Fanning the Flames on Fire Safety: Hassle-Free Upgrades for Added Property Protection
Preventative fire safety measures that can safeguard homes from fire are of paramount importance to homeowners. Faulty wires or improperly connected smoke detectors are dangerous for families and can lead to costly repairs. In fact, HomeAdvisor estimates that an average fire is responsible for $4,000 in damage, factoring in water and soot removal and replacement of affected materials.
The annual October Fire Prevention Month observance marks the perfect time to catch up on the latest fire protection innovations. You also can capitalize on new opportunities to relay fire safety best practices, improve customer service and sell the benefits of upgraded fire-defense technologies.
A Reinforced Fire Barrier
Efficient fire prevention is as much about the components that owners cannot easily see as the ones they can. Fire safety upgrades to behind-the-wall elements ranging from electrical outlets to drywall and insulation can prevent fires from igniting and spreading. There’s no better time to recommend these upgrades than when you’re already working on other interior projects.
A recent U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CSPC) study found that electrical receptacles are at the root of 5,300 fires each year, resulting in 40 deaths and more than 100 consumer injuries on average. To offset these risks, pros should consider implementing outlets that are less susceptible to electrical surges and sparking. For AFCI-ready properties, one such solution is SmartlockPro’s Dual Function AFCI/GFCI receptacle, which provides added electrical protection while simultaneously recognizing potentially dangerous conditions that standard breakers may overlook.
Should a fire occur, several other behind-the-wall enhancements can help contain the damage. Consider replacing standard insulation with a more heavy duty fire-resistant option capable of withstanding high-intensity temperatures for an extra layer of safety, especially in fire-prone areas such as kitchens. Also look into reinforcing pipes, cables and duct penetrations with an insulating foam sealant to restrict the flow of harmful gasses and toxic smoke.
Real-Time Fire Monitoring
Three out of five residential fire deaths occur in homes where alarms either are not installed or don’t work, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). In other instances, property owners are not aware a fire has occurred until after it is too late.
Modern fire alarms provide versatile upgrades to the standard smoke detector and enable owners to better monitor their property. The Nest Protect smoke monitoring system syncs with both owners’ smartphones and the property’s Wi-Fi to send alerts if either the alarm goes off or its battery needs replacement. This advanced monitoring not only identifies the exact sources and locations of potential problems, but offers added comfort when owners are away.
Clients who want remote monitoring but are not looking to upgrade can pair their current alarms with an alert system, such as Kidde’s RemoteLync Home Monitoring Device, to offer the same real-time notifications. These products make a great addition for clients who frequently are away from home or own vacation or rental properties.
If a more basic fire safety upgrade is preferred, pros and their clients can equip standard smoke detectors with long-lasting batteries, such as Duracell’s Quantum line, to ensure long-term performance and minimize maintenance and replacement needs.
Whether you are building a new property or working with clients to refurbish an older one, fire safety enhancement recommendations can build trust with owners seeking all avenues to protect their investment. Innovative technologies, along with continuous checks for code compliance and proper alarm placement, can ensure that any property – and owner – is fully prepared should a fire occur.
-By Julia Buerger, Electrical Merchant, The Home Depot
Julia Buerger is a merchant for The Home Depot, responsible for fire safety, security and consumer electronics.