When most homeowners hear the term “home safety” they think of keeping problems out of their house. A burglar alarm, a guard dog, or a firearm are what you will commonly hear noted as solutions for home safety.
But what about securing your home against dangers that come from within? What’s often overlooked are threats that come from inside the home like fire and carbon monoxide hazards.
Electrical fires and carbon monoxide poisoning are hazards posed by many common household items like ovens and fireplaces and portable heaters.
Ignoring these potential dangers can lead to tragic consequences. Consulting with your electrician can help you identify potential dangers as well as develop a plan for effective smoke and carbon monoxide detection in your home.
Dangers That Are Lurking Within Your Home
According to a September 2020 report from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), local fire departments responded to an approximate total of 1.3 million fires in 2019. These fires resulted in around 3,700 deaths and 16,600 injuries.
While only 26 percent of the fires occurred in residential structures (homes, apartments, etc.), fires that occurred in residential structures accounted for 75 percent of the total deaths and 73 percent of the total injuries for fires reported in 2019.
The NFPA also reports that of the house fires reported from 2014-2018, cooking caused 49% of the fires with heating equipment accounting for 14% of residential fires. Electrical equipment (10%), intentionally set fires (8%) and smoking materials (5%) were also noted as being causes of residential fires from 2014-2018.
Steve Padgett with the Sallisaw Fire Department in Sallisaw, Oklahoma recommends homeowners install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in their homes. Padgett says his department regularly encounters fires caused by common household items.
“We see a lot of fires caused by candles and space heaters. It’s very important to have smoke detectors in your home,” Padgett says. “Smoke inhalation is actually the number one cause of death during a house fire.”
Padgett says that early smoke detection can give the fire department a head start when responding to a fire.
“Our fire department has a really good response time rating. Smoke detectors can help us get to a fire before it gets out of control by giving the homeowner an alert to call 9-1-1 while the fire is still small.”
Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless, tasteless gas that is emitted via the incomplete burning of natural gas, kerosene, propane, wood, and other carbon-containing substances.
Because of its odorless and colorless nature, carbon monoxide can remain undetected as it saturates a home or office environment. Prolonged exposure to carbon monoxide can be deadly. As it is breathed in, carbon monoxide robs vital organs of the oxygen they need to function as it displaces the oxygen normally carried by the blood supply.
Carbon monoxide can be found in fumes emitted by common household items such as furnaces, kerosene heaters, portable generators, stoves, and gas ranges.
At least 430 people die in the United States each year because of accidental carbon monoxide poisoning, according to the CDC. An estimated 50,000 people in the U.S. visit the emergency room each year due to accidental carbon monoxide poisoning.
Not surprisingly, the winter months see a spike in deaths resulting from carbon monoxide poisoning. During these colder months, homeowners commonly operate indoor heating appliances that emit carbon monoxide.
Your Electrician Can Help You Prepare
Adding fire and carbon monoxide detection to your overall home security plan does not have to be expensive.
The price range for smoke and carbon monoxide detectors averages from $25 to $165 depending on the model. Installation costs can vary. Your electrician can help you determine which installation options will be best for your home or business.
To schedule a consultation with an electrician please call Copeland Electric at 918-413-1937.
Written by Lance Montgomery
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