All About the New Smoke Detector Recall: Part II

If you own a smoke detector manufactured by Kidde, you might need a replacement. We’ve already discussed the types of smoke detectors impacted by a recent recall and what the replacement process entails. Next, we’ll delve into the reasons for the recall — and what this says about fire safety and emergency plans moving forward: Why Were Kidde’s Smoke Alarms Recalled? When products are recalled, many people take the announcement at face value. Often, this means taking the most basic steps to secure their replacements without actually bothering to figure out why the originals were compromised in the first place….

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All About the New Smoke Detector Recall: Part I

You rely on your smoke detector to warn you of danger you might otherwise be unable to discern. This key tool could spell the difference between life or death in the event of an emergency. Unfortunately, not all smoke detectors are as reliable as manufacturers claim. This is evident based on a recent recall, which has consumers understandably worried. Most people don’t know which types of smoke detectors they have or how they function, so you’ll definitely want to check if you purchased your detector after early 2019. Keep reading to learn which smoke alarms are problematic and how you…

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How to (Safely) Enjoy Your Outdoor Fire Pits

Those cool summer nights spent sitting around a fire pit with friends and family are upon us. But before you light up your fires, it is a good idea to revisit some fire safety tips and make sure you are complying with your local county’s fire pit regulations. For basic fire safety, Consumer Reports offers five tips to help keep you safe. First, pick a safe place for your fire. Ideally, this means 20 to 25 feet away from anything that could burn. For yards with less space, Consumer Reports recommends keeping at least a 10-foot buffer zone. Second, be…

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Washington Gas Fined $750,000 Following Deadly Flower Branch Apartments Explosion

  On August 10, 2016, an explosion rocked the Flower Branch Apartments in Silver Spring, Maryland, killing seven people and injuring dozens more.  Following a lengthy investigation, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) determined that the cause of the explosion was likely due to a disconnected vent line and the failure of a mercury service regulator, equipment that controls the pressure of natural gas entering a building. In 2003, Washington Gas sought a rate increase to launch its mercury service regulator replacement program.  It estimated that more than 66,000 mercury service regulators, each 40-60 years old, would be replaced with…

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Is Your Christmas Décor Increasing Your Risk of Home Fire?

Did you know that half of all home heating fires occur in December, January, and February? And that the top three days for home candle fires are Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, and New Year’s Eve? While it is fun to decorate for the winter holidays, it is especially important that you do so in a way that doesn’t compromise the safety of those you love. To help decrease your risk of a home fire, the NFPA and the U.S. Fire Administration teamed up to help offer some decorating tips for the holiday season. Here are some of their suggestions:…

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A Review of Fireplace Safety Tips

  Wintertime is usually filled with snow days, hot coco, warm fuzzy socks, and gathering around the fireplace to listen and sing holiday songs with the family. Although this year may look a little different, fireplace safety is just as important as always. According to Injury Facts  over the past several decades, deaths from home fires in the U.S. have steadily gone down – from 5,200 in 1980 to 2,820 in 2018. But home fires are still the leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 14. Follow fireplace safety practices to make sure you are protecting yourself and…

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Daylight Saving Time Change: Time to Take Care of Your Smoke Detectors

  Traditionally, Daylight Saving Time means changing your clock AND changing the batteries for your smoke detectors. Included among important chores for maintaining household safety is proper smoke detector upkeep – testing your alarm and changing the batteries.  In addition, you should replace your smoke detectors every 10 years to ensure that they function properly. Normally, local fire departments offer free smoke detectors and installation around the same time as Daylight Saving Time changes as a safety initiative. However, this year, most fire departments have opted to cancel the program due to the COVID pandemic. Contact your local fire department…

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Safety Guidelines for Fourth of July Fireworks

  Social distancing guidelines have forced some cities and towns across the United States to cancel their celebrations, including firework shows, for the Fourth of July. This means that many more people will be celebrating at home and may plan to set off their own fireworks. Experts are warning that there is always a risk when using fireworks at home. A common misconception is that small and legal fireworks are always safe to use. However, there is always a risk because pyrotechnics are unpredictable and can easily malfunction. Even sparklers can reach up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit and cause serious…

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Daylight Saving Time Is Here: Replace Your Smoke Detector Batteries as You Reset Your Clock

This year, Daylight Saving Time will begin on Sunday, March 8th. When “springing forward” your clocks, you should also take the time to replace the batteries in your smoke detectors. Proper safety procedure requires that people should test their smoke detectors at least once a month using the “test” button, replace their batteries every six months, and replace the entire smoke detector unit every ten years. To easily track when you replace the batteries, the Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends you change them as daylight saving time begins and as it ends. Most smoke detectors have an area to write…

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Fire Safety Reminders For Christmas Trees And Holiday Lights

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire may form an evocative Christmas image, but ideally, that orange glow will remain safely contained within the fireplace. Sadly, the very decor that makes the season so cheery often leads to tragedy, as evidenced by alarming statistics from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Christmas trees, in particular, are dangerous, with the NFPA reporting that these key decorative elements prompted 160 known home fires between 2013 and 2017. Most could have been avoided, had homeowners abided by these key safety precautions: Keep Heat Sources Away From Trees Candles and trees should not mix. Most…

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