Friday, August 26, 2011

The Sound That Alerts You To Tragedy | Masterguard

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In this world of noise, there is one sound that alerts to impending tragedy. A functioning smoke alarm is a necessity in any structure. Smoke detectors can be found in everything from planes and trains to office buildings and homes. But why do we need them? MasterGuard answers some of these questions.

Some people insist that they “would know” if their building or home was on fire. What if you weren’t home? What if it was in the middle of the hustle and bustle of a busy office and no one heard the alarm? Smoke detectors are required by law in all public indoor spaces. These alarms are there for one reason, to save lives.

Research done by fire safety experts MasterGuard state that 50% of lives are saved with the use of operational smoke detectors. Many fatalities have been reported from faulty or disabled detectors. Many detectors have been found to have dead batteries or no batteries at all. In older homes where ventilation is murky, research shows that many detectors have been removed from essential areas due to the alarm sounding while someone is cooking in the kitchen. Other fire evidence has shown there were too few alarms in the house and they were ineffective in warning the occupants within.

So the question is how many smoke detectors do you need and where should they be placed? MasterGuard recommends one detector to be placed on every level of the home, including one alarm placed outside sleeping areas or bedrooms. If a person habitually sleeps with their door closed, this will impede the smoke within from reaching the alarm. Therefore these individuals should have an additional alarm within the bedroom space. Additionally, those with televisions inside bedrooms should also add alarms to those rooms. Places that should not have smoke detectors are kitchens and garages. Smoke, heat and car exhaust fumes can give the detectors the wrong information and cause the alarms to sound needlessly. Also, never put alarms in non-insulated areas like crawl spaces. Extreme heat and cold can confuse the detectors as well. 

 Smoke detectors have come a long way and many detectors can be hardwired into the existing power of the home or office, ensuring durability and functionality. Hardwired alarms also have back up batteries that should be checked semi-annually. MasterGuard warns there are two types of detectors available. The ion type smoke detector is more useful in fires that consist of open flame. The photoelectric type of alarm detects smoldering fires more quickly and is less likely to cause kitchen heat miscues. A good idea is to place a mixture of these in your home.

Alarms should be installed within 4-12 inches from the ceiling in your home. Some alarms can be installed directly on the ceiling. They should be no closer than 3 feet to a heat register. Also, they should not be within 3 feet from a door of a bathroom with a shower. MasterGuard states that alarm placement near bathrooms or heat registers can be ineffective due to the constantly changing temperatures of these items in the home; steam from the shower and hot or cool air from the registers.

Smoke detectors are essential for a safe and fireproof home. Taking a few moments and working with fire safety specialists Masterguard will help you ensure that your house is ready in case of  FIRE.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Statistics On Fires And The Damage It Causes - Masterguard

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MasterGuard - Statistics on Fires and the damage it causes                            

Fire is one of the most devastating elements that can destroy homes, buildings and structures. It can also destroy lives.  In America, the number of household fires is increasing. While state and local building codes require the placement of smoke detectors in homes, it is clear that citizens do not know enough about fire safety procedures. MasterGuard is working to bring fire safety to every home.


Residential fires historically have caused over $7 million annually in damages. The cost for rebuilding these homes, if it is possible, is untold. Fire safety specialists MasterGuard state that many people who have suffered from fire loss do not carry fire insurance. In 2008, the accumulated cost of fire damage was estimated at $362 billion with an economic loss of $20.1 billion. 

Nonresidential fires, while declining slightly, are still accountable for over $3 million in damages annually. Stricter building codes are a major factor in the decrease of these fires.  MasterGuard works with businesses to have a fire safety “plan of action” in place in case of an emergency, and can equip these businesses with the tools to help save lives.

Fire not only destroys structures, unfortunately it destroys lives. In 2011 so far, 59 professional firefighters have lost their lives battling flames. The amount of civilian casualty is also devastating. Burn injury is the number one cause of accidental deaths in children under 2 years of age. It is the second cause in children 2-4 years of age and third in children under 18.

One of the most prevalent causes for human loss in a fire is when occupants do not know what to do. People panic in these situations and not having a practiced escape route could potentially result in negative outcome. MasterGuard also recommends having functional smoke detectors and extinguishers within the household.

