My Name is Frank Dolski,
Associate Broker with Coldwell Banker Hearthside Realtors in Lahaska,
PA. I represent buyers and sellers of Real Estate in Bucks,
Montgomery, Lehigh, Philadelphia and the Chester County Area in
Pennsylvania. Towns like Doylestown, Buckingham, Yardley, Newtown, New
North Wales and Langhorne are only a few of the areas where I represent
clients. One thing for sure, is that I meet many new people some first
time home buyers as well as seasoned buyers and I learn new information regarding
home ownership each and every day.
So how safe is your home from a
fire? Do you have adequate protection and do you have an evacuation plan in
case of a fire?
Smoke detectors are one of the things
that I have seen homebuyers take for granted or in many cases, they are just not
educated. For example, when I preview a home for sale I have noticed missing
smoke detectors, ones that are beeping and an inadequate supply installed
within a home. The fact is that a missing or unconnected detector may just be
needed to save your life someday. A single battery smoke detector not connected
in line with all of the other detectors is merely useless as what happens if a
fire occurs in another part of your home?
Of course education, awareness and safe practices are key but according to the National Fire
Protection Agency (NFPA), “Installing
your smoke alarms correctly- and making sure they are in working order- is an
important step in making your home and family safer from fire”. Listed below are
just a few of the general recommendations by NFPA:
- For the best protection, interconnect all smoke alarms. When one
smoke alarm sounds they all sound. Interconnection can be done using
hard-wiring or wireless technology.
- When interconnected smoke alarms are installed, it is
important that all of the alarms are from the same manufacturer. If the
alarms are not compatible, they may not sound.
- There are two types of smoke alarms – ionization and
photoelectric. An ionization smoke alarm is generally more responsive to
flaming fires, and a photoelectric smoke alarm is generally more
responsive to smoldering fires. For the best protection, both types of
alarms or combination ionization-photoelectric alarms, also known as dual
sensor smoke alarms, are recommended.
- Choose smoke alarms that have the label of a recognized
- Install smoke alarms inside each bedroom, outside each
sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement.
- On levels without bedrooms, install alarms in the
living room (or den or family room) or near the stairway to the upper
level, or in both locations.
- Smoke alarms installed in the basement should be
installed on the ceiling at the bottom of the stairs leading to the next
- Smoke alarms should be installed at least 10 feet (3
meters) from a cooking appliance to minimize false alarms when cooking.
- Mount smoke alarms high on walls or ceilings (remember,
smoke rises). Wall-mounted alarms should be installed not more than 12
inches away from the ceiling (to the top of the alarm).
- If you have ceilings that are pitched, install the alarm
within 3 feet of the peak but not within the apex of the peak (four inches
down from the peak).
Needless to say, disregarding general fire safety recommendations
and in many cases, township and local code could cause a loss of life and
valuable property. You should also have an organized plan to evacuate your home
if a fire occurs. According to NFPA, everyone should have a plan including an
escape route, have a meeting place outside and practice the plan! They also advise
that your children and other residents should know the plan well if you are not
around or in case you are injured. Of course, call 911 as soon as possible! Always
remember, “Safety First”! Being
proactive in terms of fire safety should be of utmost important to every
homeowner. A building can be replaced but a life cannot!
Learn as much as you can about fire
safety as there are many resources to increase your education and knowledge!
Frank Dolski MBA, ABR, e-PRO
Certified Relocation Specialist
Previews Luxury Home Specialist
Coldwell Banker Hearthside Realtors
Ranked #1 In The State of PA in 2012
For Coldwell Banker International Affiliated Realtors
2012 Coldwell Banker International President’s Elite Award
2010-2011 Coldwell Banker International President’s Circle Award