Be Prepared: Home Fire Safety Tips

Fire-Ada BeHouse fires.  Nobody wants to think about them, but they are an unfortunate reality in our imperfect world.  While a house fire can be unpredictable there are precautionary measures you can take to avoid them.  Being prepared is half the battle, but knowing what to do in the event of a fire is equally important.

Part of being prepared is having the proper equipment and warning devices.  This means having operating smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, a fire alarm, and sometimes a sprinkler system.  Most single family homes are not required by law to have a sprinkler or fire suppression system, but that may not last as the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) is currently pushing for sprinkler legislation across the United States.  As a leading expert in the security system industry our experts at Perfect Connections, Inc. realize having a truly comprehensive home security system means including fire detection equipment that is linked to an alarm system.  We have been providing home security systems throughout northern and central New Jersey for the past 23 years.  Our team understands that security is not solely about preventing break-ins, it’s about protecting lives.

Being Prepared

According to the NFPA firefighters responded to 370,000 home fires in 2011.  These fires caused injuries, deaths, and costly damages.  The main culprits of these fires were cooking followed by heating equipment and smoking.  Of the reported home fire related deaths between 2007 and 2011, 60% of the homes either didn’t have smoke detectors or had non-working detectors.  This is a problem, what good is a detector if it’s not working or been removed?

The best way to manage a household fire is be prepared for one.  Being prepared includes having the proper warning system, up to date fire extinguishers, and most importantly an escape plan.  Having an escape plan that everyone knows and has practiced will help ensure a safer and quicker exit in the event of a fire.  Every house should have working smoke detectors throughout each floor of the home and they should be tested regularly.  Smoke detectors can be even more effective if they are tied into your homes security system.  If you have a home security system you likely have a monitoring service that responds in the event of an emergency.  In the event of a fire, detectors that are tied into an alarm system will trigger the alarm and if the alarm is not deactivated by the owner, the monitoring service will be notified automatically.  The monitoring service will try to contact the house and if no one answers after a given amount of time they will dispatch local emergency crews.  This type of system ensures a quicker response from local authorities and saves you and your family precious time needed to escape.

Fire Types

Understanding the different types of house fires can help you prevent or know how to extinguish them.  One of the most common causes of house fires is from cooking related incidents.  According to the NFPA two out of every five home fires started in the kitchen.  In a way this makes a lot of sense.  Think about it, kitchens are where you cook with high heat, ovens, gas or electric ranges, grease, and flammable materials.  It is of the utmost importance to be vigilant of what is going on in your kitchen.  If you have pots on the stove, do not leave them unattended the same for items in the oven.  Never leave flammable or combustible materials where they can be exposed to flames or high heat.

Electrical fires are another leading cause of house fires.  Homes with electrical heating need to be conscious of what materials are up against or close to heaters, all it takes is one dangling curtain to catch fire.  This is especially true for people who use space heaters.  It’s tempting to bring that space heater right up to your bed on those cold winter nights, but they need to be kept a safe distance, which is about 3 feet, from anything combustible and that includes bed sheets.  Space heaters should always be unplugged when not in use to avoid any electrical malfunctions and they should never be left on overnight.  Other culprits of electrical fires include dryers, washing machines, water heaters, air conditioning machines, and ranges.

Fires related to smoking incidents are another major cause of injury and fire related deaths in the United States.  Although the amount of people who smoke in the United States has decreased in the past decade the fact remains between 2007 and 2011 smoking materials were responsible for approximately 17,900 house fires.  During this time period 580 deaths, 1,280 injuries, and $509 million in property damage per year was attributed to smoking related fires.  Many of these fires included falling asleep as a factor.  It’s devastating that such disaster has taken place when this type of fire is completely preventable by not smoking.

While you can’t always predict or prevent house fires from occurring you can be prepared for them.  And even though the first thing you should always do in the event of a fire is call 911 here’s a helpful link that describes how to extinguish different types of house fires Different Ways To Extinguish Different Fires.  Having a comprehensive security system that includes a monitored fire alarm and connected smoke detectors can significantly decrease the damaging effects of a house fire.  It can save you time, money, and most importantly lives.  Our team at Perfect Connections, Inc. has been providing comprehensive security systems to homes throughout northern and central New Jersey since 1992.  We want to help you connect and protect what matters most.

If you live or run a business in Central or Northern New Jersey and would like information on any of the topics discussed above, please call 800-369-3962 or simply CLICK HERE.

