Home Safety Checklist by UL

September 16th, 2012 | Filed under: Child Proofing, Consumer Protection, Family Safety, Fireplaces & Woodstoves, Senior Safety, Slip-and-Fall | 1 Comment »

UL offers some great home safety tips. Here are our favorites, check their website for more:

  1. Sound the Alarm: Install smoke detectors on every floor of your home and carbon monoxide detectors near sleeping areas. If already installed, test them! Tip: Replace the batteries every daylight-saving time change.
  2. Avoid Overload: Check for overloaded extension cords – usage should not exceed the recommended wattage.
  3. Don’t Get Tippy: If young children are in the home, bookshelves and other furniture should be firmly secured with wall brackets to prevent tipping.
  4. Childproof, Childproof, Childproof: Check your local library or online for complete lists of childproofing suggestions. Areas of particular danger include outlets, appliances, electronics, stairs and windows.
  5. Cover Outlets: Cover all unused outlets to prevent children from sticking a finger in the socket.
  6. Keep Extinguishers Handy: Place all-purpose fire extinguishers in key locations in your home – the kitchen, bedroom and basement. Be sure to check expiration dates regularly and know how to use them safely.
  7. Go New in the Nursery: Check that all painted cribs, bassinettes and high chairs were made after 1978 to avoid potential lead paint poisoning.
  8. Put Away Medications: Take medications and medical supplies out of your purse, pockets and drawers, and put them in a cabinet with a child safety lock.

Check the UL website for more information.

What are your favorite home safety tips - post them in the comments below.


Placement of Carbon Monoxide CO Detectors Important

September 5th, 2012 | Filed under: Carbon Monoxide, Chimneys, Fireplaces & Woodstoves, Furnaces, Water Heaters | No Comments »

Re-posting one of our most popular topics - where to place your carbon monoxide detector:

Homeowners should remember not to install carbon monoxide detectors directly above or beside fuel-burning appliances, as appliances may emit a small amount of carbon monoxide upon start-up. A detector should not be placed within fifteen feet of heating or cooking appliances or in or near very humid areas such as bathrooms.

Read the rest for more advice on installing your carbon monoxide detector.


Carbon Monoxide - A Clear, Odorless Gas That Goes Virtually Undetected

October 5th, 2010 | Filed under: Carbon Monoxide, Chimneys, Consumer Protection, Family Safety, Fireplaces & Woodstoves, Furnaces, Installed Systems, Water Heaters | No Comments »

Author: Maria Richmond for HomeSafe.com

It has no smell, nor can you see carbon monoxide, yet it is very dangerous and kills several hundred people each year.

Carbon monoxide is produced by fuel burning appliances such as, gas space heaters, gas furnaces, wood burning stoves, fireplaces, gas dryers, gas ranges, ovens, even your car. If your appliance is working properly, it will not produce enough carbon monoxide to be harmful. If it is not functioning properly, carbon monoxide can leak from the appliance in amounts that can be harmful, even fatal if enough is inhaled.

Carbon monoxide is absorbed through the bloodstream. Carbon monoxide in the bloodstream makes it impossible for oxygen to be absorbed by your vital organs. When your organs are unable to have access to, nor able to utilize oxygen, they starve and become unable to function.

Children and pregnant women (the fetus) are at even greater risks of CO poisoning. Children naturally have a higher metabolic rate. This means that they require higher amounts of oxygen for their vital organs, like their hearts and brain. When CO interferes with the delivery of oxygen to these vital organs, children can suffer severe complications from CO poisoning, such as brain damage and death.

Read the rest of the article…


Carbon Monoxide Detectors - Proper Placement of Carbon Monoxide CO Detectors Important

September 30th, 2010 | Filed under: Carbon Monoxide, Chimneys, Consumer Protection, Family Safety, Fireplaces & Woodstoves, Furnaces, Installed Systems, Poisoning, Water Heaters | No Comments »

WASHINGTON, Sept. 30 /PRNewswire/ — Proper placement of a carbon monoxide (CO) detector is important, reminds the makers of home-safety and security website HomeSafe.com (http://www.homesafe.com/coalert).

Each fall the sad news of another family that has one or more of its family members perish in their sleep from carbon monoxide poisoning repeats itself.

The real tragedy is that these deaths can be prevented if the family had the chimney checked and/or installed carbon monoxide detectors near the sleeping and living areas within the house.

If you are installing only one carbon monoxide detector, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends it be located near the sleeping area, where it can wake you if you are asleep. Additional detectors on every level and in every bedroom of a home provide extra protection against carbon monoxide poisoning.

