Fall Fire Safety Tips

Couple by bonfireAs the colder weather approaches and the leaves turn radiant shades of red, yellow, orange and gold, this is the perfect time to refresh your memory about fire safety – inside and outside your home.

Don’t forget, when you turn your clocks back on November 6 to signal the end of daylight savings time, remember to change the batteries in your smoke detectors and your carbon monoxide detectors if they are not hardwired.

You should also replace CO alarms every five years and smoke alarms every 10 years so be sure to check their expiration dates when you change the batteries.

Here are some other fall fire safety tips that you should keep in mind:
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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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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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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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Home Security Tips: Protect Your Home from Mother Nature’s Wrath

This winter it seems that Mother Nature is one unhappy mama, to paraphrase Sudbury, Mass. real estate agent Gabrielle Daniels.

With snowstorms on top of blizzards followed by days when the mercury hits spring-like temps, it’s no wonder she’s a bit cranky. Not to mention it’s only February.

house in snowBecause we understand just how frustrating – albeit beautiful – winter in New England can be, we’d like to share some tips from Daniels and others to help you keep your home and your family cozy and warm, not to mention safe, from Mother Nature’s mood swings. Read more

New England Winter Heating Dangers

Now that we’re right in the middle of the winter heating season, you have to be sure you’re heating your home or business with safety in mind.

Each year the Massachusetts Office of Public Safety has a Keep Warm, Keep Safe This Winter campaign to remind people about the dangers of winter heating.

fireIt’s no wonder the office considers this campaign a yearly necessity since heating has been the source of over 14,000 fires the last five years and it’s the number two reason for Massachusetts home fires, according to Read more

Fire Prevention Week: Have Two Ways Out

Did you know that only one-third of Americans have both created and tested a fire escape plan? About three-quarters of Americans take the time to develop escape plans, but less than half of those people actually test them, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

One-third of American households who develop an escape plan estimate they would have at least six minutes before a fire in their homes would become life-threatening. However, they really have much less time to get out, according to a NFPA survey.

Because of the importance placed on escape planning, the theme of the NFPA’s Fire Prevention Week this year is “Have Two Ways Out.” It’s not only important to have a fire escape plan to prepare your family when a fire does occur, but your family must also know what to do if that escape route is blocked by smoke or fire. Read more

Top Five Fire Safety Tips for the Home

October 7th marks the beginning of Fire Prevention Week. What better way to honor that week then to remind homeowners about the top ways to prevent fires. Below is a video blog (and transcript) on the top five fire safety tips for your home.

1. Cook Safely. Don’t leave your range unattended. According to the National Fire Prevention Association, cooking is the leading cause of reported home fires. It’s caused almost half of them since 1990. Most of those were due to unattended cooking. About 15% of these fires originated in ovens but most came from ranges. The solution is simple enough – as US News & World Reports puts it: stand by your pan.

2. Heat Safely. The second biggest fire threat is from home heating systems. Check wood stoves for cracks or anything that might compromise a hinge or leg. Don’t burn trash. It will build residue on your chimney, which along with your furnace, needs a professional cleaning at least once a

Also, any item that can burn needs to be at least a few feet away from heating equipment, especially troublesome accessories like space heaters. Space heaters are generally more dangerous than central heaters and send 6,000 Americans to the hospital every year.

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Top 3 Fire Escape Safety Tips

What’s the most important thing to do as soon as you know that your home is on fire?

If you answered “evacuate immediately,” you get a gold star – getting yourself and your loved ones out of a burning building is the number one priority in the event of a fire.

Despite this fact, most people don’t stop to think about the best way to rapidly leave their homes – especially if the home fire alarm system goes off in the middle of the night when most of the family is likely to be sleeping. Knowing where your exits are – and the quickest way to get to them – are two of the most important fire safety tips that you, your spouse, your children, and your guests should be aware of.

In honor of National Fire Prevention week, October 7-13, 2012, here are three important tips to help you and your loved ones get out of harm’s way as quickly as possible in the event of a fire. Read more