Monday, February 29, 2016

Home Security Systems And How To Keep Your Family Safe

Home security systems provide many benefits for consumers including providing home security, peace of mind, and even higher resale values for your home and lower insurance. A good comprehensive system will keep your home monitored 24 hours a day and provide an immediate response if something should ever occur. Signs in the front yard of window advertising that you have a security system are effective burglar deterrents, and if a break-in attempt occurs, the alarm will go off with a loud siren and contact the authorities. Alarm system companies provide components and service for comprehensive coverage.

Good components to add to you home security system include window and door transmitters. These use a magnetic field to indicate when a door or window has been opened and are designed to be extremely reliable and convenient. A similar component that is valuable is a glassbreak detector uses an advanced signal processor to analyze sound to determine if it is glass breaking. Infrared motion sensors detect motion or body heat in areas that are covered, and are designed to be activated when no one will be home and moving through the spaces. Quality sensors will detect motion no matter where it is in the coverage area.

Alarm system companies utilizes top of the line technology to provide you with the best and most reliable home security systems. They have hundreds of options to choose from to keep you, your loved ones, and your valuables safe from any intruder that may be lurking in or around your home.

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Friday, February 26, 2016

What Type Of Fire Alarm Do I Need And Where Should I Put It?

It is probably quite evident that there are a number of fire alarms available, and at vastly varying prices, so it may be very difficult to understand the differences between Optical, Ionisation and Heat alarms. This guide is aimed at taking some of that confusion away.

So what is the difference between the models?

As stated above there are three types of alarm, each with its own uses.

Optical Alarm: This type of smoke alarm usually uses an infrared beam between two points, the alarm being triggered should the beam be disturbed. In much the same way as a criminal might trip an alarm when breaking into a bank vault or museum in the movies, if the beam is broken, the alarm will go off. It detects larger smoke particles best.

Ionisation Alarm: These alarms use 2 small plates (one charged positively, one negatively) and an alpha particle source to create a constant current running across the gap between the plates. When smoke enters the chamber it interferes with this process, interrupting the charge. When the charge drops, the alarm goes off. These alarms are best at detecting smaller smoke particles.

Heat Alarms: A heat alarm will trigger if the room temperature reaches a certain level. They do not detect smoke, and are not to be used as a substitute for a smoke alarm, but should be used in assisting these alarms for greater fire detection.

Why do we need different types of fire alarm?

Different types of alarm exist due to the different types of fire. Believe it or not, fires act in different ways depending on what is burning, and is important to identify the fire as quickly as possible. Different alarms are better at discovering different fires, and choosing the right alarm for the right room could save your life one day.

Fires can be particularly smokey, often caused by the burning of papers or clothing etc, and burn rapidly, producing smaller smoke particles. The Ionisation alarms are better at detecting these fires.

Other fires can be a lot less smokey, often being harder to detect, and are caused by the burning of carpets, sofas or electrical devices. These fires tend to burn less rapidly, producing larger smoke particles. Optical alarms will be better at detecting these fires.

Which fire alarm do I need?

This article is meant as a general guide, and for more detailed safety advice it is highly recommended that you contact your local Fire Service. This being said, the information below should help you decide.

Optical alarm: Living room, dining room, hallway
Ionisation alarm: Bedrooms, walk in wardrobes
Heat alarms: Dusty areas such as garages, unconverted lofts etc where the dust could interfere with the other alarm types.
Alarms are available as either battery operated, or mains operated with battery backup. The mains alarms will continue to work for a time after power is lost to the unit, but only as a backup. If this is the case, mains should be restored to the unit right away, or the battery changed.

Some alarms even come with the option of interconnectivity, meaning if one alarm sounds, then all the alarms sound. This is highly useful in larger properties where one alarm may not be heard by everyone. The idea is to raise the alarm to everybody right away - as soon as a fire starts - and having the alarms linked together will achieve this.

Fires are responsible for a large number of deaths each year, as we all know from the adverts broadcast on television or radio. This is a fact, and can be greatly reduced by just checking your alarm to be sure that it works, and that it is the correct alarm for the location it is placed. Be aware that alarms need replacing after a certain amount of time, and it is worth checking on the unit and to note the replace by date. If you are unsure, check with your local Fire Service.

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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Replacing Your Electrical Panel? Use A Licensed Electrician

Replacing your electrical panel is a good idea if you own or are purchasing an older home, especially if you are planning to bring along a truckload of modern appliances and electronics. The fuse box or circuit box that brings electricity into your home may not be big enough to accommodate your lifestyle and will soon exhibit some telltale signs that call for a visit from a licensed electrician.

