Tips for Springtime Renovations

Renovations Coming this Spring? Don’t Take Chances

With the snow melted and weather warming, you might be thinking of renovations to your house and property. Consider a security system as part of the effort.

Why? In a project of any size there will be workmen moving in and out of your building/worksite; valuable building materials (such as copper and marble) will be left in plain sight; and so on. However, there are steps you can take to protect your worksite and belongings, and there are electronic systems designed to help you do just that. Read more

Chimney Fires: Preventable Danger in New England

Chimney fires are dangerous and potentially devastating, particularly in the winter season here in New England. Chimney blazes destroyed 100 homes in the U.S. in 2016, according to Channel 22 News in Chicopee. A recent spate of chimney fires in western Massachusetts prompted another warning article.

The latter story notes how one fire broke out after the home’s chimney tiles cracked — and the chimney block cracked with them, which allowed the fire to enter the home. On New Year’s Day, firefighters from Newbury, Massachusetts, successfully responded to a blaze, which they contained in the affected home’s porch.

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Carbon Monoxide: Winter’s Silent Killer

This colorless and odorless gas escapes from faulty furnaces, as well as portable generators, stoves, lanterns, gas ranges and other sources. When the fumes enter an area lacking adequate ventilation, they become lethally dangerous. In fact, it’s the biggest cause of poisoning in the U.S. according to .

50,000 victims of carbon monoxide poisoning head to the emergency room annually, and out of those 430 never make it home. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control notes that carbon monoxide poisonings spike in December and January — due in part to power outages caused by winter weather, which lead homeowners to use alternative power sources. Read more

Fire Prevention Week: Fire Facts

National Fire Prevention Week has arrived, providing an opportunity to stop and review home fire facts. This observation commemorates the Great Chicago fire of 1871, which killed 260, left 100,000 homeless, and destroyed 17,400-plus structures. This year’s theme is: “Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere.”

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), there are some grim statistics we should be aware of:

  •       In 2016 there were 352,000 home fires
  •       Three out of five fire deaths occurred in homes without smoke alarms
  •       Less than half of all homeowners have an escape plan

Fortunately, there are a variety of steps you can take to protect yourself this National Fire Prevention Week. Read more

Merrimack Valley Gas Disaster: Proactive Vigilance Is Essential

Tragedy can strike any time, from even the most mundane sources as the recent Merrimack Valley gas disaster demonstrates. According to WHDH News in Boston, excess pressure in natural gas pipelines caused explosions and fires in 80 homes in three communities. Dozens of houses were destroyed completely, and a young man was killed.

As a Providence Journal editorial on the disaster notes,: “The explosions are a stark and unwelcome reminder of the fragility of America’s critical infrastructure network, which includes the electrical grid, the banking system, telecommunications, the food supply system, the water system and public health networks.” Given New England’s aging infrastructure, such threats will likely continue, but homeowners can empower themselves to respond as proactively as possible and reduce potential threats to their properties, families and communities. Read more

An Alarm System Can Boost Home Value and Enable Smart Living

home security alarm system

On the fence about installing an electronic alarm system to protect your personal or rental property? Not convinced your security demands such a solution? A home security system can lighten your financial burden, more tightly link your mobile devices to your home management systems, and, perhaps, give you convenience and peace of mind.

It’s possible you own a house in a super-safe neighborhood, with a great police department, and lots of nosy neighbors living next door. Maybe you have a particularly vigilant dog. Perhaps the extra security doesn’t quite move you to install a system. You still owe it to yourself to consider some sort of a surveillance/alarm system’s extra benefits — ones you can enjoy even if you live in Fort Knox.

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How Fire Alarm Systems Save Lives and Millions in Property Damage

Fire Alarm Systems Save Lives and CostsCommercial real estate fires can be deadly. With the right fire alarm system, a building’s infrastructure can save lives and millions in property damage. The Union Point building that burnt down this past fall is an example of how extensive fire damage can be without an alarm system. The 4-story condominium was in development and not occupied. Because of this, there was no code required sprinkler system and fire alarm system that would mitigate the spread and alert officials. The fire that broke out in the early morning hours spread and was difficult for firefighters to put out. As a result, the building was destroyed and had to be rebuilt, costing the construction company millions in damages. Read more

Top 11 Reasons Commercial Buildings Fail Fire Safety Inspections

During a recent inspection, fire department officials in Portland, Maine informed the owners of the iconic Time and Temperature office tower that it had failed a safety inspection.

According to the officials, there were no sprinklers on six of the buildings 14 floors and no smoke detectors in the hallways of multiple floors, in violation of city laws. The inspection also found a number of other fire and safety hazards, including loose wiring, broken emergency lighting as well as blocked or sealed emergency exits. Read more

Top 10 Off-Campus Fire Safety Tips

As college students settle into their dorms and apartments, parents as well as students should assess the level of fire safety, particularly in off-campus housing.

On Campus vs. Off Campus

Why focus on off-campus housing?

Since 2000, 85% of college-related fire fatalities have happened in off-campus housing, where most students live, according to Campus Firewatch.

Listen to American Alarm’s President Wells Sampson describe, first hand, the lack of fire safety at his daughter Anne’s off-campus housing at Tufts University.   Read more