Homeowners should remember not to install carbon monoxide detectors directly above or beside fuel-burning appliances, as appliances may emit a small amount of carbon monoxide upon start-up. A detector should not be placed within fifteen feet of heating or cooking appliances or in or near very humid areas such as bathrooms.

When considering where to place a carbon monoxide detector, keep in mind that although carbon monoxide is roughly the same weight as air (carbon monoxide’s specific gravity is 0.9657, as stated by the EPA; the National Resource Council lists the specific gravity of air as one), it may be contained in warm air coming from combustion appliances such as home heating equipment. If this is the case, carbon monoxide will rise with the warmer air.

Installation locations vary by manufacturer. Manufacturers’ recommendations differ to a certain degree based on research conducted with each one’s specific detector. Therefore, make sure to read the provided installation manual for each detector before installing.

For more information about carbon monoxide poisoning prevention and to find top-rated CO detectors for your home, visit the CO ALERT at http://www.homesafe.com/coalert.


Fire safety for your family

February 26th, 2010 | Filed under: Carbon Monoxide, Chimneys, Consumer Protection, Family Safety, Fire Safety, Fireplaces & Woodstoves | No Comments »

Source: Children’s Hospital Boston - by LOIS LEE, MD, MPH

The city of Boston recently celebrated the fact that no citizens within the city died as a result of a house fire in 2009—the first year with no deaths since 1972, when the Fire Department started keeping records about fire-related deaths. It seems to me in 2010 that deaths from house fires should be a phenomenon of an earlier century, but sadly this is not true.

With some of the older type of housing and the various types of heating devices families use to survive the long New England winters, this is an important fact to celebrate. The use of space heaters, the presence of old electrical wiring and living with persons who smoke in the home all increase the risk of a house fire.

Read the Rest


Doggies fans, sick of their club being kicked around

January 27th, 2010 | Filed under: Carbon Monoxide, Chimneys, Family Safety, Fire Safety, Fireplaces & Woodstoves, Workplace Safety | 1 Comment »

like the defiance and aggression. Even football people at other clubs can understand their motivation. “They had to do something,” is another comment I’ve heard several times since Wednesday, when the Giants performed the mother of all recruiting backflips, in response to the Bulldogs’ Boyd Ultimatum (we’ll take Boyd and no one else).

There would be some sort of small flat topped pyramid in the center of the court and surrounding grounds and the King would step up to the top. He announced the winning team and captain. Then he climbed down and strode over to a spherical rock. More than two decades, the NFL has been a leader in addressing the issue of head Wholesale Discount NBA Jerseys injuries in a serious way. Important steps have included major investments in independent medical research; improved medical protocols and benefits, innovative partnerships with the CDC, NIH, GE and others to accelerate progress. NFL Wholesale Discount football Jerseys China just this year reached a $765 million concussion settlement that would provide money for medical exams, concussion related compensation for NFL retirees, and their families.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg for Kirsch. “You need to have that infrastructure solidly in place to do all these things. With our robust Wi Fi network, we are confident that we can launch our new Game Day app and know that we will not disappoint the 68,000 people at Gillette Stadium,”Cheap NFL Jerseys says Kirsch.

In almost all cases, these costs are so high that, compared to the cost of Discount MLB Jerseys Free Shipping individual airline tickets, they make no economic sense. Even the most intrepid traveler who flies 52 weeks out of the year would spend at most $2,000 per week ($104,000 per year) on airline travel. That amount of money would not even cover the cost of the pilot, not to mention the cost of the plane, fuel, maintenance, support, etc.

Police said the 19 year old performer fell about 30 feet from his apparatus on Oct. 31 and landed in the crowd. A witness told The Philadelphia Inquirer that he bounced off a safety net then landed among the spectators. Concussions used to be described as a brain bruise, but doctors now like to say that it’s a problem with the brain’s function, a problem that can’t be detected by MRI or CT scan. When the brain suddenly slams to a stop, the Cheap Wholesale Baseball Jerseys From China brain’s neurons all fire at once. That surge of energy temporarily messes up the brain’s electrical and chemical signal system, making it hard to think straight..

This amid so much attention to the long term effects on the health of players. The university says it’s taking steps to prevent incidents like that from Wholesale hockey Jerseys Free Shipping happening again. And we have a report this morning from Quinn Klinefelter of member station WDET.


