A Fire Safety Makeover for Our Home @TheHomeDepot

On October 30, 2012, by Glenda Embree- BusyAtHome

October is nearly over, which means Fire Safety Awareness Month is also at a close, but that doesn’t mean you should wait until it rolls around, again, next year before giving some serious thought to whether your home and family are really prepared for the possibility of a fire. The end of October signals something [...]

October is nearly over, which means Fire Safety Awareness Month is also at a close, but that doesn’t mean you should wait until it rolls around, again, next year before giving some serious thought to whether your home and family are really prepared for the possibility of a fire. The end of October signals something else – the beginning of cold weather and the time of year where furnaces, fireplaces, wood stoves and space heaters get their maximum use. Fire, smoke and carbon monoxide are real dangers, all year long, but even more so during these winter months. We got serious, this week, about a long overdue fire safety makeover on our home. You’ll remember that I attended The Home Depot’s free Fire Safety workshop with my daughter and we learned a lot about safety and products for our home. The Home Depot has a fantastic selection and people to answer our questions about what would work best in our home. We found everything we needed to get started, plus received a very generous gift of fire safety equipment from The Home Depot, for sharing our makeover with you.

First off, all the fire extinguishers we owned were left in our last house, when we moved. We will still purchase a couple more for other levels of the house and the garage, but for now, we started with two that are critical to me. The kitchen is, of course, a logical place to keep a fire extinguisher, but space can sometimes be a factor – not just because they take up room, but because you want them somewhere easily accessible for those who could use it, but not necessarily out where small children or pets can get into trouble with them. I had never seen these awesome “kitchen-size” extinguishers, before, so I was really excited to learn about them. It’s a one-use, Class ABC fire extinguisher that is perfect for a small kitchen fire and stores easily in the cupboard, right beside my range. I’m very pleased about this find.

kitchen extinguisher

This small kitchen fire extinguisher, we bought at Home Depot, is the perfect fit for the kitchen and easy to operate with it's spray nozzle.

 

cabinet extinguisher

See how easy it is to store in the cabinet right next to the stove? Perfect!

We placed a larger Class ABC (remember those work on all fire types – grease & liquids, wood, electrical, etc.) fire extinguisher on the shelf in a hall “pantry overflow” closet, near all three of our bedrooms. Again, I didn’t want it on the wall where grandbabies would have easy access to it with curious little fingers, but still in a space where the rest of us could get to it quickly. Eventually, I would like to have one of these models in each bedroom closet, one in the basement where the woodburning fireplace is and one in the garage.

fire extinguisher

This larger extinguisher is stowed in a closet, central to all three bedrooms, and up out of the reach of tiny fingers.

Though we’ve often talked about it, we had never installed carbon monoxide detectors in our home and that was another project high on my priority list for this makeover. The first one was installed in the basement utility room about 20 feet from our furnace and gas water heater and the second went in the hall outside the three bedrooms. It’s recommended that, first and foremost, you install a carbon monoxide detector in a central location, just outside, and in the immediate vicinity of, all the bedrooms, in your home. Additionally, for greatest safety it’s a good idea to place one in every bedroom and in the room with gas appliances like furnaces and water heaters. Remember, carbon monoxide has no odor. You won’t detect it by smell and the failures that cause them, often occur in the night, while people are sleeping. Without detectors to waken them, some of those people will simply never wake up before the odorless gas suffocates them. CO2 detectors are important for your family’s safety and they are so easy to install. Don’t procrastinate another day on this one.

carbon monoxide detector

One carbon monoxide detector went into the basement utility room where the furnace and hot water heater are housed. The second went into the upstairs hallway outside the bedrooms.

The last item in our makeover was an escape ladder. We are actually going to purchase one more, so we have one in each of the west bedrooms. Our home is a multi-level building and those two bedrooms are over the driveway with a good 10 or 12 foot drop from the windows to the ground. In the case of a fire, where the windows are the only safe exit, we want to be sure the kids can get down safely. Escape ladders are an important part of your fire safety plan, but I’m begging you, PLEASE do not buy one, slide the box under the bed or in the closet and expect to be able to use it when you are in the middle of a frightening and stressful situation.

fire ladder

The Home Depot supplied this fire safety ladder for our home.