Structural fire damage can be just as devastating. A small household fire can cost a homeowner not only time and money to rebuild, but it can also jeopardize the structural integrity of the home.

Fires can double in size in 30 seconds. Depending where the fire originates, this could prove deadly for your family. Kitchen fires often spread far faster than other household fires due to the amount of fire accelerants that are stored in the area. Oils, pressurized cans of cooking product as well as alcohol based household cleaners will ignite at lower burn temperatures than other items in the home. Homes that have excessive clutter can also be considered dangerous due to the amount of paper and fabric accelerant available to feed a potential fire. MasterGuard professionals state that clearing some of this clutter from pathways or near exits is the best strategy to survive a house fire. Many house fires are caused by human negligence. Smokers who fall asleep with a lit cigarette account for a majority of these fires and usually result in personal injury or even death. Other causes of house fires are overloading electrical circuits and neglecting items left on the stove.

While fire damage is costly and devastating, it can be prevented with the correct equipment and proper fire safety training. MasterGuard is committed to protecting families and business from impending tragedy.


Thursday, August 4, 2011

How To Create A Masterguard Fire Safety Plan

How and Why You Need to Have a Masterguard Fire Safety Plan for Your Family

Having a fire safety plan is the first step in keeping your family safe should a fire break out in your home. Every parent knows that fire is dangerous but it is imperative to also teach your children what they should do if a fire occurs in the house. When a fire breaks out, it is natural to panic; having a plan in place ahead of time, and having a fire drill at least every six months, will help to ensure that you and your family make it out of the home safely.

How to Create a Fire Safety Plan

-Draw a diagram or simple blueprint of your home. The younger your children are, the simpler the drawing should be. Label the escape paths with arrows, making sure there are at least two routes out of every room (if possible).

-Decide on an outside meeting place that your child will remember. The place should be both a safe distance from your house and easy to see in the dark; light poles or large trees are a good idea.

-Teach your children how to get out on their own. You may not have a safe route to them, or they to you, and waiting for each other could prove dangerous.

In addition to having a fire safety plan, you should also teach your children basic fire safety tips. They’ll often learn these in preschool or kindergarten but reinforcing them at home will help your child remember them.

Masterguard Fire Safety Tips

-Always feel the knob of a door before you open it. If the knob is hot to the touch, leave the door closed.

-If at all possible, close doors behind you as you leave a room.

-If the house or room is filled with smoke, stay low to the ground.

-Once you are outside, don’t go back into the house.

-Call the fire department when you get outside.

Make Your Home Safe

-Every floor in your home should have at least one fire extinguisher and everyone in the family should know where it is located and how to use it.

-Each floor should have at least one working smoke alarm.

-Make sure the doors and windows in your home are easy to open.

-Install fire safety ladders in bedrooms on the upper floors of your home and teach your children how to use them.

-Put fire warning stickers near any entry doors (not on the child’s bedroom window). This will alert firefighters to how many people and pets should be accounted for.

-Keep lighters and matches out of the reach of children.

-If you have a furnace and/or chimney, maintain them properly to prevent fire hazards.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), 71% of Americans have a fire escape plan but only 45% of those people have actually practiced that plan. Having a plan in place is just not enough. To protect your family from the dangers of fire, develop a plan, share the plan and practice the plan!  Masterguard Fire Safety. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Masterguard Fire Safety Tips For Kids

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Summer is a time to relax, enjoy delicious summer produce and food and sleep in every morning. Kids are also out of school and will be home much more during summer. Due to this increased time spent at home, it is important to establish some basic fire safety rules and tips during the summer to protect your children. Read on for some tips by Masterguard on how to keep children safe during the summer.

1. Establish some ground rules- make sure children know that they are not supposed to touch the stove, oven, toaster or fireplace without adult supervision. Every child is different so each parent should decide on the age when children can use these appliances. Generally, if the child is not tall enough to see over the counter and to comfortably reach onto the counter to handle items, he or she should not be using appliances that are stored on the counter.

