Don’t Go Up In Smoke! Fireplace and Home Fire Safety

Don’t Go Up In Smoke! Fireplace and Home Fire Safety

SkyTech of New Mexico Reminds You To Practice Fireplace Safety

2019 has given New Mexicans a lot of fireplace weather so far in 2019. More than one-third of Americans use fireplaces, wood stoves and other fuel-fired appliances as primary heat sources in their homes. Unfortunately, many people are unaware of the fire risks when heating with wood and solid fuels.

Heating fires account for 36% of residential home fires in rural areas every year. Often these fires are due to creosote buildup in chimneys and stovepipes. All home heating systems require regular maintenance to function safely and efficiently. Contact a professional to assist you with maintenance of your fireplaces, chimneys wood stoves, and other fuel-fired appliances.

The United States Fire Administration (USFA) encourages you to practice the following fire safety steps to keep those home fires safely burning. Remember, fire safety is your personal responsibility …Fire Stops With You!

  • Keep Fireplaces and Wood Stoves Clean
  • Have your chimney or wood stove inspected and cleaned annually by a certified chimney specialist.
  • Clear the area around the hearth of debris, decorations and flammable materials.
  • Always use a metal mesh screen with fireplaces. Leave glass doors open while burning a fire.
  • Install stovepipe thermometers to help monitor flue temperatures.
  • Keep air inlets on wood stoves open, and never restrict air supply to fireplaces. Otherwise you may cause creosote buildup that could lead to a chimney fire.
  • Use fire-resistant materials on walls around wood stoves.

Safely Burn Fuels

  • Never use flammable liquids to start a fire.
  • Use only seasoned hardwood. Soft, moist wood accelerates creosote buildup.
  • Build small fires that burn completely and produce less smoke.
  • Never burn cardboard boxes, trash or debris in your fireplace or wood stove.
  • When building a fire, place logs at the rear of the fireplace on an adequate supporting grate.
  • Never leave a fire in the fireplace unattended. Extinguish the fire before going to bed or leaving the house.
  • Soak hot ashes in water and place them in a metal container outside your home.

Protect the Outside of Your Home

  • Stack firewood outdoors at least 30 feet away from your home.
  • Keep the roof clear of leaves, pine needles and other debris.
  • Cover the chimney with a mesh screen spark arrester.
  • Remove branches hanging above the chimney, flues or vents.

Protect the Inside of Your Home

Be sure to follow these clear steps to fire safety. For more information on maintaining your smoke alarms read this SkyTech article on Smoke Alarm Safety.

Courtesy of usfa.dhs.gov

Home Fire Safety: Get Alarmed!

Home Fire Safety: Get Alarmed!

 

Are You Alarmed?

Smoke alarms. We know what they look like. We (hopefully) know where they’re located in our homes. But the question is: Do we know that they’ll work if there’s a fire?

Smoke alarms are an essential component of every home.

According  to the US Fire Administration, winter home fires make up a large portion of overall residential fire casualties. As commercial and residential Property Inspectors SkyTech want to ensure that all homeowners understand the importance of smoke detectors in every structure.

Below are some tips from essurance and the U.S. Fire Administration on keeping your home safe from fires.

Smoke detectors can help protect you and your family in the event of a fire, but they need proper maintenance to work. Here are some tips for keeping your smoke detector running:

  • Test a smoke detector monthly by pressing the test button. If the detector chirps, then it’s operational. Set a regular date on your calendar every month.
  • Replace smoke detector batteries once a year, even if you still get a positive battery response when you test it. A great time to do this is during spring cleaning.
  • If your smoke detector does not emit a positive test tone after putting in a fresh battery, replace the detector.
  • Replace your smoke detector once every 10 years, even if it passes the chirp test. Write the installed date on a piece of masking tape and stick it to your detector for easy reference.
  • Check your detector for a “replace by” sticker. If you can’t find a date, replace it immediately.

Follow all these tips and you can keep your home and family safe!

According to the Residential Fire Safety Institute, over 92 percent of dwellings in the U.S. have at least one smoke detector. That sounds like an encouraging statistic, but it’s estimated that one third of these alarms no longer work. This is because many of us either forget to test our alarms or don’t replace dead batteries when we should.

