Teaching Children Fire Safety In The Home


With distance learning in full swing, we wanted to bring you some helpful information focusing on fire safety for children at home.

On average, there are 354,400 home fires a year. It might not happen to you, but it is important to teach your kids how to be safe in a fire. Fire safety for kids is there to make sure they know how to react in a crisis that hopefully will never happen to you.


Help Your Children Survive A Fire


A major part of fire safety is teaching your kids about how to survive a fire. Make sure you follow each of these steps to help your kid know how to make it out of your home if it catches on fire—and stay out.


Smoke Alarms


You should test and replace batteries in your smoke alarms at least once a year. When you test them, it is a perfect time for you to teach your kids about what a fire alarm sounds like, and what to do when a fire alarm goes off. Involve your kids in replacing the batteries in your smoke alarms throughout your house to help them better understand what smoke alarms are and their role in fire safety.


Fire Drills


Fire drills should not be only an excuse to get out of a test in your history class and should be used in your home. When you talk to your kids about how to leave the house when a smoke alarm goes off, make it more than just a lecture. Have practice fire drills to show them and let them practice how to get low and go.


Touch The Door And Check For Heat


Managing fire safety and getting away from fire can be easier when there’s a straight shot to an exit or it’s easy to identify where the fire is located in the house, but in reality, it’s not always that straightforward. An important skill everyone should know is learning how to check for heat. This should include checking for heat at doors by grabbing a towel or piece of clothing to avoid getting burnt and seeing if a handle or knob is warm. If the door is warm, that means the fire is on the other side and it is not safe to travel through and a different route should be used.


Two Escape Routes


Part of the practice should include getting out of each room in two ways. Sometimes getting low and crawling through the house is not the fastest or safest way out of a room. Learning how to open a window, take out the screen, and exit through the window is an important skill for your kids to learn and practice.

If you live in a home that has barred windows and doors, make sure at least one window in each sleeping room has a release device, and show your kids how to use them. While your home security is important, you should never bar, gate, or lock windows in a way that makes it impossible to escape in an emergency.


Blind Escape

Where there’s fire there’s smoke, and part of your emergency plan around how to survive a fire should include how to deal with the smoke. Children need to practice how to get out of the house and follow a planned escape route, but they should also be prepared to do it without being able to see.

One of the best ways to practice this is to make it a game. Using a blindfold, you can time them to see how well they can get out without looking. Remember, even though this game focuses on them being blindfolded, they should still use everything they have learned up to this point. They should still get low and try to crawl under the smoke, check doors for heat, and know their escape routes.


Stop, Drop And, Roll


This simple reminder for kids helps them extinguish any flames if their clothes catch on fire. While it is a popular thing to teach, it is often confusing for kids to remember when they need to stop, drop, and roll. Remember to emphasize this is only an option when their clothing catches fire, not when they get burnt by a hot object or a smoke alarm goes off.

Practice stop, drop, and roll with your kids until it becomes second nature. When a person’s clothing catches on fire, the reaction to stop, drop, and roll, should be instinctive and immediate.


Fire Prevention Starts With You


Thanks to Smokey the Bear, we know that only you can prevent forest fires, but it’s also true with fire prevention in your home. Make sure you ensure your child’s safety in your home.

·  Keep children three feet away from anything that can get hot.  This includes obvious things like stove-tops, ovens, and heaters, but should also include irons, straighteners, hot glue guns, and any open flames.
·  Keep smoking materials locked up.  If you are a smoker, you need to protect your children from any lighters or matches. Make sure they can only be accessed by adults.
·   Never play with lighters or matches.  You need to demonstrate and show respect for fire if you expect your children to follow. If you are irresponsible or lazy with fire, your children might try to replicate what they see you do.


Boyd & Associates Can Help


Fire safety for kids can go a long way in teaching them the basics, but it is always nice to know there is someone else in your family’s corner to make sure you’re staying safe. At Boyd & Associates, we are here to help you with a fire alarm and carbon monoxide monitoring system. The instant your home is in danger, our monitored home control systems make sure first responders are quickly alerted to the emergency no matter if you are awake, asleep, or even away from home.

