At H & C Security, we care about your safety. Below we have provided some facts and safety tips on fire, burglary, and carbon monoxide. As a first step, you can take the safety and security of your family and property into your own hands.
- The U.S. has one of the highest fire death rates in the industrialized world.
- Each year, fire kills more Americans than all natural disasters combined.
- Fire is the third leading cause of accidental death in the home.
- In commercial property, arson is the major cause of deaths, injuries, and property loss.
- Fires most often start in the kitchen. Cooking is the leading cause of home fires in the U.S.
- The second most common place where fires start in the home is in the bedroom.
- Careless smoking is the leading cause of fire deaths.
- Heating is the second leading cause of residential fires and the second leading cause of fire deaths.
- Many fatal fires begin late at night or in the early morning when the whole family is asleep.
- Senior citizens age 70 and over and children under the age of 5 have the greatest risk of fire death.
- Over 40 percent of residential fires and three-fifths of residential fatalities occur in homes with no smoke alarms.
- 30 seconds is the average time for a rescue dispatch to respond to a fire alarm, while the average is 27 minutes in a non-monitored home.
Fire Safety Tips
A working smoke alarm dramatically increases a person’s chance of surviving a fire. Alarms should be installed on every level of your home, including the basement, on the ceiling or on the wall six to eight inches from the ceiling. If these are not professionally maintained, it is up to you to check them monthly, keeping them clean and equipped with fresh batteries.
- Keep fire extinguishers in the kitchen, bedroom, and garage.
- Unplug small appliances before going on vacation.
- Do not overload electrical outlets.
- Do not leave lit candles unattended, and be sure they are in stable holders, not easily knocked over by pets or children.
- Do not go to sleep while using small space heaters.
- During the holidays, do not burn wrapping paper in a fireplace. The paper can throw off dangerous sparks and produce a chemical buildup that could cause an explosion. If you are using an artificial tree, make sure it is flame retardant. Never put candles on a tree.
- Know how to call for help.
- Develop an escape plan for you and your family, and practice it.
- The FBI has estimates that as many as 87% of crimes reported to police are property-related.
- About 60% of residential burglaries occur during daylight hours.
- Burglars break into a residence about every 11 seconds.
- In about a third of reported burglaries, the intruders gain entry without force through an open door or window.
- In about two-thirds of burglaries, the intruders force their way in, breaking windows and doors.
- Communities experience a 10 to 18 percent increase in home burglaries during the summer, especially in August, when people tend to vacation.
Burglary Safety Tips
- Install deadbolt door locks and window latches to help prevent break-ins. Doors should have deadbolt locks with a one-inch throw and a reinforced strike plate with three-inch screws.
- Secure sliding glass doors by placing a metal rod or piece of wood in the track. Install vertical bolts.
- Don’t rely on a garage door opener for security. Keep the door to an attached garage locked.
- Secure air conditioners from the inside.
- Prune shrubbery near your windows to avoid offering burglars a hiding place while they are breaking in.
- Chain latches do not work, so you should be sure to use the peephole before opening the door. Be suspicious of deliveries you did not order.
- Program all your phones to automatically dial 911.
- Use timers on lights, radios and TV’s in order to create the illusion that someone is home.
- Keep the perimeter of your home well lighted.
- A complete dusk-activated lighting system will make your home look occupied when you are still at work, out on the town, or away on vacation.
- When you are away on a trip, have someone you trust collect mail and newspapers. Leave a car parked in your driveway. Keep some curtains open to make your house look occupied. Do not record a message on your answering machine telling people that you are away from home.
- Make your whole neighborhood safer by organizing a community watch program.
- Alarm company lawn and window signs help advertise that your home is being monitored, and that the police could be there within a minute.
- Carbon monoxide is the leading cause of accidental deaths in America.
- Carbon monoxide is a flammable, colorless, odorless, tasteless, toxic gas produced during incomplete combustion of fuel, including natural gas, oil, coal, wood, and kerosene.
- Carbon monoxide can escape from any fuel-burning appliance, furnace, water heater, fireplace, wood stove, or space heater.
- Carbon monoxide can enter the home through vent connections in poorly maintained chimneys, or through older flues that cannot properly vent newer, more efficient furnaces and water heaters.
- Carbon monoxide poisoning seems like the common flu at first. Early warning signs include tiredness, headaches, dizziness, nausea or vomiting, and shortness of breath. Your skin may also turn red in response to rising blood pressure.
Carbon Monoxide Safety Tips
- Have a qualified technician service your fuel-burning appliances.
- Have vent pipes and chimneys inspected and cleaned.
- Install carbon monoxide detectors on every level of your home, and test frequently.
- If the alarm sounds, leave your home immediately. Call 911 and have the fire department find the source of the carbon monoxide.