transform a room. Look at these pictures below!



Nourish is another colour palette predicted to make waves in 2021.

This particular palette, consistent with the zen theme of this article, encourages us to unplug and be present in the moment. This palette will also revitalise your home while at the same time, nourishing your soul.


The final palette we’ll be discussing is retreat. And like its name suggests, it draws on a nostalgic mix of comfort and security.

Its earth-based hues create a harmonious setting, ideal for whether you’re sleeping or eating, working or working out, making it the ultimate palette for flexible living.

Thank you for reading! We hope you were inspired to kick-start some exciting new projects in 2021!

If you need help with any of these projects, Cransten can help you with all of these!  And of course any others we didn’t mention in this article, so, do not hesitate to contact us for a free consultation, we’ll be more than happy to help!