Below are some tips from the U.S. Fire Administration on keeping your home safe from fires.

Smoke detector maintenance

While smoke alarms are fairly low-maintenance, they can’t be completely ignored. Use these tips to keep them sharp:

  • Replace smoke alarms every decade. After 10 years, they have a 30 percent failure rate.
  • Vacuum alarms at least once a year to remove dust, a big contributor to faulty alarms
  • Replace batteries every year unless you use the long-life kind
  • Avoid using long-life batteries in older smoke alarms as they could render them inoperable
  • Install a mix of both ionization and photoelectric alarms. The ionization detectors activate quicker for fast, flaming fires, while the photoelectric detectors respond faster to slow, smoldering fires.

Smoke alarm location

To ensure that you’ll hear the alarm and be able to respond quickly, it’s a good idea to situate them:

  • Outside each bedroom area
  • In each bedroom
  • On every level of your home

Though cooking accounts for most home fires, you don’t want the alarm going off every time you cook, so make sure it’s not too close to the kitchen.

New home fire safety

If you’re building a new home, the smoke alarms should be powered by the house’s electrical system and have backup batteries. Also, the alarms should be interconnected so if one unit detects smoke, all units will sound.

While building codes today are stricter regarding fire safety, some fire officials think newer homes are more at risk compared to older homes. New homes are typically more insulated, which keeps fire from escaping and causes it to burn faster and hotter. All the more reason to make sure your fire alarms are in working order.

Other fire safety measures

  • Fire sprinklers: To get the facts (and dispel the myths), take a look at the USFA’s Home Fire Protection (PDF) to learn why residential fire sprinkler systems are less troublesome than you may think.
  • Portable extinguishers: You want to place the extinguisher in a spot that will let you escape. Remember, most of us aren’t fire experts. While you may be successful in extinguishing a burning pot, putting the fire out on a mattress might be impossible with a small extinguisher. Getting everyone out of the house and calling the fire department should take priority.
  • Windows: To give you and your family room to escape, experts recommend that windows be a minimum of 5.7 square feet. Height should be 24 inches while width needs to be at least 20 inches.

SkyTech wants to remind you smoke alarms, sprinklers, and extinguishers can help protect you and your home.  But, only if you do your part. Place the smoke detectors in appropriate places. Test them regularly and do regular maintenance on all the smoke detectors in your home. Such a simple step to protect all your loved ones and your property. Take a moment to be sure!

For More Information Follow these Links:

US Fire Administration

essurance

(No mention or link to any business/organization is intended as an endorsement or referral of the organization by SkyTech)

 

 

Why choose a NACHI-Certified Inspector?

Some states, unlike New Mexico, have a licensure requirement for Property Inspection Professionals.  It is important to understand that a state licensure requirement only sets a minimum standard.  Much like being “up to code”, any lower standard would be both unethical, and probably illegal. Using this “Low-Bar” example, theoretically, pretty much anyone could claim to be an experienced Property Inspection Professional.

Some Professional Property Inspection Associations have absolutely NO entrance or certification requirements and, worse, some associations actually encourage their inexperienced “associates” to go out and perform real-time / fee-paid inspections for unsuspecting consumers as the only way to achieve “full membership”.

As NACHI-Certified Professional Property Inspection Professionals, we find this practice unconscionable.

  • FACT: NACHI rejects more than 60% of candidate inspectors who desire certification due simply to the fact that these candidates cannot pass the NACHI Certified Inspector exam.
  • FACT: Additionally, NACHI turns down approximately 90% of the remaining candidates due to their inability to fulfill and maintain the rigorous Membership Requirements.

In order to achieve status as a NACHI Certified Professional Inspector (CPI), a Candidate must complete each of the following requirements:

  • Join InterNACHI
  • Pass InterNACHI’s Inspector Examination
  • Successfully complete InterNACHI’s Code of Ethics Course
  • Successfully complete InterNACHI’s Residential Standards of Practice Course
  • If a CPI candidate has never performed a fee-paid inspection, he or she must:
    • Submit four mock inspection reports to InterNACHI’s Report Review Committee for verification of content accuracy and standardized reporting protocol.

