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Staying Safe During Fire Prevention Month

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In 1922, Fire Prevention Week was named in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire in 1871. Here at Black Diamond, safety is of the utmost importance to us. Today, we’ll be chatting about a few things you can do around your home to prevent fires.

First, a few quick facts:

  • Every 24 seconds, a fire department responds to a fire.
  • Sixty percent of people don’t test their smoke and carbon monoxide alarms regularly.
  • Less than 50% of homeowners have an escape plan.
  • Carbon monoxide is the number one cause of accidental poisoning in the United States.

SMOKE AND CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS

This one seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how quickly this can get overlooked in homes. You always want to remember that both devices have expiration dates. Ten years for smoke detectors, five for carbon monoxide detectors, and five years for combo units (unless otherwise stated).

Not sure if your unit is expired? One quick glance, and if you noticed it’s yellowed, that’s a telltale sign. Also, make sure you test all units in your home on a regular basis.

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Now, let’s talk location. You’ll want one smoke detector in each bedroom, a combo unit within 15 feet of each bedroom (usually the hallway), a combo unit on each floor, and right outside your kitchen area. It’s also a good idea to keep a fire extinguisher on each floor of your home.

ESCAPE PLANS

Do you feel transported back to middle school fire safety yet? In all seriousness, having an escape plan is crucial to keeping you and your family safe should a fire start in your home. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Identify the exits in your home, the safest and most efficient way out of your home, and designate an outdoor meeting place far enough away from the house where your family can meet in case of an emergency. Make sure you practice your escape plan regularly. A great time to do this would be when you test the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home.

ELECTRICAL FIRE SAFETY

A power surge is a sudden spike in voltage that travels through the wiring in your home. There are three main sources of power surges: the power grid switching, electrical storms, and large appliances turning on and off. When voltage spikes go through the wiring in your home and through those unprotected appliances, it can damage your equipment to the point of failure. Surge protectors shield your electronics from power surges. You can protect your home in two different ways: at the spot where something is plugged in or where your electrical service enters your home (this protects your entire electrical system).

GFCI protection is also a preventative measure you can take to protect your home from fires. FYI – GFCI protection is required in any area of your home with an increased risk of shock due to electrical hazards. This includes your kitchen, bathroom (any countertop area really), unfinished parts of your basement, exterior outlets, and your garage. A GFCI protected outlet will monitor the electrical current running to it, and if there is any imbalance, it will shut off the electrical running to it.

Let Black Diamond Help You Protect Your Home

These are all simple ways to make sure your home is protected and ways in which you can prevent fires. Should you need assistance with smoke/carbon monoxide detectors, GFCI outlets, or surge protection, the electrical experts at Black Diamond are always there when you need us!

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