October 19th, 2011
As long as there has been wood to burn, man has used it to stay warm. Our predecessors who discovered fire had the edge on a renewable heating source that is not only cost-effective, but also an environmentally friendly way to heat the home.Still, many of today’s homeowners rely primarily on gas, propane and oil to heat their homes rather than looking to wood.
Here is some information about using wood to heat your home that may surprise you.
- Wood is environmentally friendly. It may seem that cutting down trees for fuel would be counterproductive to the “green” movement. However, trees are a renewable resource that, like other biomass, is carbon neutral. While growing, trees absorb carbon dioxide; when they die they release caron dioxide regardless of whether they burn or decompose. Fossil fuels by comparison are a one-way street, releasing greenhouse gasses in a matter of minutes that have been captured deep in the earth over millions of years.
- Wood can save money. When burning logs in the new generation of high efficiency hydronic furnaces (or wood boilers). The heat generated is more intense and little is lost up the chimney. Wood furnaces can be used in lieu of standard heating systems featuring gas or oil during the heating months, or as an add-on when homeowners prefer to use other heating sources as their primary method of heating. This reduced need for oil, propane and natural gas means a reduction in monthly heating bills.
- Wood can be a clean way to provide heat. There are plenty of people who have wrestled with cords of wood to stock wood-burning stoves or fireplaces, only to find that the mess left behind in the way of trailed bark and ashes leaves much to be desired. However, homeowners who use the next generation wood boilers will find that there is little to no mess involved.
- Wood is a safe heating method. Using a wood-fired furnace can be just as safe as any other traditional heating source. Just as with other furnaces, proper operating procedures should be followed.
For more information on furnaces and heating your home, view:
Winter Heating Safety Tips
No Comments »
August 11th, 2011
Essential oils, which are easily combustible, are increasingly used in aromatherapy and other complementary treatments. The issue of these combustible oils came to light when a beauty therapy room at Swindon College was badly damaged in April after a blaze broke out in a pile of towels.
Fires in tumble dryers, linen baskets and airing cupboards where towels had oil on them have caught fire and fire officers are concerned that incidents in launderettes, salons and homes could have the same cause.
The problem seems to arise when the wash cycle has been set to a cool temperature. When the wash has been at 100 degrees or above, the oil residue is more likely to be safely broken down by the washing detergents.
For more on fire safety at colleges and workplaces, view:
U.S Senate Makes September Campus Fire Safety Month
Fire Safety Tips for Your Workplace
1 Comment »
June 10th, 2011
Fire Safety for All would like to encourage families to prevent kitchen fires — usually caused by unattended cooking — by using the following basic safety measures.
1. Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen, even for a short period of time, turn off the stove.
2. If you are simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food, check it regularly; make certain someone is paying attention while the food is cooking and use a timer to remind you that food is cooking.
3. Stay alert, which can’t happen if you’re sleepy, have taken medicine or drugs, or consumed alcohol that makes you drowsy.
4. Keep anything that can catch fire — potholders, wooden utensils, food wrappers, towels or curtains — away from your stovetop.
5. Make sure long sleeves and scarves are out of the way when cooking.
6. Have a kid-free zone of at least three feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.
7. Never hold a child while cooking, drinking or carrying hot foods or liquids.
8. Turn the handles of pots and pans on the stove inward to avoid accidents.
9. Keep pets off cooking surfaces and nearby countertops to prevent them from knocking things onto the burner.
10. Test your smoke alarms by pushing the test button. Do not unplug if you’re frying food. Replace batteries if you can’t remember the last time you changed them.
For more information of cooking fire safety, view:
How to Prevent Thanksgiving Cooking Fires
Outdoor Grilling Fire Safety Tips
2 Comments »
April 12th, 2011
About 4.8 million box fans are being recalled by a Pennsylvania company because they pose a fire hazard, the government said. The problem was associated with seven reports of fire — including two house fires and a barn fire — that caused significant property damage, the commission said. No injuries were reported from the fires.
To read more about this recall, click here.
No Comments »
March 28th, 2011
On average every year, U.S. fire departments responded to 287,000 vehicle fires. These uncontrollable fires usually start in the engine compartment, under the dashboard or, in many cases, because a cigarette has fallen onto flammable material. Many vehicles also catch fire when left alone in tall, grassy areas and the engine is still hot.
