Tools to Keep you Safe
Working smoke alarms provide early warning of a possible fire and help save lives. According to a study conducted by the Building and Fire Research Laboratory, smoke alarms alone in a home can decrease the chance of death in a fire by 63%.
Note, however, that these smoke alarms must be in working order! Therefore, smoke alarms should be checked, tested, and cleaned regularly to ensure that they are working correctly – the National Fire Protection Association recommends testing once a month. And remember, when it’s time to change your clock, it’s time to change the batteries in your smoke alarms.
Visit our Smoke Alarms page
for more information on this life-saving tool!
Carbon Monoxide is known as the silent killer because it is so difficult to detect: it is both odorless and colorless, but toxic none-the-less. CO gas is produced by common house-hold objects, including cars, portable generators, charcoal grills, wood-burning furnaces or fireplaces, gas-fired appliances, and cars. Some of the symptoms of CO exposure include headache, disorientation, dizziness, nausea, fatigue. It is important to have at least one CO detector with an audible warning near sleeping areas. These detectors are designed to sound before an average-sized healthy adult would experience symptoms, so do not disregard just because you may not feel any ill effects.
If your detector sounds, and people are not feeling ill :
- Turn off all appliances and sources of combustion.
- Ventilate the house by opening windows and doors.
- Call 9-1-1 so that your local fire department can investigate the source of the CO buildup.
If your detector sounds and anyone in the home is feeling ill :
- Evacuate everyone in the home immediately.
- Determine who is ill and what their symptoms are.
- Call 9-1-1 and relay this information to the dispatcher.
- Do NOT re-enter the home until the fire department says it is safe to do so.
- Call a qualified professional to repair the source of the carbon monoxide.
New Jersey state law requires Carbon Monoxide detectors to be installed in the immediate vicinity of ALL sleeping areas within the home, so that all occupants can be alerted should the detector go off. Plug-in, battery powered, or hard-wired types are all acceptable. However, be sure NOT to plug a detector into any outlet that can be turned off by a switch, or into outlets located against floor molding.
Visit the US Fire Administration's Carbon Monoxide page
for more information.
Make sure you have at least one fire extinguisher on each floor of your home. One of the most important places to have an extinguisher is in the kitchen where most grease fires can be contained. To operate a fire extinguisher, follow the PASS system:
- Pull the pin at the top of the extinguisher. This unlocks the discharge lever and will allow you to operate the extinguisher.
- Aim at the base of the fire, not the flames. You must aim at what is fueling the fire in order to extinguisher it.
- Squeeze the lever slowly to discharge the extinguishing agent.
- Sweep the base of the fire from side to side until it is completely out. Remember to keep a safe distance from the fire and slowly move closer as the fire begins to diminish
Visit the US Fire Administration's Fire Extinguisher's page for more information.
Sprinkler systems actually extinguish a fire, as opposed to simply warning occupants of a fire as fire alarms do. According to a study conducted by the Building and Fire Research Laboratory, the chances of dying in a fire decreased by 67% in homes with fire sprinklers along installed. When sprinklers AND smoke alarms were both installed in a home, those chances decreased by 82%.
Visit the US Fire Administration's Home Sprinkler Systems page
for more information.