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
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October 11th, 2011
This year from October 9th – 15th, the nation recognizes fire safety for families with Fire Prevention Week, dedicated by the National Fire Prevention Association. Since 1922, Fire Prevention Week has been observed on the Sunday through Saturday period in which October 9 falls. Fire Prevention Week was established to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 that killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures and burned more than 2,000 acres. The fire began on October 8 and continued into October 9, where it did most of its damage.
In honor of this week, we offer these ideas on fire prevention to keep you and your family safe:
- Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
- Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater.
- Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
- Replace or repair damaged or loose electrical cords.
- If you smoke, smoke outside.
- Use deep, wide ashtrays on a sturdy table.
- Blow out all candles when you leave the room or go to bed. Avoid the use of candles in the bedroom and other areas where people may fall asleep.
For more information about fire safety week, visit the National Fire Protection Association website.
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September 29th, 2011
Maryland and Nevada recently updated their school bus fire safety standards, so why is the rest of the nation still relying on regulations from the 1960’s to protect their children? Well, CFFSI is hoping to change that, state by state, in the fall session.
With more than 1.5 Million children riding school buses in the US each day, it is shocking that national fire safety standards have not kept pace with the evolution of modern technology. Maryland and Nevada recognized the need to protect big yellows from the dangers of fast spreading flames and codified standards to set a maximum burn rate for the seats and engine components.
For more information view:
Citizens for Fire Safety
Nevada and Maryland Drive School Bus Fire Safety for our Kids with New Law
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July 24th, 2011
Fire proofing school buses is now the law in Maryland — but how soon will the state start putting those requirements in writing? The legislation was signed recently by Gov. Martin O’Malley but it may take some time to see what’s on paper make its way to local school districts.
The law is considered a model by a national group called Citizens For Fire Safety, a nonprofit organization on a mission to educate the public on fire safety practices.
For more information on this new bill, view:
Nevada and Maryland Drive School Bus Fire Safety for Our Kids with New Law
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July 1st, 2011
During this holiday weekend, thousands of fireworks will be sold and many will celebrate our country by watching the biggest annual firework display in the US. We would like to remind parents to talk to their children about firework safety – fireworks, just like matches and lighters, are for adults to use only. Even sparklers need to be kept away from children. The NFPA reports that sparklers burn as hot as 1200 degrees Fahrenheit, almost 6x the temperature of boiling water.
This fourth of July, keep your family safe.
For more firework safety tips, check out:
Celebrate this Happy New Year, Without a Deadly Accident
Fireworks, BBQ Grills and 10 Other Common Causes of Burns to Avoid
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July 1st, 2011
Every day, about 500,000 school buses transport more than 25 million students to and from school. The time established to evacuate a burning school bus is two minutes or less. Within three minutes, the bus can be fully engulfed in flames. Fires aboard school buses occur more often than most people realize. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) reported that between 1999 and 2003, there was an average 2,210 school bus fires annually.
The people of Nevada and Maryland should now be proud to uphold the highest of fire safety standards for their children. These laws are a much-needed update to regulations that had not been codified since the 1960’s. On an effort to pass legislation in select states mandating fire safety standards for school buses, only Maryland and Nevada have so far passed the bill and have been signed into law by their respective Governors.
The new law in Nevada requires all new school buses to have fire resistant seating and V0 plastic in the engine compartment. Senate Bill 318 establishes provisions governing permissible flammability of certain components in school buses used or purchased on or after January 1, 2014. Senator David R. Parks (Clark County Senatorial District No. 7) suggested this amendment making the bill effective only for newly acquired buses. This act becomes effective on July 1, 2011. For more information and specific details regarding this bill, click here.
In Maryland, Senate Bill 369 requires a school bus to be constructed of materials that meet the criteria of the school bus seat upholstery fire block test established by the National School Transportation specifications and procedures adopted at the most recent National Congress on School Transportation. The bill, sponsored by Senator Conway, specifies that it applies to school buses procured for use in Maryland on or after January 1, 2014. This will be effective starting October 1, 2011. To read more about this Senate Bill, click here.
For more information about fire safety in school environments, check out:
Schools are for Learning, no Burning .
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May 3rd, 2011
According to the United States Fire Administration, fire kills 3,700 and injures more than 20,000 people each year. It is our goal to make Fire Safety For All a valuable resource for information about fire safety.
Reading these posts will help make fire responsibility a little easier for you and your family:
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December 10th, 2010
During the holiday season, many people seem to over use their decorations – including the use of candles. Unless they are closely monitored, candles can easily lead to an accidental fire. The National Fire Prevention Association reports that 40% of all candle fires happen in the bedroom and account for 30% of the deaths. Be sure to burn candles safely by following these candle safety tips:
- If possible, try and avoid using lighted candles.
- Check your smoke alarm and fire extinguishers to make sure you’re prepared in case of an emergency.
- Keep lighted candles within your sight and out of reach of children and animals.
- Extinguish the candles if you leave the room or are going to sleep.
- Trim the candlewick to ¼ inch each time before use to avoid excessive smoking.
- Do not light a candle near flammable items, such as bedding, lampshades, and curtains or during the holiday, your Christmas tree and wrapped gifts.
- Use flashlights in place of candles during a power outage.
- Always be prepared with several evacuation routes and identify a meeting location with your family.
For more holiday fire prevention tips, click here.
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November 8th, 2010
Hopefully this weekend you didn’t forget to change your clocks back but also, we hope you didn’t forget to change your smoke alarm batteries either. The “Change Your Clocks, Change Your Batteries” campaign has been around since 1987 and is dedicated to the fire safety in homes. It is important to continuously test all smoke alarms in your house and replace smoke alarms that are more than 10 years old. For an easy reminder, you should change your batteries when you change your clocks to prevent fire deaths. Smoke alarms should be installed on every level of the home, especially inside bedrooms and including any outside sleeping areas.
And although Hawaii and Arizona didn’t fall back with the rest of the nation this past weekend, it is imperative that they are also aware of how important it is to check on their smoke alarms. Smoke alarms are critical for saving lives, especially during the Fall season when many start to turn on their heating systems. There should be heightened attention for the dangers of carbon monoxide and fire damage in the home during this time of year. Even if your batteries don’t need to be changed, you should get in the habit of changing them twice a year, just like your clocks!
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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.
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