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Smoke Detectors


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Fire Extinguishers
Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Other Security & Safety Items

Smoke Detectors

Every home should have a smoke detector on each floor, near the bedrooms. They should also have one in the kitchen area and the furnace room area (if applicable).  Determine first if you have the ability to hard-wire your smoke detectors (connect them directly to an AC power supply via electrical wiring). This is the best way to install smoke detectors because you will not need to remember to change the batteries twice a year and they can be wired together so that if one is triggered, the others will sound the alarm. In case you were wondering, AC-Powered Smoke Detectors do have a battery backup in case the power goes out.

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For each floor (near the bedrooms) and the furnace room:

We like the AC/DC Professional Premium Smoke Detector from Kidde Safety Products. If you are having a house built or doing major renovations, having hardwired smoke detectors (all on their own dedicated circuit breaker is best) is the way to go.  

If you are adding smoke detectors later and can't get the hardwiring, then go with a battery powered smoke detector. There are two different kinds of smoke sensing detectors: photoelectric and ionization. One monitors for smoke (like a smoldering cigarette in a couch) and the other for fast heat/flame (like a kitchen grease fire). Get a smoke detector that checks for both, like the First Alert SA302C AC/DC Professional Premium Smoke Detector 

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For the hallways and stairways:

You need a smoke detector that provides an escape light, in case the power goes out during a fire. The First Alert SA150B Hall & Stairway Smoke & Fire Detector has that capability.

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For the Kitchen area:

You need a special kind of smoke detector that has a temporary silencer button, which will shut off the alarm for a brief period (when pressed), in case you burn some toast or something. We have found some of these are so sensitive to heat that they go off when the oven door is open too long. Trust us, this is a good thing. BRK Brands has a Kitchen Smoke Alarm just for this.

Fire Extinguishers

Similar to smoke detectors, you should have a fire extinguisher on every floor. We also recommend having one in the garage and keeping one in each of your vehicles. Fire extinguishers are rated A, B and C for the types of fires they are designed to put out (wood/paper, grease, electrical). We suggest that you get a single type of extinguisher that can be used on all three types of fires. In an emergency, you want to grab the nearest fire extinguisher, not have to remember which type of fire is for which extinguisher. The Kidde Mariner 1A 10 BC Fire Extinguisher. is a multi-purpose fire extinguisher. Work with us and we will help you identify the right places to install fire extinguishers. Don't forget: Fire extinguishers don't last forever. They need to be replaced according to their manufacturer's specifications. Click here for details on our in-home security review services.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Carbon Monoxide is a silent killer that can be a hazard in any home. Homes with gas or other combustible heating systems can be a source of excess carbon monoxide. You should have a carbon monoxide detector outside of your furnace room and on each level of the house near the bedrooms. Don't put one in the garage, since your automobiles will emit carbon monoxide each time they are started. There are two basic models: AC powered (via a plug into an outlet) and battery-operated. We recommend using the AC powered model near your furnace room (you probably have an available outlet there) and the battery powered ones near the bedrooms. The AC powered model does not have a battery backup, but will emit a short alarm when the power goes out. Chances are you won't have central heat, if your power is out anyway.

Other Security and Safety Items

This can be a never ending category. Your ability to seek out a secure environment to work and live in is only limited by how much you want to spend.  Let us know what kind of security you need, and we can find devices and technology that can help you get there. Here are some basic things most people would find useful.

bulletDriveway Patrol - an exterior motion detector that lets you know when someone is in your driveway, backyard, etc.
bulletFire Safe - Centralize, protect and secure important documents, mementos and keepsakes with a security chest or file. Sentry Fire-Safe security chests and files offer proven UL fire protection up to 1550 for 1/2 hour. Convenient carrying handle and the ability to bolt down provide convenience and added security. Don't forget to store your important documents in a zip-lock bag inside the fire safe, to help protect them against any water damage or flooding.

 

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bulletFirst Aid Kit - Everyone should have a first aid kit in their home and in their car. This one has over 100 physician-recommended items, including medicine, antiseptics, bandages, injury treatments, and more. It was also developed in collaboration with the American Medical Association. 
bulletWeather Alert Radio - A great thing to have in the bedroom - you will want a weather alert radio to let you know about storms, tornadoes, and even civil disturbances. NOAA Weather stations exist are around the United States, and you will want a radio that has S.A.M.E. technology, which can provide you with specific alerts down to the county where you live, within your state. Battery back-up is a must, too. For the home, we suggest the Midland AM/FM All Hazards Civil Alert Monitor. It has all of the features that you will need. If you want a portable weather radio (for the beach, golfing, hiking, etc.), we recommend the Oregon Scientific All Hazards Weather Radio.