Santa's Friend Chimney Service

Santa's Friend Chimney Service Blog

The Recent Time Change and Your Smoke Detectors

The recent time change for Daylight Savings was more than a reminder to set your clocks forward 1 hour. It was also a reminder that smoke detector batteries should be periodically changed. Advised to use our twice-yearly time changes to keep up with battery strength, homeowners tracking spring’s special occasions and tax return deadlines sometimes forget. Since it really is a good idea for home safety, we thought it worth bringing forward for new attention now that April Fool’s is past.

Smoke Alarms - Jackson MS - Santa's Friend Chimney

Why Bother Now?

Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors save lives, but not if their batteries are not good. In addition,  knowing their condition is not easy. If there is any uncertainty about a battery’s remaining life, it should not be in a smoke or gas detector. Remove it and put it in something less essential to safety, like an extra flashlight or a backup alarm clock.

Getting the last possible drop of juice out of every battery is not a great idea when the batteries are in life-saving alarms. All the statistics point to the costly dangers of undetected smoke and toxic gases, with high public awareness now of carbon monoxide in particular. Yet, those inexpensive batteries tend to be things about which we entrust too much confidence in both big-name and unknown brands.

Extend Lives Another Way

How many homeowners really check how many hours their batteries last or at what point their strength has diminished to unacceptable? More and more homeowners with a taste for short-term savings have switched to ‘house wine’ batteries, coming from who knows where. It is incredibly sad but true that spending a few more cents on each battery might save lives.

So, replace them sooner rather than later, and they can still be used in dozens of other common household items where if a battery dies it is literally not a matter of life and death. Children’s toys, gaming devices, phone bases, bike lights; there are any number of things that you can put used batteries into. Performing too important a function, your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors are not the place for them, so it really is time to change them.

By Jim Robinson on April 5th, 2013 | Tagged with: Tags: , | Leave a Comment

Common Tools of Fire Safety

A smoke detector designed to detect both smoke and carbon monoxide is far and away the most important tool of fire safety. Anyone who has forgotten to open a damper and then walked into another room knows that these sensitive alarms detect smoke long before our noses do. Odorless invisible carbon monoxide is even more dangerous, and it can build up in poorly performing flues that fail to vent smoke properly.

Fire Safety Tools - Jackson MS - Santa's Friend Chimney

A single-use fire extinguisher kept near but away from likely sources of fire is another common sense fire safety tool. A common mistake is putting the extinguisher too close to the fireplace or stove, forcing homeowners to reach through dancing flames for it. An extinguisher should be handy but beyond the likely range of a possible fire, and everyone in the home should know how to use it.

Fire Safety Tools Should Be Household Words

A bucket of sand and a shovel are never a bad idea for a fireplace hearth and can be attractive decorative items as well. If sand is a problem, that is no reason to toss out the bucket; an empty one helps in cleaning the fireplace by giving a place for the ashes, also improving fire safety.

A fireplace screen belongs among common tools of fireplace safety as well, and for more than one reason. A decorative screen prevents sparks from flying out of the fireplace to set fire to a newspaper or carpeting. It also prevents children from coming dangerously close to the fire, hypnotized by curling flames and glowing embers.

Heads, It’s The Phone Book…

To round out the top five fire safety tools, we are torn between a fire retardant surround for fireplaces and a phone book. The first is definitely a good idea, but the second can put you in touch with a chimney sweep. Having your chimney professionally swept is absolutely critical to fireplace safety, so we are going with the phone book, but keep them away from the fire!

By Jim Robinson on March 15th, 2013 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , | Leave a Comment