Image Credit: Image by Ada Be-Flickr-Creative Commons

Why Should I Have a Home Security System?

Burglar-JohnImplementing a home security system can seem like a daunting task, but it’s an investment you won’t regret.  People typically visualize the home break-in scenario where the masked intruder breaks a window setting off an alarm, ultimately sending the perpetrator on the run.  A home security system is so much more than a triggered alarm, it’s a potential life saver in a variety of situations.  We all like to imagine our homes are impervious fortresses of safety, but the reality is there are too many uncontrollable factors that could affect our daily lives.  Home security allows you to be more prepared for those unpredictable situations.

Our licensed integrators at Perfect Connections, Inc. design and install comprehensive home security systems.  We have been providing custom security solutions to residents in northern and central New Jersey for the past 23 years.  Our systems protect people and property, offering a peace of mind that can’t be obtained from anything else.  It is our belief that a comprehensive home security system should include a burglar alarm, video surveillance, home automation, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and a monitoring service.

Burglar alarms are likely the first thing that come to mind when thinking about home security.  This is because they are a vital system component that helps keep you and your family safe from intruders.  Not only do burglar alarms alert you and your monitoring station of a potential disturbance, they can deter would be thieves from even attempting a break-in or burglary.  In a study by the Alarm Industry Research and Education Foundation (AIREF) 422 convicted burglars were asked about their decisions to burglarize.  They found that approximately 60% would not make an attempt on a home or commercial property that they knew had and alarm system.

Having a surveillance system is an essential component of a comprehensive home security system.  Cameras keep eyes on your property even while you can’t.  The recordings can also help during an investigation after the fact if necessary.  In the burglar study conducted by AIREF approximately 60% said cameras would be factor in their target selection with more than 40% reporting they would choose an alternative if cameras were present.  Aside from being a deterrent and a forensics tool, home surveillance systems can often be remotely accessed via an app on your mobile device.  This would allow you to check-in on specific parts of your home, see that your pets are okay during the day, or check-in on a loved one.

Remote access to your home security system is part of the abilities you are afforded when you have home automation.  With home automation you can setup customized alerts so you receive notifications to your mobile device when your children arrive home from school, when an alarm is triggered, you receive a package, or there is a drastic temperature change in your home.  Having remote access to your system helps you control certain parts of you home as well.  Maybe you go on vacation and you forget to close your garage doors, if you have home automation it’s not a problem, you simply login to the app on your mobile device and close the doors.  Depending on your system configuration you can arm or disarm your system, lock or unlock doors, control the temperature, turn lights on and off, and sometimes control appliances.  Home automation offers convenience and connectivity you can’t get from anything else.

Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are two of the most important life safety devices every home should have.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that every year more than 400 Americans die from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning unrelated to fires.  Carbon monoxide is a “silent killer” that is colorless and odorless, that is why it is so important to have working detectors in the home.  Based on past data, in 2014, The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) found that three out of five home fire deaths were caused by fires in homes that didn’t have working smoke alarms.

Statistics alone should be enough to convince any home owner to invest in these life saving devices.  What makes them even more effective is if they are tied into your security system.  That way when they go off or CO levels rise the central monitoring station will be alerted and if necessary they can send help right away.  In situations where you might not be home or a loved one is home alone, it’s nice to know someone is still vigilant.

Monitoring services are the catalyst in security systems that initiate emergency responses.  They are a key component that shouldn’t be passed up because of cost.  You can’t put a cost on the lives of the ones you love or yourself for that matter.  What good is an alarm if no one is alerted when it goes off?  It might scare off an intruder, but do you really want to take that chance?  During a fire or unpredictable disaster you want the fastest response you can get, right?  That is where having a monitoring service proves its worth.  It provides quick response times even when you are not home or incapable of responding.

Whether you’re new to the world of home security systems or have been considering one for a long time, it’s always a worthy investment.  A comprehensive system will help protect not only your property but your life and the lives of your loved ones.  Our team of licensed integrators at Perfect Connections, Inc. has been providing comprehensive security solutions to homes throughout northern and central New Jersey since 1992.  We realize no two homes are identical and each one has individual security risks and concerns, which is why we custom design our systems to fit your needs.

If you live or run a business in Central or Northern New Jersey and would like information on any of the topics discussed above, please call 800-369-3962 or simply CLICK HERE.