Signs You Should Consider Replacing Your Electrical Panel

Inadequate Power - In order to accommodate the basic kitchen appliances, plus a home computer network, TVs, your HVAC system, and all other electronic conveniences found in most modern homes, homeowners typically need about 200 amps of power servicing the home. Most electrical panels only have 100 amps, so if you want to charge your cell phone, watch TV, and cook breakfast while you are drying your hair, you may have a problem such as flickering lights or a tripped breaker or blown fuse.

Still have Fuses - You may still need to consider replacing your electrical panel, even if you have no problems, if you still have fuses. Some older systems with fuses only have 60 amps coming to the house or may be improperly wired. To prevent a fuse from blowing out when it is overloaded, some homeowners put in larger fuses, which create a fire hazard. Circuit breaker systems are the safer route when replacing your electrical panel.

Age of Electrical Panel - Electrical panels are meant to last 20 to 30 years, so an upgrade is often necessary on a home that is older than that. You should have one circuit breaker or fuse for every wire or circuit to be in line with modern building codes.

Costs of Replacing Your Electrical Panel

Typically, when you upgrade service, the power company will bring new wires from the pole, add a new meter, and run any new wires to your main panel without charge to you; but, your electrician has to take some steps before and after the upgrade. Replacing your electrical panel can be a costly endeavor for several reasons:

Depending on the area of the country, wage rates for electricians vary.
Work permits and electrician licensing fees mandated by local law also vary.
The amount of work it takes to remove the old box and put in a new one can affect costs, especially if it is hard to access or requires demolition and replacement of walls, floors, or baseboards.
Replacing the panel can uncover other problems, such as obsolete wiring, that add to the cost. This is also true if the work is done in conjunction with remodeling.
When all costs are considered, the project for upgrading the panel might range from $900 to over $4,000. While there is no way to estimate the cost of panel replacement without a licensed electrician evaluating your particular situation, you can request multiple estimates from different electricians. The estimate should be detailed enough for you to get an understanding of the steps necessary in the upgrade.

Using a Licensed Electrician

Replacing your electric panel is not a job for amateurs. When you make a decision on which electrician to use, make sure to consider workmanship, quality of materials, and the extensiveness of the job, as broken out on the estimate. The supplies alone for the job are costly, so you do not want to waste materials on a job that will be unsafe or fail to pass local codes.

Replacing your electrical panel can be a smart, and safe, decision based on the age of your home and your power consumption.

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Saturday, February 20, 2016

adorne: Pop-Out™ Outlet

Unplug from ordinary with the adorne Pop-Out Outlet. This elegant solution hides your outlet until you need it. Simply push on the square face to "pop out" the outlets, then push the face back in for a clean finish.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Demonstration Captures Speed Of Today's Home Fires & Power Of Sprinklers

The Maine Fire Sprinkler Coalition hosted a demonstration on October 8, 2015, in Augusta to showcase the fierceness of today's fire and the impact home fire sprinklers have in rapidly responding to fire. Maine State Fire Marshal Joe Thomas narrates the demonstration.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

FAAST XS - Intelligent Aspiration Detection

Intelligent very high sensivity aspiration detection by Gamewell-FCI
Connects directly for Gamewell-FCI E3 Series and S3 Series signal line communication loop (SLC)
Protects up to 5000 sq/ft

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Important Steps To Take When Choosing Your Home Alarm System

A home alarm system can give you peace of mind knowing that your valuables and your property remain well protected at all times. An alarm going off scares off intruders and you also get alerted when there is an intrusion so you can take the necessary steps for your security. There are so many system options, meaning that you have to play your part when choosing so that you can get the most suitable for the security needs you have around your home.

Step 1 - Take a home survey to evaluate the number of doors and windows that you have and how many need protection from any possible intrusion. When you are aware of key areas needing security enhancement, you are in a better position to make a good system choice.

Step 2 - Determine which locations are best suited to have system keypads and control panels. One of the most convenient areas you can select for such features is near your front door or near your bedroom. Have the convenience and functionality when looking at the location.

Step 3 - Know your system options. Today wireless alarm systems have become very popular but you might also prefer the hardwired security systems. When looking at the options, consider the distance between the control panel and the doors or windows. Will your sensors be in a position to communicate effectively? How far will the wires need to be routed to the system? How much installation work is needed and what are the costs? They are some of the aspects that can help you make a good decision.

Step 4 - Decide whether you want a monitored system. This is a system that has a central station from where your home is watched at a fee. Alternatively, you can choose a self-monitoring system that can dial your phone or selected numbers when the alarm is triggered. Your choice should depend on what you find most reasonable or convenient.

Step 5 - Relate your alarm system with family habits. You of course do not want your alarm to go off every time your pet roams around the house or when a member of the family wakes up for a snack. It is important to know what your real needs are when choosing the system. When you know the exact needs you have, you can decide to have additional security features such as surveillance cameras, motion sensors and photo detectors among others.

