Transworld, Inc. Electrical Contractors wants to help educate the community on fire safety and protection. Almost all home fires can be prevented and last year the American Red Cross responded to more than 63,000 home fires. That’s one every 8 minutes and results in home fires being the single most common disaster across the nation. Transworld, Inc. Electrical Contractors is dedicated to decreasing the number of home fires, therefore saving families and their homes. We have created a home safety list that will help you learn how to keep your loved ones safe!
Home Safety List
Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI)
GFCI is a device that shuts off an electric circuit when it detects that current is following along on unintended path. There are two types of GFCIs:
- Circuit breaker type that installs in the panel
- Receptacle type that installs in a normal electrical box
They can also be attached to appliance cords. All GFCIs need to be installed by qualified electricians. They should be installed near water like kitchens, bathrooms, unfinished basements, garages, outdoors, sinks.
- After installation
- Once a month
- After power failure
How to Test a Ground Fault Circuit Interruption:
- Push the RESET button.
- Plug in a nightlight or similar device.
- The nightlight should be ON.
- Press the TEST button.
- The nightlight should turn OFF.
- Push the RESET button again.
- The nightlight should turn back ON.
- If the nightlight did not turn OFF, the GFCI is not working properly
Smoke Detector Safety
- Place in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the house
- Smoke Detectors should be on the ceiling or high on a wall
- Keep smoke detectors away from the kitchen to reduce false alarms. They should be at least 10 feet (3 meters) from the stove
- People who are hard-of-hearing or deaf can use special alarms. These detectors have strobe lights and bed shakers.
- It is best to use interconnected smoke alarms
- Test every month, Change batteries every year and replace every 10 years.
Types of Smoke Alarms
(1) Ionization Smoke Detector
- Responds well to fast moving flaming fires
- May create false alarms (shower or cooking) results in people turning it off (24% smoke alarms present but didn’t alarm during a fire)
- Slow to respond to smoldering fires
- Ionization have radioactive material (Americium 241) there’s a warning on the back of the smoke alarm
(2) Photoelectric Smoke Detector
- Responds well to smoldering fires
- 1/3 of fatal fires involve a significant smoldering period
- Can be minutes faster than an ionization detector when responding to smoldering fire
- Cost 2x more
(3) Dual-Sensor Smoke Detector
- Employed both photoelectric and ionization. BEST option!
Carbon Monoxide Detector
Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas created when fuels (such as gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, propane, oil, and methane) burn incompletely.
- CO detectors should be installed in a central location outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home. It is best to use interconnected alarms. When one sounds, they all sound.
- Test at least once a month
- Replace CO detectors according to the instructions on the package
- If the battery is low, replace it.
- If the CO alarm sounds, you must get fresh air.
Prevent CO Poisoning
- When warming a vehicle, move it out of the garage
- During a snow storm, make sure the vents for the dryer, furnace, stove and fireplace are clear of snow build up
- Generators should be used outdoors
- Never use your oven of stove to heat your home
- Open the damper when using a fireplace for adequate ventilation
- Gas or charcoal grills can produce CO. Only use them outside
Bathroom Exhaust Fans
The purpose of a bathroom exhaust fan is to control moisture and remove airborne odors and pollutants.
Clean Every 6 Months
5 Step Cleaning Process
- Turn off all power to your bathroom
- Locate your bathroom exhaust fan
- Locate the exhaust fan blade
- Clean the cover and the fan blade
- Inspect the vent
Range Hood Filters
Range hood filters are a device that contains a mechanical fan and hangs above the stove or cooktop in the kitchen. It removes airborne grease, combustion products, fumes, smoke, odors, heat, and steam from the air by evacuation of the air and filtration
- Range hood filters provide ventilation, helping to clear the cooking area of smoke, steam, odors, and grease generated from the cooking surface.