Image Credit: Image by John-Flickr-Creative Commons

Putting Out A Fire

Fire-Ada BeHouse fires.  Nobody wants to think about them, but they are an unfortunate reality in our imperfect world.  While a house fire can be unpredictable there are precautionary measures you can take to avoid them.  Being prepared is half the battle, but knowing what to do in the event of a fire is equally important.

Part of being prepared is having the proper equipment and warning devices.  This means having operating smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, a fire alarm, and sometimes a sprinkler system.  Most single family homes are not required by law to have a sprinkler or fire suppression system, but that may not last as the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) is currently pushing for sprinkler legislation across the United States.  As a leading expert in the security system industry our experts at Perfect Connections, Inc. realize having a truly comprehensive home security system means including fire detection equipment that is linked to an alarm system.  We have been providing home security systems throughout northern and central New Jersey for the past 23 years.  Our team understands that security is not solely about preventing break-ins, it’s about protecting lives.

Being Prepared

According to the NFPA firefighters responded to 370,000 home fires in 2011.  These fires caused injuries, deaths, and costly damages.  The main culprits of these fires were cooking followed by heating equipment and smoking.  Of the reported home fire related deaths between 2007 and 2011, 60% of the homes either didn’t have smoke detectors or had non-working detectors.  This is a problem, what good is a detector if it’s not working or been removed?

The best way to manage a household fire is be prepared for one.  Being prepared includes having the proper warning system, up to date fire extinguishers, and most importantly an escape plan.  Having an escape plan that everyone knows and has practiced will help ensure a safer and quicker exit in the event of a fire.  Every house should have working smoke detectors throughout each floor of the home and they should be tested regularly.  Smoke detectors can be even more effective if they are tied into your homes security system.  If you have a home security system you likely have a monitoring service that responds in the event of an emergency.  In the event of a fire, detectors that are tied into an alarm system will trigger the alarm and if the alarm is not deactivated by the owner, the monitoring service will be notified automatically.  The monitoring service will try to contact the house and if no one answers after a given amount of time they will dispatch local emergency crews.  This type of system ensures a quicker response from local authorities and saves you and your family precious time needed to escape.

Fire Types

Understanding the different types of house fires can help you prevent or know how to extinguish them.  One of the most common causes of house fires is from cooking related incidents.  According to the NFPA two out of every five home fires started in the kitchen.  In a way this makes a lot of sense.  Think about it, kitchens are where you cook with high heat, ovens, gas or electric ranges, grease, and flammable materials.  It is of the utmost importance to be vigilant of what is going on in your kitchen.  If you have pots on the stove, do not leave them unattended the same for items in the oven.  Never leave flammable or combustible materials where they can be exposed to flames or high heat.

Electrical fires are another leading cause of house fires.  Homes with electrical heating need to be conscious of what materials are up against or close to heaters, all it takes is one dangling curtain to catch fire.  This is especially true for people who use space heaters.  It’s tempting to bring that space heater right up to your bed on those cold winter nights, but they need to be kept a safe distance, which is about 3 feet, from anything combustible and that includes bed sheets.  Space heaters should always be unplugged when not in use to avoid any electrical malfunctions and they should never be left on overnight.  Other culprits of electrical fires include dryers, washing machines, water heaters, air conditioning machines, and ranges.

Fires related to smoking incidents are another major cause of injury and fire related deaths in the United States.  Although the amount of people who smoke in the United States has decreased in the past decade the fact remains between 2007 and 2011 smoking materials were responsible for approximately 17,900 house fires.  During this time period 580 deaths, 1,280 injuries, and $509 million in property damage per year was attributed to smoking related fires.  Many of these fires included falling asleep as a factor.  It’s devastating that such disaster has taken place when this type of fire is completely preventable by not smoking.

While you can’t always predict or prevent house fires from occurring you can be prepared for them.  And even though the first thing you should always do in the event of a fire is call 911 here’s a helpful link that describes how to extinguish different types of house fires Different Ways To Extinguish Different Fires.  Having a comprehensive security system that includes a monitored fire alarm and connected smoke detectors can significantly decrease the damaging effects of a house fire.  It can save you time, money, and most importantly lives.  Our team at Perfect Connections, Inc. has been providing comprehensive security systems to homes throughout northern and central New Jersey since 1992.  We want to help you connect and protect what matters most.

If you live or run a business in Central or Northern New Jersey and would like information on any of the topics discussed above, please call 800-369-3962 or simply CLICK HERE.

