Fire Prevention Week: Do You Have a Fire Escape Plan in Place?

Oct. 8-14 is Fire Prevention Week, which stresses the importance of having a home fire escape plan in place.

When it comes to getting out of your house if there’s a fire, you really do have to make every second count. In fact, if a fire starts in your home, you only have two minutes to escape because under the right conditions a fire can double in size every minute, according to the American Red Cross.

That’s why you should install smoke alarms on every level of your home, at the bottom of every stairwell and outside each bedroom. Test smoke alarms every month and replace the batteries as needed.

It’s also critical to develop an escape plan and practice your plan until everyone can evacuate the home in less than two minutes.

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Fire Safety Strategies for Nursing Homes

Enjoying their card gameIn the event of fire, most nursing home residents are unable to protect themselves. Therefore, it’s up to you as facility manager and/or owner to have the proper fire safety procedures in place to provide for the well-being of residents as well as staff.

It’s also important that the staff members understand that the safety of your residents is their number one priority.

Here are some fire safety strategies to help you prepare for a fire emergency: Read more

6 Tips to Keep Your Pets Safe When You’re Not Home

Baby and Pet Dog Waiting at Door Looking out WindowYour pets are an important part of your family and as a pet owner your responsibility is to keep them safe.

It’s easy to take care of Rover and Fluffy when you’re home, but what happens when you’re at work, or away from the house?

Here are some tips to help you keep your furry friends safe, secure and happy when you can’t be home with them.

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Fire Safety for Religious Properties

Candles in churchReligious institutions are not just used for Sunday services. They often house daycare centers, preschools, bible study groups and community gatherings.

From 2007 to 2011, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 1,780 structure fires in religious and funeral properties each year, according to a 2013 report from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

Most of those fires, however, involved religious properties, with just four percent taking place in funeral parlors. On average, those fires resulted in two civilian deaths, 19 civilian injuries, and $111 million in property damage per year, the NFPA noted. Read more

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Fire Safety Tips for Businesses

No matter what type of business you operate, the best way to ensure the safety of your workers, your customers as well as your equipment, materials and physical structure is through fire prevention and preparation.

Here are some fire safety tips to help you lessen the chances of a fire breaking out in your business as well as what to do in case it does:
Kitchen fire

  • Install a business fire alarm system – a professionally installed and maintained business fire alarm system is the best way to protect your workforce, the public and your company from the threat of fire.
  • Train your employees – ensure that your employees know what to do if there’s a fire, including calling 911 immediately. Hold meetings to educate your workers on emergency evacuation plans. Stage a fire drill at least once a year to ensure your workers understand the fire safety protocol of your business.

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Inspect Your Business Fire Alarm System Regularly

bus alarm testAs a building owner/business owner, it’s critical that you take all the necessary – and mandated – steps to protect the lives of your employees and your customers. Commercial fire alarm systems are critical to helping you protect your business from fire and smoke.

When operating properly, these commercial fire alarm systems can prevent loss of life and property by alerting the people in your building and your alarm company of a fire emergency.

However, you can’t count on fire alarms to offer the protection your business needs if they’re not inspected on a regular basis.

The best way to determine if your business fire alarm system is up to code or if it needs maintenance is to have it inspected by trained professionals on a regular basis – an extensive inspection and testing should be done annually. Read more

Spring Cleaning Safety Tips

spring_cleaning (2)A funny thing happens when we open up our windows in the spring. The oxygen which we have been deprived of through the stuffy winter months goes straight to our brain, and for a few weeks we feel like we are on top of the world! We become motivated to do all sort of crazy stuff, like clean the entire house. If spring cleaning fever has already hit you, follow these safety tips.

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Fire Inspections: Is Your Commercial Building Up to Code?

No building is completely safe from a fire. In 2013, there were approximately 93,000 non-residential building fires in the US—accounting for 65 deaths, 1,425 injuries, and nearly $2.5 billion in losses, according to the U.S. Fire Administration’s National Fire Data Center.

Putting an efficient and effective fire prevention program plan in place, ensuring that your commercial fire alarm system is operating properly, and adhering to your state’s fire code and ordinances could prevent many of these fires. Before the fire inspectors in your town come out to inspect your building, you should be sure your property is up to code.

Here are 10 of the fire safety codes that must be adhered to in commercial buildings in Massachusetts: (Check the applicable laws in your state to identify the fire safety codes for commercial buildings.)

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Smoked Out—Missing, Broken Detectors Blamed For Worcester Deaths

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), three out of every home fire deaths occur when smoke alarms are not present or not working properly. In Worcester, Massachusetts, firefighters experienced this first-hand: Five deaths in 2015 were caused by the lack of home fire alarm systems or improperly functioning alarms. This is something especially frustrating for first responders since the Fire Department not only supplies smoke alarms to older homeowners, but installs them for free. So what’s the disconnect—why are homeowners running the risk of getting smoked out?

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Power Outage: Be Prepared for When the Lights Go Out

There is something about a power outage that brings the family together. When the lights go out, it forces the family to put down their electronics and break-out the board games. While a break from technology can be nice, a long-term power outage can threaten your security.

Here are some safety tips for you to follow in case of a power outage.

Invest in a generator:

Over the past decade, much of New England has experienced more frequent and longer lasting power outages due to intensified weather. A long-term power outage can be deadly in the winter when temperatures drop below freezing. To protect your family, look into purchasing a generator.

Before you buy, research how much power you will need. Inspect labels on lightning and appliances that you will want to run. This is important because if your generator doesn’t produce adequate power, you could blow a fuse and damage your appliances.

Use your generator properly:

  • Never use a portable generator indoors, including the garage, basement, or attic. They emit deadly levels of carbon monoxide, which will build up even in a ventilated area.
  • If possible, install battery operated CO detectors through your home. They will warn you of dangerous CO levels.
  • To avoid electrocution, keep the generator in a dry area (under a tarp, for instance).
  • Always turn off the generator and let it cool down before refueling.
  • Plug appliances directly into the generator, or use a heavy-duty extension cord.
  • Never plug the generator directly into a wall outlet. This can pose a deadly electrocution risk to workers trying to restore power, or neighbors using the same transformer.

Properly store food/ water:

Food can spoil quickly in a power outage. Even if you avoid opening your refrigerator, the food will only stay fresh for 4 hours. Keep coolers and ice on-hand to store your food in. If you avoid opening your freezer, the food will stay safe for 24-48 hours. Stock-up on non-perishable items if you believe you may lose power.

During a power outage, your water purification system may not work.  Check with local authorities if your water is safe to drink. If unsure, try to only use bottled water for drinking, cooking, and cleaning. You can also boil tap water to eliminate most harmful bacteria.

Invest in batteries/ battery operated electronics:

Some important battery operated devices to have on hand includes a flashlight, radio, and phone charger. Avoid using candles as a source of light.

Keep an eye on your security system:

You will need to silence your alarm after the power goes out. In most cases, your back up battery will last 10-15 hours. Your alarm may begin to omit a beeping noise, signaling low-battery. This beeping may become more frequent as the battery gets lower. Make sure that someone is nearby to silence the alarm. For your protection, do not power down your system.

 

In the event of a power-outage, the most important thing is to stay calm. Keep in mind that emergency personnel are out and working hard to restore power. If you have questions, call your local non-emergency hotline.