Electrical Merchant

Julia Buerger is a merchant for The Home Depot, responsible for fire safety, security and consumer electronics.

Stop, Drop And Roll: Upgrade Fire Safety Equipment With New Technology

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The latest fire alarms, insulations, and sealants make fire safety easier and more efficient than ever

October 19, 2016

Fires pose a major danger to families, but even if they are contained, they can cause financial strain on homeowners. The average home fire is responsible for nearly $4,000 in cleanup to remove water and soot and replace damaged infrastructure.

October is Fire Safety Month, which makes it a great time to help homeowners stay up on the latest fire safety tips and technology. The latest products make fire safety easier and more efficient than ever.

Accessible Fire Detection

Fire alarms are the most essential alert system in the home, but in a lot of cases residents don’t think to upgrade their alarms until it’s too late or until their detector notifies them to change the battery. This oversight can be especially hazardous for home owners who are away from their property often. Three out of five residential fire deaths occur in homes where alarms are either not installed properly or don’t work, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

Modern fire alarms provide upgrades to the average smoke detector and allow owners to better monitor their property. Advanced technologies such as the Nest Protect alarm system can link with owners’ smartphones and onsite Wi-Fi to send real-time alerts for both low batteries and emergencies. This alarm determines the exact sources of potential problems while receiving an added layer of comfort when owners are away.

In certain circumstances where owners prefer not to upgrade their alarm systems, real-time alert notifications are still an option. Pair current alarms with a remote system, such as Kidde’s RemoteLync Home Monitoring Device, to receive the same immediate notifications. These systems are a great addition for owners who are away from home or own rental or vacation properties.

For a more basic upgrade, equip smoke detectors with long-lasting batteries like Duracell Quantum. Extended battery life can reduce both maintenance and replacement needs while ensuring that fire alarms perform at their full potential for up to ten years.

Home’s Hidden Threats

Fire threats are just as likely in hidden interior areas as they are in the visible ones. Insulation, electrical outlets and drywall are examples of behind-the-wall home components that can spark fires if outdated or incorrectly functioning. If you are just starting the building process or are in the early stages of remodeling, it’s the perfect situation to recommend these upgrades.

Electrical outlets are a major culprit for home fires. In fact, a recent study found that electrical receptacles are at the root of 5,300 fires each year, resulting in 40 deaths and more than 100 consumer injuries on average. To offset these risks, pros should consider installing receptacles that offer additional electrical protection. AFCI-ready properties in particular stand to benefit from dual-function AFCI/GFCI alternatives which identify and prevent common electrical risks more capably than most standard breakers.

There are several behind-the-wall preparations that can contain the damage and preserve key structural elements if a fire does occur. When installing pipes, cables and duct penetrations, an insulating foam sealant can close gaps and prevent the spread of harmful gasses and toxic smoke. Also, in fire-prone areas, such as attics and kitchens, it’s best to apply heavy-duty insulation capable of withstanding high-intensity temperatures.

Help decrease risk, increase safety and extinguish concerns by updating and replacing dated fire safety equipment and devices.

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