Have You Done Your Home Fire Safety Survey? – Part 1

This weekend families throughout most of the country will set their clocks back an hour. Daylight Savings Time will be over. It is a yearly ritual, but you should have another. What’s that? Changing the batteries in your smoke detectors. You see, smoke detectors need to work. Period. You may be surprised to find out that an estimated 2/3 of all deaths in home related fires were in houses without working smoke detectors. Either they didn’t have one at all, or what they had wasn’t working. It would be a shame if your house burned down, like the one in this image. But it would be a terrible tragedy if someone died in that fire. So don’t you think its worth a little extra effort, since you are already wandering through your house settings the clocks, to change the batteries in your Smoke Alarms?

But that is just one small step to keeping your family safe at home. Even though we generally dedicate this blog to issues related to your home’s central heating and air conditioning system, the folks here at GAMA Air want to do our part to help our friends and neighbors in the Beverly Hills, Culver City, Mar Vista, Miracle Mile, Hollywood, West Hollywood, Los Angeles, West Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Marina Del Rey, Pacific Palisades, Brentwood, Bel Air, Westwood, Downtown Los Angeles, Vernon, Huntington Park, Sherman Oaks, Encino area to remember the importance of fire safety in the home.

Many organizations, from the national level down to the community level advocate surveying your home for various factors and potential safety risks. The checklists are varied and many, but we want to highlight some key points you should have in mind when reviewing your home’s safety as a family.

  1. Smoke Alarms – How many do you have? It is highly recommended that you have one in every room where someone sleeps, as well as in the hallway outside the bedrooms. Plus, there should be one on each level of your home in addition to sleeping areas, even the basement. Some authorities suggest one smoke alarm for each 500 square feet of living space, per floor. And the ideal arrangement is that these smoke alarms will be interconnected; if one detects a fire, they will ALL sound the alarm.
  2. Working Smoke Alarms – We’re not repeating ourselves. It is not enough to have them. So ask yourself, Are they installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions? Do they work? Are you sure? The common recommendation is to change the batteries twice a year, once in the spring, once in the fall, the same time you change your clocks. But testing them monthly is also an important step. Smoke alarms all have a test button. When was the last time you pressed the test button on all the smoke alarms in your house?
  3. Carbon Monoxide Alarms – Carbon monoxide is an odorless deadly gas. Standard smoke alarms do not detect it. Each level of your home should have a Carbon Monoxide Alarm, and after seven years they should be replaced. Carbon monoxide could come from a fuel burning furnace, such as a gas furnace, a propane furnace, or even a fuel oil furnace or boiler. But only if it is not properly maintained. If you are uncertain when was the last time you had a check-up done on you’re the heating system in your home, then it has been too long. Call a trusted HVAC professional now to inspect and tune up your system. The trained technicians at GAMA Air are ready to step in. Give us a call at (310) 651-6936 or use our online form to schedule visit. For more information click here to see what we do during a system tune-up and safety check.
  4. Kitchen Safety – Keep flammable items (aprons, towels, oils, etc.) a safe distance from the stovetop and oven. The stove hood should be clear of built-up grease, and it should vent to the outside. Do you have children in the house? Then of course as a responsible adult, you will not leave the pots and pans cooking on the stove unattended.

But wait! There’s more. Stay tuned for Part 2 where we’ll continue this important theme.

Do you have a question about your home’s central heating and cooling system and aren’t sure who to ask? "Ask an Expert!" Visit our webpage and fill out the form. The resident expert here at GAMA Air will reply quickly with an answer.

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