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.


Secure Home for the Holidays


Christmas is the most wonderful time of year – don’t let it be wonderful for thieves. Before we wish you a Merry Christmas, we want to share a few tips to keep your home and valuables safe for the holidays.

First, predators seek weaknesses whether it is a lion looking for a meal or a thief looking to burglarize your home. Take a moment and walk around the outside of your home and see where you could enter unseen.

  • Do not post on social media where you are going for the holidays. If you have photos of your family gathering in Florida, wait until you return to share them with the world. If you are afraid you will forget or the feeling of the moment will be lost, most social media allows you to create a post and schedule it to go out at a later date.
  • Hide the presents! As beautiful as it may look from the street, a Christmas tree in the window with presents underneath is an invitation to a burglar. If you must place your Christmas tree in the window, hide your presents until Christmas morning.
  • Make it look and sound like someone is home. Use timers for your lights to turn off and on and if you have a spare radio or television, have them go off and on as well. There are remotes available for your smartphone that can allow you to turn items off and on as well. Set your radio to a talk show and not music. A thief might hear the voices and think someone is home. Have your neighbor remove any newspapers or flyers hanging on your door that might indicate that you are not home.
  • Do not create a “look what we got for Christmas” pile next to your trash can. Break down the boxes of new game systems, TVs, stereo systems or rip up that jewelry store bag. Slowly add them to your trash can over a three week time-span if possible.
  • Simply fortify your home. Install quality bolt locks and use longer screws than what is supplied for your lock strikes plates & hinges. Apply security stickers to your windows and, of course, we recommend installing a security system with a secondary security on all windows – especially those most vulnerable on the ground floor. There are inexpensive wireless devices for windows that can be used as a second line of defense. Contact a quality insured home security professional like those found through the HBA of Greater Springfield or ask your home builder who they would recommend for home security.

Have a great Christmas and help those in need, but don’t let them help themselves to what’s in your home without an invitation.

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