Contact us to get in touch with one of our security alarm specialists to find out how we can help your family stay safe.

Things to Consider when Buying a Home Security System

 

If you look around your neighborhood, chances are you will see a handful of home security yard signs. Home security systems are a popular addition to homes for good reason. It is a fact that homes with monitored security systems are less likely to be targeted for a break-in. However, today’s home security systems deliver more than security. They let you talk to visitors and remotely turn on lights. With home security cameras, you can see who is in your backyard or check in on an elderly parent. Home security systems that include home automation devices can help reduce energy use, turn on sprinkler systems, and so much more.

When looking for the best, a local home security company or considering your security needs, consider these questions:

What does a basic home security system include?

While it varies, most basic home security systems include door and window contacts, a keypad, a mobile app; an audible alarm, a yard sign, and 24/7 alarm monitoring. These home security components help detect or prevent break-ins and are a base for a more comprehensive system.

What types of home security cameras or upgrades are available?

While a basic home security system can go a long way in helping protect areas of your home, there are many options available to increase the security of your home and family. Popular upgrades or additions to a basic security system include the following and help create a complete, secure smart home:

  • Home security cameras
  • A doorbell camera Smoke detection
  •  Carbon monoxide detection
  • Water leak detection
  • Glass break sensor
  • Window and door sensors
  • A smart thermostat
  • Smart lighting
  • Remote garage door control
  • Smart or keyless locks
  • Automated sprinkler systems
  • Temperature sensors
  • Panic button – medical alert pennant
  • Integration with a sound system

Most homeowners choose to install these upgrades because they add convenience and peace of mind. Busy families enjoy the ability to control home automation devices via an app or check in to see that all is well. In our daily rushing around, the ability to remotely close a garage door, lock or unlock a door, turn lights on or see if a package was delivered is invaluable.

Should I install home security cameras? Where are popular places to install the cameras?

Home security cameras are one of the most popular additions to a home security system. Homeowners enjoy checking in and seeing that all is well at home or reviewing video if something is amiss. Ideal placement for home security cameras includes the front porch, garage area, front gates, and around a swimming pool. Homeowners also like to install home security cameras near sensitive areas such as safes and back entries, or at vacation homes.

At Boyd & Associates, we offer a free mobile app, making it easy to view video or receive alerts and video clips based on personal preference. Our trained security consultants will also conduct a security evaluation to help determine the best security camera placement for your family’s needs.

Is the home security system monitored by a professional alarm monitoring center? Is the security alarm monitoring center in the United States?

When researching local home security providers, check if they provide their own alarm monitoring or if they pay a third-party monitoring provider and where the center is located. DIY security systems might be a quick fix but do not offer the assurance that someone is there to help even if you cannot get to the phone or cannot keep a constant eye on your security alerts. At Boyd & Associates, we are proud to provide a U.S.-based, UL listed alarm monitoring center that is Five Diamond designated and offers an average alarm response time of under 20 seconds.

Can I receive a discount on my homeowner’s insurance premium if I have a home security system?

Typically, yes! As we shared above, most home insurance providers offer a discount on your home insurance premiums if you have a monitored home security system. This discount helps the security system pay for itself!

What are some common and popular home security devices?

In the past, common home security devices included door and window contacts for intrusion detection. However, now, some of the most popular home security services are home security cameras, doorbell cameras, smart locks, and mobile app control of security devices.

Are other protective devices available, such as carbon monoxide, water leak and smoke detection?

You will want to ensure that the home security company you choose can offer security and home automation devices that meet your family’s changing needs through the years. You will also want to know you are working with a company that can provide multi-levels of home security protection including alerting you to carbon monoxide, water leaks and smoke or fire. A company that also offers 24/7 alarm monitoring can alert you to these dangers even if you are not home or cannot get to a phone. Early detection of these dangers can save lives and thousands of dollars in damage or complete loss of your home.

Does the company also offer home automation devices and services?

