Smoke Alarms Save Lives!

“Fire death rate in homes with working smoke alarms is 51% less than the rate for homes without this protection,” says American Red Cross. This means that having a smoke alarm could cut your chances of dying in a fire in half.* Get a jump on the 2016 Fire Safety week by checking your smoke alarms this weekend and if you do not have any installed, get some installed now. Your smoke alarm should be checked monthly and some even believe that they should be checked weekly. This might seem like a hassle, but if your smoke alarm does not work it could mean the loss of your life or your family’s lives.

Start by checking your smoke alarms on Saturday or Sunday this week. Add this date to your phone and place a reminder. Maybe you want to begin by having your reminder set to quarterly or monthly. Whatever you do, get it on your calendar!


Is it true that pushing the test button is sufficient?

NO! This is the easiest thing to do and it will test to see if the alarm “sound” is working, but it does not test to see if the smoke sensor is working.

There is an easy ways to check your smoke alarm sensors.
The safest method of testing your smoke alarm is to purchase an aerosol can, at your local hardware store, that is specifically designed for testing smoke alarms. This “fake smoke” simulates smoke and provides a true sensor text. In addition, the aerosol can method allows you to reach alarms high on your ceiling to be tested while you are firmly planted on the floor. If the simulated smoke does not set off the alarm, trying placing the old batteries with brand new batteries and run the test again. If new batteries do not activate the alarm then you likely need a new smoke alarm.

Home Builders for Fire Safety!

The Home Builders Association of Greater Springfield Charitable Foundation, in cooperation with four HBA Associate Members, will be donating more than 800 smoke alarms to local fire departments on Tuesday September 27th. These fire departments will be distributing the smoke alarms out to homes in need of this life saving device.

Fire safety week is October 9-15, 2016. Add to your calendar and check your alarms.

NOTES: There are different types of smoke alarms (ionization and photoelectric) that detect smoke and fire particles differently and leading officials state that both should be installed in your home. It is recommended, by the NFPA, that smoke alarms be installed in every bedroom and outside of sleeping areas, as well as in basements and every level of your home. Smoke alarms do not last forever and should be replaced every 5 to 10 years. For more on smoke alarm installation and maintenance, go to American Red Cross.

Sources: *American Red Cross and the National Fire Protection Association.


Clean Dryer – Stop, Drop & Crawl


While Millstone Custom Homes & Renovations enjoys building and remodeling your dream home, we also want to make sure that your dreams do not go up in smoke. If your home does catch fire, don’t forget the safety of your families are more valuable than your homes. This is one in a series of Fire Safety Tips that we will have for you over the next few months. We’ll focus on fire prevention as well as a family fire escape plan in each post.

Fire Hazard – Clothes Dryer

An often overlooked fire hazard is your clothes dryer. If you really think about it, your dryer is a large spinning heating machine that collects lint and pieces of paper while pushing the exhaust out through a narrow pipe. If not properly cleaned and maintained this combination can lead to a deadly fire.

  • Be sure to clean your lint filter/screen before each load. If any link has gathered around the drum it must be removed as well.
  • Never run your dryer without a lint filter/screen.
  • Check your exhaust vent pipe and exterior flap for any restrictions. No kinks in the pipe, lint buildup or other blockage.
  • Never leave your dryer running when leaving the house or going to bed.
  • It is always best to have a professional install your dryer and ventilation as well as performing regular inspections. Follow manufacturer’s instructions and correct electrical outlets.

Family Safety Tip – STOP, DROP & CRAWL

Everyone has heard the old saying “Stop, Drop and Roll.” This is an excellent technique for extinguishing a fire that is on you, but STOP, DROP AND CRAWL is a great way to exit a home that is on fire. If your hear a smoke alarm or there are signs of smoke, getting low is the best way to escape because smoke rises. Usually it is not the fire that stops people from escaping a burning home, but instead it is smoke filled lungs. Another saying that might stick is GET LOW and GO. Have your entire family practice this technique to see how long it take you to find the exit. Make it fun for the little ones as it might one day save their life.

Obviously, proper installation, placement and maintenance of smoke alarms are NUMBER ONE PRIORITY for a homeowner. Consult with your home builder on proper installation and placement of smoke alarms.

See other Millstone Tips, send us a message or give us a call to discuss anything about your home or future home.

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