October is officially National Fire Safety Month, so now is a great time to take a look around your home and see where you might need to better prepare yourself. Unfortunately, emergencies can strike at any time but a little advance planning can go a long way in the event of a crisis. Orchard has the right selection of products to keep your home, your family, and your pets safe.
Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms
The right alarm acts as an early warning system that can buy you a few precious extra minutes to get yourself and your family out of harm’s way. The ideal system setup includes a mix of alarms to better prepare for fire and gas emergencies.
Plan to have at least one carbon monoxide (CO) alarm on each floor of your home, and one near an attached garage. Use a combination of photoelectric and ionization smoke alarms to detect both flaming and smoldering fires. For best results, place one of each in all bedrooms, with a minimum of one alarm on every floor.
In the event of a fire, the proper extinguisher can make the difference between a small mess and a total loss. Make sure you’re paying attention to the extinguisher type, because each is designed to take on different kinds of fires. If you grab the wrong one by accident, you can end up causing the fire to spread.
Here are the three most common types of fires you may encounter:
CLASS A FIRES
Ordinary materials like wood, paper, cloth, trash, and plastics. Class A extinguishers are typically filled with water or air-pressurized water.
CLASS B FIRES
Flammable liquids and gases like gasoline, petroleum oil, paint, and propane. Often filled with a dry material that removes oxygen to smother the fire.
CLASS C FIRES
Involves energized electrical equipment like motors and appliances. Turning off the power changes the fire class.
An Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) breaks the circuit when it detects an electric arc in the circuit. An arc-fault is a dangerous electrical problem caused by damaged, overheated, or stressed electrical wiring or devices. They can occur when older wires become frayed or cracked, if a nail or screw damages a wire behind a wall or when outlets or circuits are compromised.
AFCI breakers should be installed by a licensed electrician, but to save on costs, you might want to purchase your breaker ahead of time at Orchard.
It’s important to keep all of your items safe in the event of a fire or flood. These specially designed boxes can help protect documents, discs, DVDs, and much more.
Fire-resistant safes are rated according to what type of material they’ll protect and for how long. Safes rated to protect paper documents shouldn’t get any hotter than 350 degrees on the inside. More sensitive materials like 35mm slides and DVDs require a safe that doesn’t exceed 125 degrees. Any of our Team Members can help you pick out the right safe for your needs.
If you find yourself in a situation where the power is out and you’re stuck in place, the right supplies are crucial. Plan to have water, food, first aid, some kind of light and something to keep you warm as you weather the worst of it. From first aid kits and emergency survival blankets to lanterns and headlights, Orchard offers a variety of emergency supplies to help you stay safe until help arrives.
It never hurts to have portable power for extended power outages or running critical electrical equipment. Make sure you have a generator (and gas - in an approved container) or coordinate with your neighbor to make sure one of you has one on hand to share. Never run a generator indoors, because it can emit dangerous carbon monoxide.