Clean Every 6 Months
How to Clean
- Remove the filters from the hood
- Fill a sink or bucket with boiling water
- Pour in baking soda and dish soap
- Put greasy filters in water
- Let them soak
- Scrub the filters
- Rinse and Dry
- Replace the filters and repeat as needed
#1 Cause of home clothes dryer fires is failure to clean them
Clean Every 6 Months
- Clothes take longer to dry
- Clothes don’t fully dry
- Clothes are hotter than normal at the end of dryer cycle
- Outside of dryer gets very hot
- Outside exhaust vent flapper does not open very much indicating low exhaust velocity
- Laundry room become more humid than it is usually
- Burnt smell is evident in the laundry room
Where would I find electricity around pools, hot tubs, and spas?
- Underwater lights
- Electric pool equipment – pumps, filters, vacuum, etc.
- Extension and power cords
- Electrical outlets or switches
- Radios, stereos, TVs and other electrical
- Overhead power lines
How do I know if I or someone else may be receiving an electrical shock?
- Feel a tingling sensation,
- Experience muscle cramps, and/or
- Not be able to move at all and/or feel as if something is holding them in place.
You may see
- Unsettled or panic behavior by others in the water
- One or more passive or motionless swimmers in the water
- Swimmers actively moving away from a specific area or from a motionless swimmer
- Underwater lights that are not working properly (e.g. lights are on when they should not be on, lights flickering)
- The pool operator or lifeguard received earlier complaints of tingling or other odd sensations
How to prevent an electrocution?
- Know where all electrical switches and circuit breakers are located around the pool
- Keep electrical cords, wires, and products out of reach and at least 10 feet from the water
- Make sure electrical cords are not damaged and install GFCIs on every outlet near pool area
- Have a fiberglass Shepherd’s crook/rescue hook for rescue
- Always have dry hands and feet, and wear rubber soled shoes while using electrical products
- For the home, select a multi-purpose extinguisher (can be used on all types of home fires) that is large enough to put out a small fire, but not so heavy as to be difficult to handle
- Choose a fire extinguisher that carries the label of an independent testing laboratory. Be sure to read the instructions and become familiar with your fire extinguisher’s parts and operation before a fire breaks out
- Install fire extinguishers close to an exit and keep your back to a clear exit when you use the device so you can make an easy escape if the fire cannot be controlled. The National Fire Protection Association recommends an extinguisher for each floor
To operate a fire extinguisher, remember PASS:
- Pull the pin. Hold the extinguisher with the nozzle pointing away from you, and release the locking mechanism
- Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire
- Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly
- Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side. Stand 5 feet from the fire
Top Three reason for Electrical Fires
- Natural consequence of long-time usage
- Old knob & tube equipment
- Lots of loose connections
- Vermin & water damage
- Frayed insulation
- Installed under outdated codes
- Still have fuses
- Aluminum wiring
#2 Increased Power Load
- The load today is much heavier than many older electrical systems were designed to handle.
- There are more electronics available to us today, than ever before. All of which use more power!
#3 Incomplete work
- Homeowners or unskilled handymen complete work that is not up to code!
- Do-it-Yourselfer’s, mostly do this to save money…
Ask yourself these Questions
- Is your home more than 15 years old?
- Do your lights flicker frequently?
- Do you have aluminum wiring in your house?
- Do you have fuses or breakers that have tripped in the last year?
- Do your outlets have loose fitting plugs?
Fire Escape Planning
If a fire breaks out in your home, you may have only a few minutes to get out safely once the smoke alarm sounds. Everyone needs to know what to do and where to go if there is a fire. Download Transworld, Inc. Electrical Contractor’s Fire Escape Handout that you and your family can use to plan your fire escape route.
- Make a home escape plan; Draw a map of your home showing all doors and windows. Discuss the plan with everyone in your home
- Know at least two ways out of every room, if possible. Make sure all doors and windows leading outside open easily
- Have an outside meeting place ( like a tree, light pole or mailbox) a safe distance from the home where everyone should meet
- Practice your home fire drill at night and during the day with everyone in your home, twice a year
- 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
- Get low and go under the smoke on your way out
- Call the fire department from outside your home