Top-rated, leading home security companies often include home automation devices that integrate with home security to make your home smarter and safer. Home automation solutions help busy families more easily manage things at home, increase security, and save money. Popular home automation solutions allow homeowners to remotely adjust the temperature, turn lights on or off, lock doors, turn on sprinkler or sound systems and so much more. When combined with home security devices, home automation products alleviate worry. You will know whether you left a garage door open or a door unlocked and be able to take quick action to secure your home if needed.

What does a monitored security system provide that DIY security cameras do not?

There are many up-and-coming tech companies that advertise the latest security services or easy-to-install security cameras. Often, these companies are not backed by experienced support or reputable technology vendors. Or, maybe they are startup companies and have difficulties maintaining financial backing to provide ongoing support or service. These smaller, online companies also most likely will not provide support with installation or if you want to integrate your cameras with other security devices.

Look closely at the costs and benefits of a DIY camera or security system vs. working with an experienced, local provider. Consider if support, professional monitoring, and a discount on your insurance premium are important to you. Another benefit of working with a professional installer is the ease in integrating security or home automation components. A full-service security company also provides the ability to control all your devices easily with one app.

When searching for a company to trust with your security, you will want to choose a top-rated, local company and ask the following questions:

  • Does the home security company have a local branch?
  • How long has the company been in business?
  • Does the company perform background checks on employees?
  • Does the company offer an insurance deductible reimbursement program?
  • Does the company offer a move program?
  • What is the security company’s rating with the Better Business Bureau?

Choosing the best, local home security company does not have to be hard. Learning what security devices will best meet your family’s needs is easy with professional help and experience on your side. Boyd & Associates offers over 50 years of experience providing professional installation of home and business security systems, along with award-winning, 24/7 alarm monitoring. To learn more about your home security options and answers to the above questions, visit our website of give us a call today!

Why Are Doorbell Cameras Becoming More Popular?


Doorbell cameras are tiny non-obstructive cameras that are fixed near the entrance of your house. These cameras work as a major security measure and a doorbell at the same time. But with the rise in automation, the doorbell has also added a set of new features like motion-sensing, two-way communications and viewing live footage on your phone or laptop.


These kinds of doorbell cameras have become really popular for home security. Many times, we watch popular news stories on people’s homes getting robbed and the footage caught by the doorbell camera helps the police investigate the situation. We also come across stories where delivery people mishandle delivery packages and end up damaging the content inside. With the smart doorbell, you can track how people behave and interact with your home when you are not there.


Keeping your family and home safe is the top priority of most of the people today. In this article we will talk about why doorbell cameras are getting so much attention today:


1. Offers two-way communication


Many doorbell cameras offer features like two-way communication. You can easily communicate with anyone who rings your doorbell, through the speaker sitting from any corner of your house. Great home security systems make life easier. For instance, if you are not at home and someone shows up, you can always speak through the phone and convey the message to the guest. Confusing visitors by using this feature also prevents anyone from messing with your home, even when you are not physically present.


2. Equipped with night vision


The cover of night is a robber’s paradise. This is when burglars and intruders are most likely to attack homes. During times like these, it is always advisable not to open the door for every person that knocks on your door at this time. Most of these doorbell cameras are equipped with night vision features and infrared. This lets your home security system survey around your home, as you rest peacefully.


3. Gives you the advantage of screening every visitor


The main reason why doorbell cameras are actually getting all the hype today is because it allows you to screen any visitor that arrives at your doorstep. Home alarm systems come with motion-detecting sensors and other features that give you an update on who is coming to your door. In this manner, you can never miss out on friends, family, and unexpected visitors dropping by your house every now and then. 

 


Conclusion


Doorbells with cameras are the first step you can take to a safer and more sophisticated life. With Boyd & Associates watching your back, doorbells have never been so convenient. These are not that expensive per se, but one can always invest in a legitimate smart doorbell with a camera. At the end of the day, you, your family and your home are all safer off with the doorbell camera. Call Boyd & Associates today and ask about our new promotions!