This nice Kidde brand ladder we got from The Home Depot doesn’t require any assembly, but it is carefully packaged with cardboard and plastic wrappings and strong tape. Unpack your escape ladder, remove all the packing material and carefully read the instructions on how to safely use it. Prepare yourself and your kids with all the information you need, BEFORE you are in a situation where you might have to use it. We have showed our kids how to remove their window screens and push the casement windows wide open. They had to learn that you attach the escape ladder to the sill with the white arms facing in and the red out and to make sure it is secure before releasing the steps. Kids need to understand about climbing down and keeping their bodies as close to the ladder as possible, if they are by themselves; and that the strongest person should go out first, (if there is more than one person), so they can help stabilize the ladder for the others who will be climbing down.

window

Teaching kids how to remove window screens and safely deploy the escape ladder is a critical part of your fire escape plan.

 

window escape

Make sure everyone knows how to secure the ladder to the window frame properly before putting down the steps.

Lastly, make an escape plan with your family. Does everyone living in your home know two different exits from every room, in case there was a fire? Have you discussed how to safely exit your house, no matter where they are in it, who to take with them, who not to wait for, what not to worry about grabbing to take with them and where to meet when you are all outside your home? Don’t take it for granted that your six-year-old knows they should just leave the house and not run upstairs to try and find a sibling or the family pet. You need to say those words to them and you need to practice. None of us wants to scare our children, unnecessarily, but none of us wants to go through the experience of losing them because we didn’t prepare them to be safe, either. Make a plan. Teach it to your family. Practice it. Be safe.

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I’m not an expert on fire safety, but I care about every last one of you, and about each of your families. At this time of year, the potential for fire is elevated. Please take some time to makeover your home and your family to be as safe as you can be in the event of a fire. Visit your local fire station or a free workshop, do the research it takes to keep you and your loved ones safe. The tips I’ve shared are important, but by no means are they an exhaustive list of the steps you should take. You need to read the manufacturer’s instructions that come with your own escape ladder and every fire safety device you install. Be familiar with them, no how to use them and teach your family how to use them, before you ever need them. My prayer is that you never do, but you and I will both sleep better, knowing we have taken the necessary steps to protect our homes and loved ones.

How do you teach your family about fire safety? Do you have an escape plan? Have you involved your kids in installing safety equipment? I’d love to hear the ways all of you have handled this important job.

This post is part of a compensated blogger campaign, highlighting Fire Safety Awareness Month, on behalf of The Home Depot.  I was not instructed to buy any product and made the choice to purchase fire extinguishers, on my own.  The Home Depot believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. The Home Depot’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.  As with all Busy-at-Home reviews, the views and opinions expressed are wholly my own and based on my personal experience with the company and products.

October is Fire Prevention Month – Are Your Home and Family Prepped?

On October 18, 2012, by Glenda Embree- BusyAtHome

Making sure your family and home are prepared to prevent fire and to know how to handle the situation if there is a fire, is SO important, but often something we’re not sure how to approach. October is Fire Prevention Month and Home Depot has some great resources and tips to help. Have you worked [...]

Making sure your family and home are prepared to prevent fire and to know how to handle the situation if there is a fire, is SO important, but often something we’re not sure how to approach. October is Fire Prevention Month and Home Depot has some great resources and tips to help.

Have you worked out a fire escape plan with your family?  Do you practice regular safety and prevention steps to keep your family and your home safe and prepared?  Do you even know what those might be?  I wasn’t sure I did; and I’m excited to be attending the free workshop at my local Home Depot, this Saturday, so I can be sure I’m doing all that I can.   You can check out the location and time for the workshop near you by visiting Home Depot’s Weekly Workshop page and inputting your location.

fiore prevention

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The Home Depot partnered with bloggers such as me to help promote Fire Safety Awareness Month. As part of this promotion, I received compensation for my time.  A positive review was not required and any writing is my own.  As with all Busy-at-Home reviews and posts, the views and opinions expressed are wholly my own and based on my personal experience with the company and/or products.   The Home Depot believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. The Home Depot’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.  

Champions for Kids: Energizer’s “Light Up a Life” Simple Service Project

On February 13, 2012, by Glenda Embree- BusyAtHome

Last month, I got to share my first Champions for Kids simple service project with you.  I’m so pleased to have an opportunity to complete a second project in our community and share how you can get involved, right where you live.  This month, Champions for Kids is partnered with Energizer to  prepare kits to [...]


