Fall brings cooler weather to the Midwest, which means breaking out the heating equipment, starting a fire in your fireplace and gathering inside for home-cooked meals during the holidays. We’ve listed our top fire safety reminders to help prevent home fires this season.
Atronic Alarms Blog
This year’s theme for National Fire Prevention Week is “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!” In the event of a home fire, the difference between life and death is mere seconds. So it is vital to create an escape plan with two routes out of every room.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), seven people die in U.S. home fires every day. And only one-third of Americans have developed and practiced a home fire escape plan.
At Atronic Alarms, Inc., we are committed to reducing fire-related fatalities, and this is the perfect week for you and your family to take action.
Creating a Fire Escape Plan
To help you create and practice an escape plan, here are some tips to get started:
- Download the NFPA grid in English (PDF) or Spanish (PDF).
- Draw a model of your home on the grid.
- Mark two exits from each room and a path to the outside from each exit.
- Practice your home fire drill twice a year. Conduct one at night and one during the day with everyone in your home, and practice using different ways out.
- Teach children how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them.
- Close doors behind you as you leave – this may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire.
- Once you get outside, stay outside. Never go back inside a burning building.
The NFPA provides a whole range of informative and fun ways to teach children about fire safety on their Sparky School House website. Here are just a couple of the resources available:
- Sparky’s Fire House – This free app is loaded with games and activities to teach early learners ages 3 – 7 how to stay safe in a fire. Find it in the Apple App Store and on Google Play for Android.
- Sparky the Fire Dog’s® Brain Busters – This free trivia app challenges students ages 8 – 11 over subjects like math, science, pop culture and fire safety. Find it in the Apple App Store and on Google Play for Android.
The American National Red Cross
The American National Red Cross created a First Aid App that provides step-by-step instructions on what to do for nearly any first aid emergency. It is also integrated with 9-1-1 so you can call EMS from the app at any time. Find it in the Apple App Store and on Google Play for Android.
Our business is your safety. We seamlessly integrate our monitored fire systems with our security systems. In the event of a fire, the system immediately dispatches the fire department, even when your system isn’t armed*.
For more information, please see the Home Fire Protection section on our website, or call us at 913-362-0000.
*Fire devices must be in good working order and signals received by our monitoring station.
We love our pets. And we understand that you do, too. That’s why we offer a pet safety system that “watches” over your pets while you’re away.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, pets and wild animals are involved in starting about 700 home fires each year.
With a pet safety system, as soon as the devices detect smoke it alerts Atronic’s monitoring station and the fire department is dispatched immediately. These minutes saved may be the most important minutes of your pet’s life.
Since the BEST fire is NO fire, here are some additional tips from the National Fire Protection Association to keep your pets safe:
Pet Safety Tips
- Pets are curious. They may bump into, turn on, or knock over cooking equipment. Keep pets away from stoves and countertops.
- Keep pets away from candles, lamps, and space heaters.
- Always use a metal or heat-tempered glass screen on a fireplace and keep it in place.
- Keep pets away from a chimney’s outside vents.
- Have a “pet-free zone” of at least 3 feet (1 meter) away from the fireplace. Glass doors and screens can stay dangerously hot for several hours after the fire goes out.
- Consider battery-operated, flameless candles. They can look and smell like real candles.
- Some pets are chewers. Watch pets to make sure they don’t chew through electrical cords. Have any problems checked by a professional.
- Have working smoke alarms on every level of the home. Test your smoke alarms at least once a month. If the smoke alarm sounds, get out and stay out.
- Never go back inside for pets in a fire. Tell firefighters if your pet is trapped. You can also order Pet Rescue Stickers that adhere to your door or windows to alert first responders.
Atronic Alarms, Inc. *smoke detectors are always on, even if your security system is disarmed. There is NO additional monitoring fee to add fire protection.
P.S. Do you ever wonder what your pets do when you are not home? Ask us about our optional camera feature so you can “watch” your pets while you are away!
*Smoke detectors must be in good working order and communicating with our monitoring station.
When a two-alarm fire broke out on August 12, 2014 at 2 a.m. at the home of Dr. and Mrs. Levi, their security system woke them up as it notified them of a fire.
“We opened the bedroom door, and the fire was in the kitchen, completely up the wall and ceiling,” said Mrs. Levi. “My husband tried to grab the extinguisher, and I told him it was . . . too late for that — let’s GET OUT.”
As the Leawood couple raced to get out of their home, Mrs. Levi grabbed her cell phone and called 911. The city told her the fire department was on the way, already alerted by a passerby and their alarm company’s monitoring station.
“The fire department got there one to two minutes later. They were wonderful. There were probably 40-60 firemen and police there. The house was ablaze in that short of time.”