Boyd & Associates Quarterly Employee Spotlight

Boyd & Associates is proud to introduce our Quarterly Employee Spotlight. We hope you enjoy this months feature on our Senior Tech/Project Manager, David Tijerina.

 

David Tijerina has been in the security industry since 1982. After finishing his education, he returned to attend Los Angeles Trade School / Skill Centers for an additional four-year training program being certified in electronic theory and AC/DC residential wiring. He has since then worked in most facets of the security industry. During this time, he decided to return to night school and received his teaching credential for the Los Angeles School District and taught at the same trade school he once attended. David assisted students with current and relevant learning, work programs and curriculum. In addition to that, he also assisted students with job marketing skills, critical thinking and job placements. In addition to this David enjoys reading about history, art and archery.

As Senior Tech/Project Manager for Boyd & Associates, his current position is to streamline team skill sets and efficiencies.

 

We asked David:


What is the best piece of advice that somebody ever gave to you?

Best advice ever received was “No one sees your intentions, they only see your actions.” I do my best in my personal life and at work to follow this with perseverance.


What’s a goal that you have for yourself that you want to accomplish in the next year?

The goal I would like to accomplish by year end is an on-going and continued shared cross training within our team at Boyd to provide continued quality service.


Where is the best place you’ve traveled to and why?

It was definitely Hawaii, my wife and I spent two weeks on the island of Maui for our honeymoon. We returned 10 years later for our anniversary with our two lovely daughters Natalie and Jacqueline.


What do you like most about working at Boyd & Associates?

The best thing about working with Boyd – operating as a family owned business which allows our team to offer a much more personal approach. We strive to give our best through teamwork, product knowledge and being proactive, while also giving back to local communities. Leaving a lasting footprint and impression for all, that is what I enjoy the most while working at Boyd & Associates.


Top three life highlights?

1. Finding my life partner, my wife.

2. Birth of my two daughters and being their father.

3. Receiving my teaching credential with LAUSD teaching an electronic curriculum and giving back to the community, along with loving the work I do.


What is on your bucket list?

Going to Italy with my wife.


What is the one thing, you can’t live without?

Family and friends.


What is one thing you have learned during this Covid-19 pandemic?

The one thing I have learned with the COVID-19 pandemic is how we really take our health for granted, without it we have nothing.

History and Timeline of the Home Security System

The concept of the home security system is nothing new. An intrusion door alarm was invented in the early 1700s. Much like today’s security systems, it alerted homeowners of potential intruders. It was invented by Tildesley, an English inventor who linked a set of chimes mechanically to a door lock. There were other early inventions, but home security was nowhere near as advanced as today’s smart home systems.

Early Advancements in Home Security

Milestones in home security systems enabled people to rely less on guard dogs and startled animals or mechanical equipment that wasn’t always reliable. Some important names in the evolution of security alarm systems include:

  • Augustus Russel Pope: In 1853, Pope developed a prototype electro-magnetic alarm system in Boston. The battery-operated system activated when an electrical circuit was closed as a result of a door or window opening. A flow of current would cause the system’s magnets to vibrate and cause a hammer to strike a brass bell. Additional components kept the bell ringing even if a window or door was closed after the alarm was activated.

 

  • Edwin Holmes: Although not the talented inventor Pope was, Holmes bought the rights to his invention and founded the first electrical alarm system company. He was also a master at advertising, targeting a general public that was skeptical about electricity in the 19th Holmes published the names of his prominent “burglar alarm telegraph” customers in New Yorker magazine and created a brand out of the system. He even connected his customers’ alarm systems to a central control station using the New York City telephone network.

 

  • Edward A. Calahan: Calahan further developed this concept and helped form the American District Telegraph (ADT) in 1871. It divided New York City into districts connected to a central monitoring station. This was the first alarm system that could alert homeowners of a burglary and notify police and fire services simultaneously. Calahan’s emergency call boxes became standard for emergency and messenger services. His company later expanded to Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Chicago.