Image Credit: Image by Ada Be-Flickr-Creative Commons

NFPA: Are In-home Sprinklers The New Standard?

Fire SprinklerYou’ve probably seen sprinkler heads poking out of the ceilings at your office, a hospital, or other public venue where they are generally a code requirement.  But have you ever seen one in someone’s home?  Odds are probably not.  They are currently not required in private residences, but a new proposed legislation by the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) aims to change that.

The Fire Sprinkler Initiative wants to make fire sprinklers a requirement in all new construction single and two family homes.  All homes should already have fire extinguishers and up to date smoke and carbon monoxide detectors so why would sprinklers be necessary?  Let’s find out.  As a security systems provider in central and northern New Jersey for the past 22 years our team at Perfect Connections, Inc. understands the importance of proper fire safety equipment.  We provide comprehensive home security systems that include the appropriate fire alarms and smoke detectors.

As a society we’ve gone countless years without in-home fire sprinklers, so why the push for it now?  Throughout those countless years, there have been countless incidents of house fires that have resulted in severe injuries, even deaths.  In fact over 85% of all fire deaths in the US have taken place in the home.  Approximately 3000 Americans die every year from house fires.  According to the NFPA, having an in-home sprinkler system along with working smoke detectors cuts the death risk by 80%.  The 2015 edition of the IRC (International Residential Code) requires fire sprinklers to be included in all new home construction.  The ICC (International Code Council) has specified that this requirement will be incorporated gradually over a period of 20 years.

States that have adopted the IRC requirements for one and two family homes are California, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.  Many other states have adopted the requirements for townhouses up to three stories.  Sprinkler installation in new construction homes seems like a no-brainer but not all are so eager to jump on the bandwagon.  In fact the NAHB (The National Association of Home Builders) has vehemently been opposing the proposed legislation and IRC requirements since the beginning.  NAHB’s communications director, Calli Schmidt in opposition to mandatory legislation has said, “The only way for sprinkler manufacturers to make money is to focus on mandates. Otherwise, they’re not financially feasible.”  This has been refuted by organizations for the cause pointing the finger right back at the NAHB saying they’re disregarding the safety of civilians and only concerned with selling homes.

This ongoing battle between the NAHB and supporters of the proposed legislation makes it unclear who has the best intentions for the homeowners.  Both sides claim profit as the top reason for opposition or acceptance.  The NAHB of Virginia purported the sprinkler manufacturers “hijacked” the code writing process in 2008 when they paid for travel expenses of numerous firefighters to attend the ICC meeting.  The ICC Appeals Board disputed this stating, “By unanimous vote that there was no material and significant irregularity of process or procedure.”  Sprinkler advocates believe in-home sprinklers would save not only lives but substantial property damage and loss.  According to the Department of Homeland Security deaths by fire in the United States fell over 40 percent once smoke detectors became mandatory back in the 1970s.  The NAHB believes the percent of saving more lives with sprinklers is minimal in comparison to their cost.  NAHB members are not against sprinklers as a voluntary measure, but to require them in all new homes would increase the cost of the homes themselves potentially threatening the health of the real estate market especially in times of economic hardship.

Whether or not the NAHB’s reasons for opposing the sprinkler initiative hold water, one must look at the facts and evaluate the risks.  According to the NFPA fatality rates in homes with sprinklers vs those without is 80 percent less.  Do financial costs outweigh the cost of losing a life/lives?  No tends to be the immediate response, but no matter how many safety features or preventative measures you take, there is no infallible system or guarantee.  That being said, the benefits seem to outweigh the costs.  The same holds true for home security systems.  Here at Perfect Connections, Inc. we know there is no perfect system, but we provide security systems that have been proven helpful in preventing catastrophe.  If you reside in northern or central New Jersey and are still relying on antiquated security techniques, don’t hesitate to call on our professionals.  Our experts can provide an in person assessment of your security risks and customize a system that is specific to your individual needs.

Engage in the conversation!  The links below provide further information on the NFPA’s sprinkler initiative.  What do you think about it?  Leave us comments/questions below.

If you live in Central or Northern New Jersey and would like information on any of the topics discussed above, please call 800-369-3962 or simply CLICK HERE.

Home Sprinklers Tip Sheet

Home Sprinklers Fast Fact Sheet

Sprinkler Impact Fact Sheet

About Anti-Sprinkler Legislation