2. Be extra careful during special events- summer is the time for outdoor barbecues and grilling. Make sure to keep children away from these pieces of equipment while in use. Only an adult should be handling these appliances. Also, do not keep pots and pans or utensils hanging off of the surface of the grill. A young child is likely to reach up and grab these items, potentially pulling hot substances onto themselves. This can be extremely dangerous and can result in second or even third degree burns.

3. Establish a fire safety plan- in case of an emergency like a fire in the house, each family member should be aware of a designated safe place outside the house to meet. In case their is a fire, all family members should know to immediately exit the house and retreat to this safe spot.

4. Learn how to use a fire extinguisher- in case of fires in the kitchen, all adults and older children should know how to use a fire extinguisher. Make sure yours is current and full. Also, be sure to teach children when to use a fire extinguisher and when to exit the house. For example, if the fire is small and contained within an appliance like an oven, toaster oven or microwave, it may be safe to quickly use a fire extinguisher. If the fire has spread, it may be dangerous to try to use a fire extinguisher and it may be safer to exit the home and dial 911 from a neighbor's phone. Talk about this subject with your children.

5. Use candles carefully- with all the summer cookouts and bonfires, you are bound to have some candles to decorate. Be sure to place these high enough that children cannot access them. Be extra careful to blow them out before going to bed.

6. Be extra careful with bonfires- make sure to set up safe stones far away from the actual fire. Set these up in a ring and teach your children not to cross them.



Monday, May 9, 2011

Do you Know What To Do In The Event Of A Home Fire? - Masterguard

Masterguard wants you to know that it doesn’t take a lot of time or effort to prevent a fire, or to be prepared to live through a fire. Did you know that every year more than four thousand Americans die in fires? In addition, most fires happen in the home.  Being prepared could be the difference between survival and being a casualty.

The first thing every home should have is a smoke alarm. In fact, every home should have several smoke alarms. There should be at least one on every floor of the house, as well as one in, or just outside, every bedroom. All of the smoke detectors should be tested at least monthly.  All you have to do to test it is to hold the small red “test” button for 1-2 seconds. If you don’t get a quick alarm chirp, you know you have to change the battery. Batteries degrade over time, even if they aren’t used heavily.  It is recommended that you change the batteries once a year.  It will be easy to remember when to change them if you do it when the clocks change, either in the spring or the fall.

Masterguard knows that a house can fill with black smoke in only a few minutes. Every family should have an escape route planned in the event a fire breaks out.  Exiting the house as quickly and safely as possible should be the goal.  Depending on the layout of the house, not everyone in the family will have the same exit route.  A window may be the quickest route, or a back door, or maybe the front door.  Additionally, every person should have an alternate route planned in the event their primary escape route is blocked.  A designated rendezvous point should part of the escape plan. This meeting place should be safely away from the house.  Finally, the plan should be practiced regularly both during the day, and at night with the lights out. Fires can spread incredibly fast, so don’t try to save a bunch of possessions from your house. Almost anything can be replaced, except lives.  In the event of a fire, the primary concern must be getting everyone to safety as quickly as possible.

The need for additional heat in the wintertime is one of the main causes of residential fires.  This is when fireplaces, furnaces, spaces heaters and wood-burning stoves get their most use.  Before you use a fireplace or wood-burning stove for the season, check and clean the chimney if necessary.  Use a fireplace screen to catch any sparks and make sure the door(s) to the wood-burning stove are in place and intact to prevent sparks form coming out. Before going to bed or leaving the house, make sure that the fire is totally out, or that space heaters are unplugged.  Masterguard says to keep flammable materials away from any of these heating units, and never use them to dry clothes or other items.

Christmas can be a wonderful time to spend with family and friends, but it is also a time for extra awareness with regards to fire safety. Both before and after your tree is decorated, make sure it has plenty of water so it doesn’t dry out. All light strands should be inspected before you put them on the tree.  Look for frays, cracked insulation, and sockets that are broken.  If they pass a visual test, don’t overload individual electrical sockets. The standard rule is that no more than 3 strands should be strung together. Of course, never have an open flame on or near the tree. Finally, the lights should never be left on unattended. Before you leave the house or go to bed, be sure to unplug the tree lights.  Once you take the tree down, dispose of it properly. Masterguard wants everyone to be safe!


Masterguard | Investigation of Fatal Fires

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