Video Surveillance and Fire Safety Emerges

While video surveillance technology existed in the 1940s, it didn’t become mainstream until the 1970s. The images were grainy at first, but users could see images of visitors on a television monitor. An early advancement was made in 1966, when nurse Marie Van Brittan Brown invented the first home video security system. It was the first time a remote control could be used to open a door.

During this same era, fire alarm technology evolved. Canadian researchers conducted a study in 1962 to examine the life-saving potential of heat and smoke detectors. They found that fatalities from residential fires could be reduced by 8% using heat detectors and 41% with smoke detectors.1 Between 1975 and 1998, smoke alarms attributed to a 50% drop in fire deaths in the U.S.

In the 1980s, security became a large part of home automation technology, as automated garage doors, infrared controls, and fiber optics became mainstream. These systems became more affordable in the 1990s. Today, automated home security systems are commonplace and controlled via familiar devices, including smartphones.

Security, Monitoring, and Automation with Boyd & Associates

Boyd & Associates offers complete burglar alarm, fire and life safety, and alarm monitoring systems. In addition to home automation services, commercial intrusion detection, access control, and video surveillance systems are also available. To learn more about the latest in automated home security systems and services, contact us at 805-321-6664 today!

Source:
  1. McGuire J, Ruscoe B (1962) Value of a Fire Detector in the Home, Fire Study No. 9. Division of Building Research, National Research Council of Canada, p 12

Business Fire Safety Tips

Fire safety in the workplace should not be taken lightly. To ensure your office and employees are protected, focus on prevention, response protocols, and training. Even a small fire can cause enough damage to shut down your business for good. These tips can help you prevent such an occurrence, starting with prevention.

Preventing an Office Fire

According to the National Fire Prevention Association, cooking equipment causes more than a quarter of all office property fires. Other leading causes include electrical distribution and lighting equipment, heating equipment, smoking materials, and electronic, office, or entertainment equipment. The following preventative measures can improve fire safety in your office:

  • Install fire extinguishers in kitchenettes, cafeterias, and other at-risk locations and train all workers in using them.

 

  • Avoid overloading your electrical outlets and make sure the number of prongs between the plug and outlets match.

 

  • Make sure all electrical equipment has been rated by Underwriters Laboratories or another nationally recognized laboratory.

 

  • Avoid cluttering your workspace, which can add fire to fuel and block access to emergency exits and electrical control panels.

 

  • Maintain machinery to prevent it from overheating and generating friction sparks, which can ignite fires.

 

  • Store flammable chemicals only in well-ventilated areas and use extreme precautions in potentially explosive environments (and pay attention to labels and Material Safety Data Sheets).

 

  • If space heaters are permitted, use only devices with thermostat controls and store them away from flammable materials.

Establish Workplace Protocols

Your company should have a fire plan in place. It should outline the steps employees should take in case of a fire, including calling 911, appointing a fire prevention officer familiar with all escape routes and meeting points, and conducting regular fire drills. A fire evacuation plan should be posted in multiple locations (and include elevators). Evacuation protocols for disabled employees should be available.

In addition, your business should:

  • Install a sprinkler system: The National Fire Protection Association has said when properly installed and maintained, sprinklers can be 95% effective. Sprinklers are the best way to stop a fire from spreading.

 

  • Replace old wiring: Frayed wires, broken connectors, or cables with damaged insulation should be replaced right away. Also, avoid cluttering wires and plugs around a single outlet and don’t install more than one extension cord per outlet.

 

  • Leave room for appliances: For devices like computers, coffee machines, and others that heat up, leave enough room for them, and let them cool down. Make sure they’re kept away from paper, cloth, and other combustibles and unplug them at the end of the day.

First aid kits should be available where hazards are most likely to occur. Also, all employees should be made aware of where each first aid kit is.

Employee training should involve all workers knowing how many doors, machines, or desks are between their work area and the closest exit. The locations of alternative exits and fire alarms (and how to use them) should be known as well.

