7 Outdoor Fire Safety Tips

7 Outdoor Fire Safety TipsSummer is in full swing and that means backyard barbecues with family and friends and roasting marshmallows over open fire grills. It also means the potential for devastating grilling-related fires.

For example, on August 17, 2013, at 5:53 p.m., the Newton, Mass. Fire Department responded to a gas grill fire. The grill, which had been left unattended, ignited the exterior of the home. Damages from this fire were estimated to be $75,000, according to Massachusetts Fire Marshall Stephen Coan.

In 2013, 85 fires involving open fire grills were reported to the Massachusetts Fire Incident Reporting System. Two people were injured in the fires, which caused about $300,000 worth of damages. Seventy-five percent of all grill fires occurred between May and September, according to the fire marshal.

A home fire alarm system is the best defense in the event of a fire, but here are seven other tips from the Fire Marshall to help you keep your family and your home safe while you’re grilling up those hot dogs and burgers.

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6 Reasons To Test & Inspect Your Business Fire Alarm System Regularly

6 Reasons To Test & Inspect Your Business Fire Alarm System RegularlyBusiness fire alarm systems are designed to protect your business and employees from fire and smoke, but you can’t count on them if they’re not tested and inspected on a routine basis. Having your fire alarm system regularly serviced is critical to the safety of your building’s occupants.

The best way to discover whether your system is in need of maintenance is to have it professionally tested. Inspection and maintenance by licensed technicians can also help you cut down on expenses by preventing emergency repairs and costly false alarms that you haven’t included in your budget.

Testing your business fire alarm system on a regular basis ensures that it’s in compliance with National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 72 standards, as well as the local fire safety requirements and your insurance company’s fire alarm requirements.

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6 Spring Cleaning Tips to Make Your Home Safer and Healthier

6 Spring Cleaning Tips to Make Your Home Safer and HealthierAfter a cold and snowy – OK, very snowy – New England winter, spring is the perfect time to roll up your sleeves and give your home a top-to-bottom cleaning to get it ready for summer entertaining. In addition to spiffing up your house, there are some things you can do during your spring cleaning to make your house healthier while promoting home safety.

Here are six spring cleaning tips to get you started, courtesy of MedicineNet:

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Tips to Protect Your Home From Lightning

Tips to Protect Your Home From a Lightning FireLightning strikes are not as uncommon as many people think and can create severe fire hazards during storms.

Last summer, a lightning strike caused a two-alarm fire in Kingston, Mass. Three other homes were also hit by lightning during the same severe storm, but they did not catch fire. Luckily, there were no reported injuries.

In September, a barn in Williamsburg, Mass. also caught fire after it was hit by lightning. No one was inside the barn and no one was injured.

Earlier this year, chimneys on a home in Danvers, Mass. and a residence in Framingham, Mass. were also hit by lightning during an unusual lightning storm.

We want to offer you some tips from Safety Insurance in Boston to help you protect your home and your family during a lightning storm:

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Working Smoke Detectors, CO Detectors Save Lives

Working Smoke Detectors, CO Detectors Save LivesOn Wednesday February 12th, a woman in her 50s lost her life when a fire broke out in an apartment of a three-family home in Cambridge, Mass. Fire officials determined the cause of the fatal blaze was an electric baseboard heater that may have malfunctioned.

The home fire alarm system (smoke detectors) inside the apartment, as well as throughout the building, had been disconnected or did not have batteries, said Cambridge Fire Chief Gerald R. Reardon.

“A working smoke alarm coupled with an escape plan can double one’s chances of surviving a fire,” he said.

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Fire Safety in Off-Campus Housing

off-campus-fire-safetyWe’re only a couple months into the academic year, but tragically one college student has already perished in an off-campus fire.

Scott Notary, a 22 year old Purdue University student from Lafayette, Indiana, was killed in his apartment in a 2 ½ story residential building in the early morning hours of November 17, according to Campus Firewatch. Notary was found in a bedroom on the second floor.

This is the first fatal fire of the 2013-2014 academic year. Since 2000, Campus Firewatch said there have been 163 campus-related fire fatalities – 87% of them occurred off-campus, where approximately 2/3 of the students across the nation live.

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The Dangers of a DIY Home Security System


Some homeowners looking to install home security systems may be thinking about doing the job themselves to save money.

Although a do-it-yourself security system sounds great, installing your own security systems could compromise your family’s safety.

For one thing, if you’re not a security professional, you might very well install your alarm system incorrectly. Connect one small wire the wrong way and your family and your property won’t be protected.

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Home Fire System: Avoid Fall Fire Dangers

House FireWe all know that installing smoke detectors in your home fire system is the number one way to prevent fatalities during a fire in your home. That’s why it’s critical to change the batteries in your smoke detector twice a year — at the same time you set your clocks to either “spring forward” or “fall back.”

This year daylight savings time ends at 2 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 3. So when you get ready to turn your clocks back an hour, remember to replace the batteries in your smoke detector — as well as your carbon monoxide detector. If you have a monitored fire alarm system make sure you call to have it tested at least once a year. American Alarm is one company that offers free annual wellness inspections to monitored residential customers for this purpose.

Here are a few less obvious steps you can take to reduce the risk of fire in your home.

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Preserving Home Security – and Sanity – During Renovations

“Spring is the time of plans and projects.” – Leo Tolstoy, “Anna Karenina”

Since spring is just around the corner, many people are planning to build new homes or renovate their current homes – projects that involve a lot of time, not to mention money, and maybe even a few tears.

homerenovationHowever, “a home under construction or renovation is more vulnerable to damage or destruction than at any other time in a home’s history,” according to the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies. “Improperly stored work rags may combust, newly installed plumbing can leak, and intruders might vandalize your vacant home” and that’s just for starters. Read more

Holiday Home Security and Safety Series: Holiday and Christmas Tree Fire Safety

The weekend after Thanksgiving marks the traditional start of the holiday season. It’s the time when people across the country begin decorating their homes for the holidays. That includes putting up Christmas trees and decking homes with festive holiday lights.

While Christmas trees and holiday lights are lovely to behold, they can also be dangerous. Read more