Winter Storm: Weather outside frightful, make inside home delightful

December 10th, 2009 | Filed under: Carbon Monoxide, Chimneys, Family Safety, Fireplaces & Woodstoves | No Comments »

Source: Orlando Examiner

With the current winter storm sweeping the nation already responsible for at least a dozen deaths, it’s not surprising people are seeking refuge in their warm homes.

But when the weather turns cold outside, things can heat up inside — sometimes a little too much, if you don’t take precautions.

Dumping nearly 20 inches of the white stuff on Madison WI, and 15 more in Green Bay, the year’s first major pre-winter snow storm swept a large portion of the U.S. this week, leaving Wisconsin in a state of emergency.

As the winter storm moved off the East Coast, it left in its wake the return of “lake effect” snow bands, lingering blustery conditions and frigid temperatures.

On Wednesday, a follow-up storm was approaching from the West, where temperatures have been lower than normal — including a record 16-degree reading in Redding, CA.

Winter storm conditions blanketing much of the nation comes with a triple-threat to household health and safety — issues related to carbon monoxide poisoning, home heating and power outages, according to the Home Safety Council.

However, while you can’t change Mother nature, you can change behavior to keep the home safe when winter blasts howl around your home.

Read the rest


How to avoid carbon-monoxide poisoning

February 5th, 2009 | Filed under: Carbon Monoxide, Chimneys, Fireplaces & Woodstoves, Furnaces, Poisoning | 1 Comment »

Some timely safety advice from Consumer Reports:

Last week’s hospitalization of more than a dozen children in Dallas and the recent deaths of seven Kentucky residents illustrate the real dangers of carbon monoxide.

Keep your family safe with the safety measures below as well as this advice.

Read the rest and see the safety video.


Burning Firewood More Efficiently

January 19th, 2009 | Filed under: Chimneys, Fire Safety, Fireplaces & Woodstoves | 3 Comments »

Since 1988 new woodstoves have had to meet federal regulations regarding efficiency and pollution production - resulting in “EPA Approved” stoves that use a variety of methods to lower emissions and increase efficiency. These stoves use advanced design, catalytic combustors, and re-burners to “burn-off” the smoke produced by the initial combustion of wood.

Smoke is wasted fuel from a wood fire - in fact a cleanly burning EPA Approved woodstove operating correctly will give off little more than a transparent vapor cloud - with no real amount of smoke escaping the stove. That’s because the smoke itself is burned within the stove - resulting in better efficiency and greater heat output from the same amount of wood.

The BEST method to increase your woodburning efficiency is to get rid of your old, smokey insert or freestanding woodstove, and properly install one of these newer stoves.

Besides a re-vamp on your appliance, there are a few other things you can do to produce hotter fires, which produce less creosote and smoke, and burn more cleanly with greater heat output.

The single most important factor is the dryness of your firewood. Seasoned firewood contains much less water than “green” firewood - so the fire doesn’t waste it’s energy steaming off the water content, and more heat is available for complete combustion of the smoke. (See FeN #003 about firewood seasoning tips.) Seasoned firewood is easier to start, and will help keep the stove temperatures hot - to lessen the amount of smoke released up the connector pipe.

Another important part of efficient woodburning is to allow plenty of combustion air to enter the stove. Become familiar with the air inlets on your stove - this is usually the best area of the stove to ignite the kindling when first starting your fire. Once the fire is started, give it plenty of air for 15 to 30 minutes - allowing the stove and wood to heat-up and a bed of coals to start forming.

For hot “flash-fires” - intended to give off lower heat levels over several hours - load your stove in a small stack, loose criss-cross fashion, leaving plenty of space for air to flow into and around the stack. You want to get the fire hot and bright. Cut back on the air inlets as the fire progresses - but never enough to smolder the flames. When you have a hot bed of glowing coals, cut the air back enough to keep them hot and radiating heat. Repeat this process as needed to keep the house at the temperature you feel is comfortable.

For extended heating, and when you want to maximize heat output - start your fire like you would the flash fire - and when you get down to a hot bed of coals, load plenty of wood on the sides and on top of the bed of coals, concentrating the heat in a “pocket” of fresh firewood. This will sustain the fire and maximize heat output. Add wood around and over the “pocket” as needed to keep the heat concentrated.

To get a longer-lasting fires - burn your wood from the top-down. This is an ancient method of woodburning in Europe and is “catching on” here in the States. Basically you build your fire up-side down, with the split log base, working progressively smaller sections of firewood in a criss-cross manner to the top where you put you kindling. The only problem is that it’s less common to find the finely split wood needed for the center section of the stack - in America we just cut and split into large sections. Some experienced woodburners are finding the top-down method of burning is much more efficient, with long-lasting burns - a 18 inch stack can burn hot up to 4 hours without needing to be refueled.