Smoke and Fire Alarms

Smoke detectors are required by law, which also identifies how they should be installed, placed, and monitored. The most effective alarms also detect carbon monoxide. For even more protection, use a 24/7 monitoring service that dispatches emergency personnel when necessary. Boyd & Associates can provide complete security that includes hardwired or wireless fire protection systems and 24/7 alarm monitoring. Our UL Listed Monitoring Station can send help whenever an alarm is triggered.

For more information, contact our sales team at 888-343-2852, or reach out to our business support department online.

The Best Tips for Holiday Home Safety

The holiday season is a time to be festive, but it’s also a time to consider home safety, especially regarding fires.

About 30% of home fires occur during December, January, and February, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), resulting in 38% of home fire deaths. The NFPA also found fires involving Christmas trees and seasonal décor cause twice as many injuries and five times more fatalities than the average home fire during the winter holidays. 1

Cooking, heating, and open flames, including those from fireplaces, contribute to the danger. Christmas trees, garlands, and other holiday decorations are also sources of fires. While fire isn’t the only hazard this time of year (falls, electrocutions, and poisonings are high on the list), there are fire safety tips that can protect your home, family, and guests.

Below are tips to avoid dangerous situations and ensure children and adults remain safe this holiday season.

Christmas Tree Safety

An average of 260 home fires per year start with Christmas trees. As a result of these fires, there are about 12 deaths and $16.4 million in property damage.2 To avoid your household becoming one more statistic:

  • Choose your tree wisely: If you purchase a live tree, make sure it is green, which means it’s fresh. The needles should not break when you bend them and shouldn’t easily come off the branches. An artificial tree doesn’t guarantee fire safety despite the absence of live trimmings. If you choose to purchase one, look for a label that states it is fire-resistant. Non-combustible materials will prevent it from easily burning.
  • Place your tree carefully: Set up your tree away from heat sources such as fireplaces, portable heaters, and radiators. It should be out of the way and not block doorways, so there’s no danger of someone accidentally knocking the tree over. If the tree is live, fill the stand with water, as a dry one will be less flame-resistant. Also, cut a few inches off the trunk to expose fresh wood that will more effectively absorb water.
  • Be careful lighting and decorating your tree: Many Christmas tree fires have electrical To avoid a problem, inspect the lighting and check for cord damage. Any damaged lights and strands should be thrown away.

Turn off lights and decorations before bedtime, or install an automatic timer, and use a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) to lower the shock risk. To avoid an overload, don’t connect more than 70 strings of 50-bulb mini lights or 300-600 strings of LED lights (50 bulbs each) to one circuit; don’t overload extension cords either.

  • Properly dispose of the tree: Christmas trees dry out the longer they’re in your home and become more flammable over time. A lot of tree-related home fires occur in January for this reason. When a dried-out Christmas tree burns, a complete flashover can occur in less than a minute, as found during a burn test conducted by the U.S. Consumer Safety Commission.3

Holiday Outdoor Lighting

Whenever you install holiday lights outside your home:

  • Place them near only non-combustible, flame-resistant, and flame-retardant
  • Check the label to ensure the product is certified for outdoor use.
  • Avoid damaging a cord’s wire insulation (use hooks or insulated staples rather than nails or tacks).
  • Plug outdoor electrical cords and decorations into a GFCI circuit to avoid shocks from improperly grounded
  • Even if a light string has been used before, look for damage before plugging it in.

Candle Safety

Candles cause one-third of all home decoration fires each year, whether used for decoration or during outages. Most home candle fires happen on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. 4 Fortunately, they can be easily prevented.

  • Use flameless candles: They can be as decorative as traditional candles; except they operate on batteries. Just remember to turn them off when you leave the house.
  • Don’t let a candle burn unattended: Never leave the room with a candle burning, even for a few minutes. Blowing it out easily avoids a potentially hazardous

Also, exercise caution when using candles to decorate your home. They should be at least 12 inches from any flammable item. And, use a sturdy candle holder to prevent them from tipping over.

