Why Your Home Might Not be as Safe from Fire & Carbon Monoxide as You Think and What to Do About It

Jun 24, 2022

Before the 1960’s, homeowners dealt with a slew of secret dangers in the walls of their homes. There were cloth wires as well as newspapers and other flammables stuffed within them. It was no wonder that a fire could break out in these homes. You might be under the impression that modern homes are much safer from fire. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

According to Today, the average home 30 years ago allowed for about 17 minutes to escape during a fire. That average today is down to 3-4 minutes. The reason hides within our modern furniture. In short, synthetic fibers and other synthetic materials are the culprits. They burn up faster and spread to other items in a flash.

The Evanston Fire Department says “Smoke alarms can help save you, your family, and your property. From 2014 to 2018, the NFPA reports that almost 60% of house fire deaths happened in homes without a smoke alarm or with a malfunctioning smoke alarm.”

The City of Evanston recommends a few tips to ensure that your home and your loved ones remain safe in the event of a fire:

  1. Change the batteries on your smoke alarm every time you turn your clock forward or back for Daylight Savings.
  2. Do your research before purchasing a new smoke alarm. Make sure the model has been listed by a recognized testing laboratory such as Underwriters Laboratory or Factory Mutual.
  3. Replace your smoke alarms entirely every 8-10 years.
  4. Locate a smoke alarm outside every sleeping room, on every floor, and inside each bedroom.

And the potential for fire is not the only danger lurking in our homes.

While fire safety knowledge is incredibly important, it is just as important to arm our homes with carbon monoxide detectors. The City of Evanston also reminds us that it is the law to protect ourselves and our homes against this colorless, odorless, deadly gas.

Tips for protecting our homes and families from the dangers of carbon monoxide from The City of Evanston’s include:

  1. Install carbon monoxide detectors within 15 feet of each room used for sleeping.
  2. Detectors should be listed by a testing agency such as Underwriters Labratories Inc.
  3. For extra safety, choose a self-powered, extra sensitive unit that responds to low levels of carbon monoxide, and remains safe during a power outage.

“The Carbon Monoxide alarm may be combined with smoke detecting devices provided

that the combined unit complies with the respective provisions of the City Code, is listed

for such use, and emits an alarm in a manner that clearly differentiates the hazard.”

– City of Evanston

When it comes to our families and beloved homes, fire is no risk worth messing with. For more tips and resources about fire safety, check out these:

Home Safety Tips | City of Evanston

Smoke Alarms | City of Evanston

Smoke Alarms | NFPA

Smoke Detector Facts: The Top 10 Things You Should Know About Smoke Alarms | Vivint

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