Upon completion of the above requirements, a candidate must then sign the InterNACHI CPI Affidavit attesting to, and confirming current and future compliance with all certification codes, standards and practices, as well as all continuing-education requirements.

In order to maintain CPI Status, a NACHI-Certified Professional Inspector must:

  • Adhere to all InterNACHI Standards of Practice
  • Abide by the InterNACHI Code of Ethics,
  • Abide by InterNACHI’s Continuing Education Policy, and
  • Maintain, at all times for verification, an online member Continuing-Education Log.

Within the 1st Year a NACHI CPI must complete the:

  • Safe Practices for the Home Inspector course………………………………….(4.0 Hours)
  • 25 Standards Every Inspector Should Know course…………………………(5.0 Hours)
  • Residential Plumbing Overview for Inspectors course……………………..(8.0 Hours)
  • How to Perform Residential Electrical Inspections course………………..(4.0 Hours)
  • How to Perform Roof Inspections course………………………………………..(4.0 Hours)
  • How to Inspect HVAC Systems course……………………………………………(12.0 Hours)
  • Structural Issues for Home Inspectors course………………………………….(4.0 Hours)
  • How to Perform Exterior Inspections course……………………………………(16.0 Hours)
  • Inspecting Attic, Insulation, Ventilation / Interior course………………….(14.0 Hours)
  • How to Perform Deck Inspections course…………………………………………(3 Hours)
  • How to Inspect for Moisture Intrusion course…………………………………..(8 Hours)
  • How to Inspect Fireplaces, Stoves, and Chimneys course…………………..(4.0 Hours)

TOTAL COURSEWORK / 1ST YEAR:                                        86 HOURS

Every 36 Months a NACHI CPI must:

Successfully pass the InterNACHI Inspector Examination

ADDITIONALLY:

NACHI CPI’s are also covered by InterNACHI’s $10,000.00 Honor Guarantee

As you can see, it just makes good sense to work with a NACHI Certified Professional Inspector!  Visit www.nachi.org to learn more!

Visit our website to learn more about the qualifications of Team SkyTech SkyTechnm.com

Time To Change Your Smoke Alarm Battery

Time To Change Your Smoke Alarm Battery

When you turn back the clocks, don’t forget to also do this 1 crucial thing

When you adjust the clocks for the end of daylight saving time, make sure you do this other very important chore, too.

With daylight saving ending, everyone knows its time for our clocks to fall back (to turn clocks back an hour to the appropriate new time). But there’s one more crucial task that should also be completed with every anniversary of turning the clocks (spring and fall): changing the batteries in smoke alarms, too.

For the last 29 years, Energizer and the International Association of Fire Chiefs have worked to get the word out: When you change the clock this Sunday, November 4, 2018 to end daylight saving time, take the time to also change the batteries in smoke alarms and smoke detectors.

Don’t skip this important chore

This isn’t a feel-good idea, folks. It could save your life. “Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire nearly in half,” Sinclair explained. And the reason almost 71 percent of those smoke alarms failed to operate was because they had missing, disconnected or dead batteries. Don’t make excuses. Change the batteries when you change the clocks!

While you’re at it, Sinclair urges everyone to check and change batteries in carbon monoxide detectors and other safety monitors in your home. But don’t stop there. Offer to change and check batteries in all of these devices for elderly family members or neighbors, too.

Mark your calendar now for 2019. The time change dates are:

The start of daylight savings time: Sunday, March 10, 2019

Daylight savings time ends at 2:00 AM on Sunday, November 3, 2019

When to replace smoke alarms and detectors

Before you head to the store to buy batteries, you should know that the IAFC suggests replacing smoke detectors and smoke alarms every 10 years. How old are your smoke detectors and smoke alarms? Don’t rely on outdated or worn-out devices to protect your family. Replace them. Can you think of a better use of that hour you’re going to gain this weekend?

For more information on the program and to download home safety tips and materials, please visit the Energizer home safety site and the IAFC website.

Credit to:
/ Source: TODAY/TODAY.com