Holiday Entertaining

To ensure the safety of your family and guests, keep in mind the following tips for entertaining:

  • Test your smoke detectors and alarms before the holiday (make sure they can be heard in the bedroom, halls, and everywhere else in your home).
  • Make sure your carbon monoxide detector is working.
  • Have a fire escape plan and inform visitors of what this plan is when they arrive.
  • Keep an eye on the kitchen to make sure cooking appliances don’t catch fire.
  • Store matches and lighters up high, locked in a cabinet, and out of reach of children.
  • Use large, deep ashtrays and check them often for burning materials.

Chimney & Fireplace Safety

Failure to clean chimneys is a major contributor to home heating fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association. A professional chimney sweep can take care of the problem. It’s best to hire one that is certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America, who can thoroughly inspect and clean both your chimneys and fireplaces. They can check any wood-burning stoves as well.

You can also address a few safety factors on your own, such as:

  • Clearing debris from the fireplace: Logs and firewood quickly burn into ashes, which should be cleaned up to reduce flammable material that can collect in the chimney. Also, open the damper before any fire is lit.
  • Use safe materials: Avoid using painted or pressure-treated wood. All the fuel available in the fireplace should be consumed; otherwise, the fire will burn too slowly, and hazardous materials can build up in the chimney flue.
  • Set up your fire properly: By placing larger logs on the bottom, topped by a cross-layer of smaller ones and crushed newspaper and kindling, you can have a hotter, cleaner fire. This “top-down burn” method works by lighting the newspaper and letting the flame do the rest.

Don’t Forget About Home Security

Fire and electrical safety should be your top priorities this holiday season. Fire/smoke/carbon monoxide alarm systems are available for a complete home environment monitoring solution. But you also don’t want to skimp on security, as home break-ins and theft are on the rise this time of year too. Whether you’re entertaining at home or traveling, you can depend on Boyd & Associates for state-of-the-art security systems and 24/7 alarm monitoring services.

We’re trusted throughout Southern California and provide everything from simple touchscreen controls to video surveillance systems, door and window sensors, pet-friendly motion detectors, and window break detectors.

For advice on the best systems for your home this holiday season, and for professional installation, call Boyd & Associates at 888-919-3326 or contact us online today.

Sources:
  1. https://www.esfi.org/resource/holiday-data-and-statistics-359
  2. https://www.esfi.org/resource/holiday-data-and-statistics-359
  3. https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/Fire-causes-and-risks/Seasonal-fire-causes/Winter-holidays/Holiday-fires-by-the-numbers
  4. https://www.usfa.fema.gov/downloads/pdf/publications/holiday_infographic.pdf

How Fire Detection Systems and Alarms Work

Combination smoke detectors and fire alarm systems are lifesaving in buildings of all types. Fire is an extremely dangerous event and can easily get out of control. In addition to heat, smoke, and flames, fires can create a dangerous environment in which exposure to carbon monoxide, combustion particles, and other toxic substances can put lives in danger.

The Facts

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) published the report, “U.S. Structure Fires in Office Properties”, in 2013, which revealed an estimated 3,340 office property fires occurred per year, on average, between 2007 and 2011. On average, there were four civilian deaths and 44 fire-related injuries per year. Fires were most common when facilities were occupied, with peak times being between noon and 2:00 p.m., while more than one in four office fires were caused by cooking equipment. Electrical distribution, lighting, and heating equipment were other factors.

The report also found that fire suppression systems, such as sprinklers, were effective in 88% of fires where they were installed. In such properties, deaths per 1,000 fires were 62% lower than in offices and stores with no fire suppression equipment with automatic functions.1

Alarm systems are extremely important for fire safety. Here is a look at how the automatic functions of modern fire alarm systems work, and how integrating wireless technology and combining them with access control systems can help people safely evacuate in the event of an emergency.

How an Automatic Fire Alarm System Works

Today’s wireless systems use radio frequency signals. Whether it has a sensor with thermistors to sense heat, opto-chemical or biomimetic cells to trace carbon monoxide gas, or uses photoelectricity or ionization to sense smoke or combustion particles, a detector sends incoming signals to a fire alarm control panel (FACP). The FACP itself can be connected to a building’s electrical system. It can also be powered by batteries or a backup power control when the electrical current is interrupted.