People tend to underestimate the intensity of a car fire and place themselves in danger. And because vehicle fires pose a threat of spreading to surrounding structures, we recommend the following actions in case of a vehicle fire:
- If the vehicle catches on fire while it is still in motion, move to the side of the road and turn off the engine.
- Get yourself and others out of the vehicle immediately.
- Get and stay far away from the vehicle.
- Warn oncoming traffic.
- Notify emergency services.
- And never to try to put out the fire yourself.
For more fire safety tips, view:
Change Your Clock and Change Your Batteries
How to Prevent Burn Injuries All Year Long
No Comments »
August 17th, 2010
Smoke detectors can save your life by providing an early warning of fire in your home. Do you know how to check and ensure your smoke detectors are performing up to snuff and will protect you when it matters?
The Burn Institute provides these tips:
- Maintain units by testing batteries monthly and immediately replacing weak ones with new and tested batteries. Replace all batteries at least once a year. If your alarm begins making a “chirping” sound, replace the battery immediately. When in doubt, replace a detector.
- Vacuum the grillwork of your detector at least once a year. Cobwebs and dust can impair a detector’s sensitivity.
- Never paint a smoke detector.
- If you sleep with your bedroom doors closed, it is a good idea to also install an alarm inside the bedroom.
- Smoke rises, so mount the alarm high on a wall or on the ceiling.
- Adults who are deaf or hard of hearing should purchase a smoke detector with strobe lights. Flashing or vibrating smoke alarms should also be tested every month.
Spend a few minutes now to protect the safety of your entire family. The Burn Institute has a few more tips, including how to choose your smoke detectors. To make sure your entire home is safe, check out our home fire safety checklist.
1 Comment »
August 16th, 2010
In the sweltering heat of summer, the hot, dry weather creates a significant danger of wildfires. These huge fires are a force of nature, but that doesn’t mean you’re helpless to protect your home or family. Here are some tips from the Burn Institute to make sure your family stays safe, and to give you recommendations to moderate potential damage to your property.
Access and visibility
- Make sure the roadway approaching your home is wide enough to accommodate an evacuating car and an entering fire truck at the same time. Trim over-hanging branches to allow enough clearance for large emergency vehicles.
- Streets and roads must be marked with clearly visible street signs. Missing or difficult-to-read street signs can delay emergency response.
- Your address should be easy to see from the street. If necessary, post it at your driveway entrance as well as on your home. The numbers should be at least four inches tall on a contrasting background. Periodically check to make certain that new plant growth has not covered any part of your address.
Plan for evacuation
- Plan in advance to pack up and evacuate if your home is in the path of a wildfire.
- Make a list of important items to take with you, including valuables, family photographs and videos, and vital documents, such as insurance papers, birth certificates, and other legal papers.
- Be ready to take prescription medication, eyeglasses, and other health needs.
- Set up a plan for family members to reunite if separated.
- If you have family pets and livestock, include them in your plan. Have a supply of food and water ready, as well as leashes, carriers and trailers if needed. Shot records and other animal medical documents will be helpful if you cannot return home and need to board the animals.
For more safety information, please also review our step-by-step instructions on fire escape drill and wildfire safety tips and visit the Burn Institute.
If you’ve lived through a wildfire, we’d love to hear your story. You can reach us by email or in the comments below.
No Comments »
July 13th, 2010
Fire safety tips for the road, from the Burn Institute
You’ve gone through our home fire safety checklist, and you’re confident you know what to do in case of a fire at home. But do you know how to be safe when you’re traveling on business or with your family?
The Burn Institute gives some tips on what to do if there is a fire in your hotel:
- Check the hall. If it’s clear, walk to the fire exit and get out and away from the building. If there is smoke in the hall, crawl to the exit and get out. If there is smoke in the hall, crawl to the exit and get out. If there is fire and thick smoke at lower levels go back into your room.
- Knock loudly on other doors as you pass them to alert others who may not be aware of the danger.
- Never attempt to go to the roof of a building using the stairs because the exit to the roof may be locked.
Burn Institute gives a lot more tips in their factsheet, including what to do to prepare for your trip. Go check it out and tell us what tips you think are the most helpful.
Have you ever had a fire scare when you were on vacation? Post a comment telling us how you felt or what you learned.
2 Comments »