Last month, I got to share my first Champions for Kids simple service project with you.  I’m so pleased to have an opportunity to complete a second project in our community and share how you can get involved, right where you live.  This month, Champions for Kids is partnered with Energizer to  prepare kits to help children stay safe and be prepared.

Over 9 million children suffer from non-fatal injuries each year, and accidents are the leading cause of death for children. Additionally, dangerous weather events cause hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries every year.  70% of power outages in the U.S. are weather related. Numerous power failures are caused by natural weather phenomena such as lightening, rain, snow, ice, wind, and even dust.  The Center of Disease Control recommends having a kit ready in preparation for any emergency that may arise. They recommend the kit include food, water, flash light, extra batteries, medications, first aid kit, sanitation and personal hygiene items, copies of personal documents, and other necessities. It’s a good idea for all of us to prepare ourselves and our children for emergency situations that may occur.  But we can do even more, by helping agencies and organizations in our communities that serve children, to also be prepared in emergency events.

This past weekend was especially poignant for me and for many others in our community, members of my local church, specifically.  We held our first service in our “new to us” church building, Sunday morning.  I say new to us, because rather than starting from scratch when we began building to accommodate our growing congregation, our church purchased an old WalMart building in town and recycled it into the most wonderful house of worship.  I think you will agree with me that nothing about it resembles its former purpose.

Seward church

After holding our first worship service, here, on Sunday, it's hard to beleive this was ever a WalMart!

 

As I decided what I wanted to do to help with child safety in our community, my mind was continually drawn back to this church and the hundreds of children it serves each week.  Cold weather and it’s dangers are very real in frigid Nebraska winters, but they are also something that all of us are so accustomed to, that preparation and safety are almost second nature here.  Our new building even has a back-up generator built-in, should we find ourselves without power for a time.  However, there IS one weather-related danger that even though we always expect it, when it will appear, and the speed with which it happens, requires quick thinking and preparedness to provide adequate shelter and safety.  It’s a summer-time weather hazard that Nebraskans know all to well – TORNADOES!

While you could doubtlessly find children being served on any day of the week, at Hillcrest Evangelical Free Church, Wednesday nights there are hundreds of kids, from infants to 8th graders, involved in nursery, AWANA and youth group activities.  I was present on one of those evenings when a tornado warning was issued and all the children need to be moved to safety.  I decided that I wanted to design my Energizer Simple Service Project with Champions for Kids to help the church be well prepared to keep children in their care, happy and safe, and to know well in advance if tornado weather was threatening.  I will be preparing a “Light Up a Life Care Kit” for the children in our church.  Energizer has some great products that will be essential elements in creating it.

You can be one of the millions who help your community be a prepared and safe haven for children.  Getting involved with Champions for Kids Simple Service Projects is incredibly easy and so rewarding.  How will you engage your co-workers, community leaders or church members to provide safety kits for kids in your town?  Visit the Champions for Kids website to get fantastic ideas and support, to report on your project and to find out more about how important and needed your help is.  I can’t wait to hear how you bless the kids in your own town!

This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias.  #EnergizerCFK #CBias As with all Busy-at-Home posts, views and opinions expressed are wholly my own.

 

First Alert Combination Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Voice Alarm Giveaway!

On November 5, 2011, by Glenda Embree- BusyAtHome

The 30 Days of Blogiversary Giveaways is going strong and there are still great opportunities for you to win excellent gifts for your home and family.  Be watching for Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day, a six-book Imagination Station historical fiction series from the producers of Adventures in Odyssey, a Sodastream Fizz [...]

The 30 Days of Blogiversary Giveaways is going strong and there are still great opportunities for you to win excellent gifts for your home and family.  Be watching for Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day, a six-book Imagination Station historical fiction series from the producers of Adventures in Odyssey, a Sodastream Fizz Starter Kit to make fresh soda in your own home, fabulous new lotions from Carmex, a Sansa Clip Zip MP3 player with screen, a Chex Party Mix Gift Pack, and a couple more surprises.  In the meantime, though, I am so excited to be able to give away this fantastic combination alarm from First Alert.

smoke detector

If you read my earlier posts, you know that October was Fire Safety Month, but now that we have marched on into November, it doesn’t mean you should let your guard down when it comes to protecting your family and your home from fire hazards.  There are some great year-round tips that you should keep in mind:

  1. Have an escape plan and practice it.  Make sure your entire family knows how they would get out of the house in the case of a fire and where you would all meet on the outside.
  2. Keep your clothes dryer lint-free.  Certainly keeping the lint trap and exhaust hoses cleaned out is important, but at least once a year, you should remove the back of your dryer and clean out any lint build up inside the machine.  A large number of house fires have been started in clothes dryers.
  3. Have your furnace serviced annually, to check for leaks or damaged parts.
  4. Change furnace filters on a regular basis so the furnace can get the proper air-flow it needs to function properly.
  5. Don’t store boxes, papers or other flammable items next to furnaces or water heaters that operate with open flame pilot lights.  Not only are these a fire hazard, but they prevent the proper air-flow those appliances need to function and operate efficiently.
  6. When you change your clocks (Daylight Savings time will be over this weekend.), be sure to check and change the batteries in all your smoke detectors and alarms.

I had never realized before that studies show children are wakened more easily by the sound of a voice speaking to them than by an alarm.  Knowing that made me even more excited about First Alert’s Combination Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Voice Alarm.  Our house has all the properly installed smoke alarms, but we didn’t have one for carbon monoxide, so it was a relief to add this alarm to the safety equipment in our home.

Our grandkids were here the first time we tested the alarm.  I was concerned it might startle or frighten our grandson (age 2) and so I was explaining to him and his two older sisters what we were going to do.  They were a little apprehensive, but huddled around to see what would happen.  When I pushed the test button, there was a loud alarm, then a pause, and then a very authoritative voice explaining that there was a fire and that we needed to get out of the house.  I knew what was going to happen and even I was a little startled and surprised when we heard the voice instructing us to leave.  It was perfect and definitely got everyone’s attention.  I was also worried for nothing, when it came to my grandson.  He was very excited and said, “Gramma, I do it?  I want to talk.”   -lol -  I haven’t tested it when the kids are sleeping, yet, but we will definitely be doing that soon.

First Alert’s Combination Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Voice Alarm (Model SC07CN-C) gives me peace of mind that we are better prepared to protect our family in an emergency situation.  You can purchase them for your own homes at stores like WalMart, Lowes, Target and more.  Check out First Alert’s list of places to buy one and be sure to enter our giveaway.  That’s right!  First Alert has generously sponsored a giveaway so that one lucky Busy-at-Home reader can win this great safety product for their own home.

Giveaway Rules:

You must be 18 or older and a resident of the U.S. to enter.   Mandatory Entry must be completed before any optional entries will count.   Winner will be selected in a random drawing using random.org.  Deadline to enter is midnight, (CST), Sunday, November 20, 2011.  Winner will be notified by email and have 48 hours to respond with shipping information.  After 48 hours, a new winner will be selected.

Mandatory Entry:

In a comment below, tell me where you would install the First Alert’s Combination Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Voice Alarm (Model SC07CN-C), if you are the giveaway winner.


Optional Additional Entries:

    1. Like First Alert on Facebook.  Leave a comment below with your Facebook Name to let me know you’ve done it.
    2. Follow First Alert on Twitter.  Leave a comment letting me know you’ve done it.
    3. Follow Busy-at-Home on Twitter.  Leave a comment letting me know you’ve done it.
    4. Like Busy-at-Home on Facebook. Leave a comment letting me know you’ve done it.
    5. Follow Busy-at-Home on Google Friends Connect.  (click the JOIN button in the right-hand sidebar.) Leave a comment letting me know you’ve done it.
    6. Subscribe to the Busy-at-Home Newsletter with this link or in the right-hand sidebar.  You will receive an email confirmation with a link that must be clicked to confirm your subscription.  Once you click the email link to confirm your subscription, leave me a comment to let me know you’ve done it.
    7. Tweet this giveaway (maximum of 1x per day, please).  Win a First Alert Combo Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Voice Alarm – excellent child safety technology @busyathome @FirstAlert http://ow.ly/7k0dM   Leave a comment below with a link to your tweet.
    8. Post this giveaway on your Facebook pageWin a First Alert Combo Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Voice Alarm – excellent child safety technology @busyathome @FirstAlert http://ow.ly/7k0dM   Leave a comment below with a link to your post.

I received a First Alert’s Combination Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Voice Alarm (Model SC07CN-C) in order to evaluate the product and write this review.  No monetary  compensation was received and a positive review was not required.  As always, at Busy-at-Home, the views and opinions expressed are wholly my own. 

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