Once a signal is received from a sensor, the main control panel:

  • Activates audio alerts such as sounders (may include horns, gongs, or automated loudspeaker messages)
  • Turns on visual indicators like lights and flashers
  • Activates building sprinklers in affected areas

Different methods can be used to notify occupants on separate floors or connected structures, and even help them find the best escape route. This is useful when specific departments in an organization need to take appropriate actions specific to their role and location.

Some fire detection systems are designed to also:

  • Work with sensitive equipment in computer and clean rooms by discharging clean agents
  • Activate dry pipe sprinklers to protect people/property before the main suppression system kicks in
  • Provide notification of severe weather, bomb threats, hazardous chemical releases, and other events

Advanced fire alarm systems and smart devices can provide people with notifications on safe evacuation routes. Some notification appliances can relay alerts to a local fire department, other authorities, and the alarm company so help is dispatched right away.

Wireless Technology Integration

Wireless technology has made fire alarms more reliable in a world where telecommunications companies have shifted from traditional telephone lines to wireless and IP-based alternatives. Improvements in transmission speed and access to data make it more practical to connect fire alarm systems to wireless networks. Smart systems are more reliable as well, which helps prevent false alarms, as they’re based on the latest NFPA 72-2013 communication standards and can work on 4G cellular networks.

In a wireless mesh network, many devices can be installed without requiring a direct connection. Numerous communication paths can be created to improve reliability. Even if one or more devices are damaged, different communication paths can be found and the network will still function. Point-to-point or point-to-multipoint technology may also be used, but failure of a single device can disrupt the entire network.

A computerized fire protection system linked to a mesh network with bi-directional communication is the most reliable. Aside from a flexible design that remains functional in a variety of situations, it avoids the challenges of running wires in difficult locations, such as historic buildings, parking garages, and warehouses.

Wireless smart systems simplify central station reporting, so the status of the system can be monitored constantly. They also allow for mobile app control. This enables panels and alarms to be remotely managed, alerts of danger to be received from any location, and individual detectors to be monitored. As with an app for surveillance and access control systems, a mobile phone application for your fire detection system can let you:

  • Activate/deactivate the system
  • Check the status of zones
  • Add/manage/assign users
  • View email alerts
  • Access fire safety reports

How Fire Alarms Work with Access Control

Fire alarm systems can now be fully integrated with access control infrastructure. With this integration, a signal can automatically unlock doors that are connected electronically. The trigger of electric locks enables people to safely exit when detectors sense a fire or smoke condition. Otherwise, it would be difficult for occupants to egress a building where there is immediate danger.

Fail-safe locks are required per NFPA 101. It requires doors to automatically unlock if there is a loss of power to the access control system. This functionality is not present in a fail-secure electric lock. The NFPA guidelines also require electric locks to be interconnected with an automatic fire alarm and sprinkler system. During an emergency, such a system can promptly disconnect power from a lock mechanism so people can respond to warnings and protect themselves.

The standard also requires motion detectors that automatically release electric locks. In addition, it calls for egress systems that disengage power to electric locks via mechanical disruption. This type of setup usually involves a double-pole, double-throw momentary push-button switch (can be installed as an easily recognizable pull switch).

Contact Boyd & Associates

Boyd & Associates is a full-service commercial security and monitoring company offering the latest in integrated fire alarm systems. Focused on protecting homes and businesses in Southern California, we’ve also developed advanced security, access control, smart lock, and smartphone app solutions. We employ trained security teams to provide a swift response to emergencies.

Our fire, smoke, and carbon monoxide detection systems include hardwired and wireless devices. These use light, sound, and text alerts to notify users of a problem, and use a backup battery and cellular connection in case of a power failure. Our monitoring station is UL Listed and operational 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

To request service or more information, call Boyd & Associates at 888-343-2852 or contact us online today.

Source:
  1. https://www.nfpa.org/News-and-Research/Data-research-and-tools/Building-and-Life-Safety/US-Structure-in-Office-Properties