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.
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:
- Symptoms only occur when you’re in your home and disappear or get better when you leave.
- Others in your home are experiencing similar symptoms – including your pets.
- You get symptoms when certain appliances are in use. For example, when the boiler is on.
- The pilot light in your home frequently blows out.
- Black, sooty marks on the front covers of gas fires.
- Sooty or yellow/brown stains on or around boilers or stoves.
- 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.
- Flames are not fully formed – for example, if the flame isn’t all the way round on the gas hob burner.
- 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:
- Do not plug too many appliances into an electrical outlet.
- Make sure that combustibles aren’t too close to fireplaces, stoves or heaters.
- Never smoke on soft furniture or fabrics.
- Do not use damaged or frayed electrical or extension cords.
- Keep matches and lighters out of the reach of children and teach them about the dangers of playing with fire.
- Never use extension cords with heating or air conditioning equipment.
- Have smoke alarms and fire extinguishers for each floor in your home.
- Make sure to close your downstairs doors at night before going to bed.
- Make sure that screens or storm windows can be easily removed.
- Ensure that you have tools available if windows must be broken.
- 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:
- 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!
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
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!
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:
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!