The Levi’s watched as the Leawood and Overland Park fire departments battled the fire. They found out later that it had started on the back deck of the house with a recently used charcoal chimney that was placed in a pot with potting soil. Gene Hunter, Leawood Fire Marshal, said that the Levi’s lost much of their home.
“The fire climbed the back wall of the house and got into the attic through the soffit, where it required an extended period to extinguish,” said Hunter.
Mrs. Levi said that she couldn’t imagine what would have happened if they hadn’t been awakened by their security and fire system.
“We were very blessed. I thank God every day that we both made it out. I can’t thank Atronic Alarms enough. You saved our lives.”
That night, Atronic Alarms received the fire signal and first dispatched the authorities; then we immediately called the house phone, Mrs. Levi’s cell phone, and numbers on the call list.
NFPA’s Fire Prevention Week is October 5 – 11th with this year’s theme of “Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives.” Roughly two out of three fire deaths happen in homes with no smoke alarms or with alarms that are not working.
Jason Rhodes, media manager for the Overland Park Fire Department, said that they see this more often than not.
“We see so many injuries (or deaths) in homes or multi-family dwellings that do not have working smoke detectors. They might have them but the batteries are dead, or one is taken out and the new one is sitting on the counter. People may realize how important it is but say, ‘I’ll do it tomorrow’ and then tomorrow turns into months . . . and then there is an event.”
For homes with electrician-installed smoke detectors, make sure you replace the devices every 10 years and their batteries every 6 months. For homes who have smoke detectors tied into their alarm systems, make sure you have your alarm company replace the devices every 10 years. Batteries should be replaced every 6 months if the smoke detectors are wireless, otherwise their backup is in the alarm panel.
If you are monitored by Atronic Alarms, our smoke detectors are always on — even when your security system is not.
The previous post featured NFPA’s Fire Prevention Week’s “Protect Your Family From Fire.” Since “family” may additionally include the people you work and associate with on a daily basis, we felt office building fire prevention deserved a “shout out” during this week’s awareness campaign.
2010 NFPA stats conclude that the bathroom is the leading area of origin of intentional fires set in public places, like stores, office buildings or schools. Complying to your city’s fire code is the number one priority in fire prevention and safety. Each city is different, but below is a general list of guidelines to follow:
• Make sure that your address on building is easily seen from street.
• Keep objects clear from exit doorways and passages.
• Your exit fire doors should NOT be propped open and should be self-closing.
• Make sure your exit signs are self-illuminating.
• Don’t overuse extension cords.
• Keep your block’s fire hydrant easily accessible.
• Assure that the fire extinguishers are in good working order.
• Set up annual testing of your building’s fire and sprinkler system.
• Have a preparedness plan and an emergency evacuation procedure for occupants.
Atronic Alarms is certified to install fire systems in commercial rated buildings that require U.L. Certified installation and offers annual fire system inspections. For more information on commercial fire systems, visit the Atronic website.
Did you know that if maintained and in good working order, your monitored fire system from Atronic Alarms is always on? Our monitoring station will receive signals 24/7/365 from your smoke and heat detectors whether you security system is armed or disarmed.
This is great news for you because it provides your family and your business with that extra layer of protection from fire related occurrences even if your security system is not armed. However, it is easy for people to forget due to the arming and disarming at the keypad and the mental thought that their entire system is “off,” and we find that many false alarms occur as a result.
When you are cleaning your fire devices, or even cleaning around them, or when you are seasonally changing out the batteries in your wireless devices, please contact us to place your system on “test” before you begin. Most fire devices are highly sensitive due to their life safety status and are easily tripped if disturbed.
The “test” status for monitoring purposes means that any signal we receive during this time will be ignored. (To place your system on “test,” you must provide us with your password.)
In fact, it is just good practice to contact us anytime you are working on your alarm system in general, whether it is changing the battery in the alarm panel, testing security devices or working around the wiring. Our job is to give you the highest level of security possible and the more you communicate with us the better service we can provide.
To contact us call 913.362.0000. For more information on the benefits of monitored fire systems, visit the Atronic Alarms website.
Note: Panel must be able to communicate and in good working order for all signals to be received at our monitoring station.
Atronic Alarms recommends replacing your carbon monoxide detectors every five to six years. The devices will “beep” every six minutes after they reach their end-of-life cycle.
Atronic Alarms hardwired smoke detectors do not beep because their battery backup is in the panel.
Sometimes Atronic Alarms will install wireless smoke detectors. If they start to beep then that means their batteries are low. Contact the Central Monitoring Station at 913.432.4545 to put your system on “test” mode before you change the batteries. Have your user password ready.