Are you under the impression that you won’t experience a house fire? Don’t bet on it. I am a licensed electrician in Tacoma Washington, and though I was prepared, to my disbelief it occurred! Here are some simple steps you can take to avoid or prepare for a disaster such as this. And believe me I hold each and every one of these close to my heart.
Number one, have a plan ready. Panic can kill. To avoid personal injury or even death, you and your family need to prepare. Plan your evacuation routes and practice simulating fires using them.
Secondly, a small fire which you catch right away can be put out using a fire extinguisher. Install a couple of them in your home that are EASILY at your disposal. They can be the first and last measure you need to take in saving your property. Use ABC fire extinguishers only.
Third on my list are candles. Their use is one of the most prolific fire starters in America. Don’t use them, period.
Many are unaware of my fourth recommendation. Vacuum the lint behind your dryer and clean the vent. In doing so you may even find your vent has come apart or you don’t have one at all. Change this condition right away. Lint is known to spontaneously catch fire.
I am sure we could spend some time and add to this list. But the one item not discussed as of yet, is the smoke detector. This invention has been a life and property saver time and time again. Invented to 1902, with continual refinements, makes the smoke detector our first defense against house fires. It is unfortunate that 2/3 of deaths today are in homes without smoke detection. Don’t be a statistic, install smoke detectors!
I am sure that you are wondering what type of smoke detection should we install. Well the following list will provide us options:
Battery operated (only source of power) smoke detectors. These are usually installed by the home owner. As a note, please replace batteries yearly.
120 volt/battery back-up smoke detectors. These are typically installed by a qualified electrical contractor. Power is provided by an existing receptacle, switch or constant power found in an attic. A battery is used as backup in the event of power loss. They are most likely found in hallways serving bedrooms, if not also in the bedrooms. As a note, please replace batteries yearly.
120 volt/battery back-up/interconnected smoke detectors. Again, these are typically installed by a qualified licensed electrician. Power is provided by an existing receptacle, switch or constant power found in an attic. The battery is used as a backup in each smoke detector. Three wire is also installed to each smoke detector. This provides power from the first and a means of sending a signal to each additional smoke detector in the event only one detects smoke. This sets all of the units off notifying the household occupants that smoke is detected. This is the most common system found in modern homes (1990’s to current). It is also the best choice without installing the next mentioned alternative. As a note, please replace batteries yearly.
Low voltage smoke detectors installed with a modern house alarm. This type of smoke detection will give us the optimal protection. It will not only protect the occupants from fire it will protect our property while we are away from our home. Protecting our home while we are away requires a monitoring service. We can purchase this service from $10.00 per month, up. This type of system can also add heat detection in areas we would not install smoke, in example, attics.
All of the above mentioned types of smoke detectors can also test for carbon monoxide. Our simple gas furnaces can flood our home with this gas in the event the heat exchanger is cracked. We should replace our devices (smoke detectors) every five to ten years. I change mine every five.
In closing I am sure we value ourselves and our family. Call a Tacoma electrician for a quote today. I am sure A Great Break Electric & Alarm, Inc. or another qualified licensed electrical contractor can install a system within your budget, now!