Following these simple tips can help increase the efficiency of your woodstove or fireplace, decrease emissions, and warm you longer.


Maintaining Clearance All Winter Long

January 19th, 2009 | Filed under: Chimneys, Fire Safety, Fireplaces & Woodstoves | No Comments »

If you heat with wood, hopefully you have already had the system  cleaned and have been using it for a while. It’s easy to get comfortable with the fireplace or woodstove - it almost becomes a friend on those cold winter mornings when it’s cold enough to make you wonder why you want to get out of bed.

It’s possible to become too comfortable - and it only takes one mistake to create a hazardous situation.

One of the most common is the lack of safe clearances around your fireplace or woodstove. Over the weeks, wooden chairs and furniture may work there way closer to the heat source - during use or cleaning.

It’s also possible that newspaper and even fire wood might get stacked too close to the stove or fireplace - or decorative wooden brooms or wreaths are hung around the hearth.

What about that Christmas tree drying out over there - is it too close to the hearth? It will literally explode into flames if it’s too close! Keep it away from the hearth if your going to use the wood burner.

It’s also important not to get all of that wrapping paper in or near the fireplace - it’s a disaster waiting to happen - and you shouldn’t burn the printed paper on purpose - it may give off toxins in the smoke.

The NFPA 211* recommends at least 36 inches of clearance from the front and sides of fireplaces and woodstoves to combustible materials.

Make sure that normal clearance to combustibles is maintained with the installation as well as to objects in the room. I would recommend that the tree be located even farther away - so that if it was knocked over or fell directly toward the heat source it would still be well over 36 inches away.

If you have a furnace in a storage area or utility room - it’s equally important to keep all combustibles well clear of the furnace and it’s vent pipe.

By maintaining clearances, and with regular servicing, you should enjoy many warm winter days near the hearth.

* SOURCE : National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), An American National Standard, ANSI/NFPA 211 August 14, 1992 ; Table 8-6(a) Standard Clearances for Solid Fuel-Burning Appliances


Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Danger Increases as Record Low Temps Decend Over America

January 16th, 2009 | Filed under: Carbon Monoxide, Chimneys, Fireplaces & Woodstoves, Furnaces, Installed Systems, Poisoning | Tags: , , | No Comments »

America’s suffering a deep freeze this weekend - and the risk of carbon monoxide related poisoning climbs as people try to stay warm. Much of America is unprepared for such low temperatures, with rarely-used and poorly maintained heating systems, chimneys clogged with debris or birds nests, or dead batteries in their carbon monoxide detectors. Others will try dangerous methods to stay warm, methods like using auxiliary heaters indoors.

According to JAMA, carbon monoxide is the leading cause of poisoning deaths in America. Carbon monoxide is odorless, colorless, and cannot be detected by people without the use of carbon monoxide detectors.

Carbon monoxide is a by-product of combustion, present whenever fuel is burned. It is produced by common household appliances such as gas or oil furnaces, clothes dryers, water heaters, ovens and ranges. A charcoal grill operating in an enclosed area, a fire burning in a fireplace or a car running in an attached garage also produce carbon monoxide.

How Does Carbon Monoxide Poison?

CO combines with hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying agent in the red blood cells. When oxygen is robbed from the brain and other organs, death can result. In addition, up to 40 percent of survivors of severe CO poisoning develop memory impairment and other serious illnesses.

Many cases of reported carbon monoxide poisoning indicate that victims are aware they are not well but become so disoriented that they are unable to save themselves.

But what do you do and who to you call when your carbon monoxide detector goes into alarm? The manufacturer of First Alert®, the leading brand of carbon monoxide detectors, recommends the following:

If the alarm goes off, turn off appliances, or other sources of combustion at once. Immediately get fresh air into the premises by opening doors and windows. Call a qualified technician and have the problem fixed before restarting appliances. If anyone is experiencing symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning: headaches, dizziness, vomiting, call the fire department and immediately move to a location that has fresh air. Do a head count to be sure all persons are accounted for. Do not re-enter the premises until it has been aired out and the problem corrected.

This weekend stay safe, err on the side of caution. Carbon Monoxide Detectors are available at most hardware stores and retailers like WalMart, Target, Home Depot, Lowes, Ace Hardware, etc. They generally cost between $20 to $40 each - the more expensive ones have a digital readout to give you a real-time and highest-recorded PPM reading.