Step 6 - Incorporate the alarm with other safety sensors. This is one of the best steps you can take to make sure that your home's security is maximized. You can choose a system that accommodates flood detectors, gas leakage detectors, smoke and fire detectors or even carbon monoxide sensors and any other safety feature you have around your home.

Step 7 - Choose an alarm system that is easy to use, but at the same time offers you maximum security in functionality. For instance, a system that gives you an easy time adding users or new codes is much better for your family's convenience.

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Monday, February 8, 2016

Why You May Need To Do Complete Rewiring

Most of the older homes were made before the electronic era that saw use of TVs, security systems, mobile phones, computers, and other consumer electronics increase drastically. It is no surprise saying that hooking such amenities in a home that has old fashioned wiring in place can be extremely dangerous for the safety of individuals and their property. Having an old-fashioned looking house does not mean the wiring for the house is itself old-fashioned and cannot work well with the modern consumer electronics. You need a professional wiring technician to advise you on what needs to be done; he may redo parts of the systems or do a complete overhaul.

Service capacity

Unlike the older homes built before 1960 that has a 60-amp service, the modern homes have a 100 amp services as a result of the increased use of home consumer electronics. Most of the insurance companies will be reluctant to insure houses with the 60-amp service, if at all they do, they will charge higher premiums.

The 100-amp service may not be appropriate for a home with air conditioning system, or other major appliances. If you want to upgrade your home to using such appliances you should contact a professional to advice on that.

While constructing your home or redoing a wiring system ensure the electrician leaves room for upgrade since there are chances you will to use more electrical appliances as time goes by. Having a higher rated system minimizes the risk of fire in case you overload your system.

The electrical panel

There are few branch circuits to conduct electricity inside a modern house. Most of the modern homes have around sixteen 120V circuits for small appliances and lighting, and around two 240V volts for heavy duty appliances. Not many of the older homes have the 240V circuits.

A standard circuit has to be protected from electricity overload, thus protect the home from major electrical hazards. Any house should have a fuse box from which the wiring system begins. Just like any other appliance or machine electrical panels and fuses wear out, thus in addition to carrying out routine repairs and upgrades, a home owner should know the signs of a faulty system and take appropriate action as soon as they are detected.

Any electrical system needs grounding; otherwise, it poses great risks to the homeowner. In case of an electrical malfunction the shock will flow to the ground via the grounding thus preventing users from getting a shock.

Always update obsolete electrical panels, including the circuit breakers for they are safer, convenient and reusable, unlike fuses which have a single lifetime.


If you detect any fault in your wiring system or realize that it has been in place for more than a decade, this is the right time to contact a professional electrician to get things fixed for you.

The first step to take when you want a wiring system fixed or redone is to hire a professional electrician to do inspect your system. He will then recommend what should be done to get your system in order. Remember that walls may have to be opened up during a rewiring process, so carefully plan the process to ensure your walls are sealed up as soon as possible.

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Friday, February 5, 2016

Home Heating Safety Dan Doofus is back in a new NFPA public service announcement. This time, Dan learns some important safety lessons about home heating.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Smoke Detectors - Avoid Fires and Save Lives

Fires in the home take many lives each year. They occur most often when the family is sleeping and a properly functioning smoke detector has repeatedly proven to prevent untimely fatalities.

Although the evidence clearly states smoke detectors do save lives many homes do not have properly functioning smoke detectors. There are many reasons for this; some people may object to the expense, for others reasoning may include not having the knowledge to install it properly. Some have smoke detectors with dead batteries in them - rendering the device useless. While it is recommended that batteries in each device be replaced every six months a lot of people will simply forget or remove a battery in an over sensitive detector and therefore the detector is essentially useless in the event of a fire.

Is Your Detector Too Sensitive? Calculations from the National Fire Protection Association and the U.S. Fire Administration suggest that large numbers of fires in the home are caused by Christmas trees and holiday lights. People are reminded to replace batteries at each time change and it is recommended to check them before adding any holiday decorations using electric as a safety measure in the event a fire occurs. While cooking holiday meals the smoke detector may sound the alarm but it is not recommended to take the batteries out. Tip: If your detector seems too sensitive, use a vacuum cleaner to clean dust out of the device as this can make a big difference.

Smoke Detector Placement In the United States, local laws vary on placement of these units in the home. The rule of thumb is one per level and one in the vicinity of each bedroom. Statistically, fatalities that do occur in homes with working smoke detectors are more often than not because most homes have only one per level and while asleep, residents hear the alarm too late.

In some areas, homes that are a new construction involve laws that are a bit stricter and take advantage of newer technologies. New homes must have smoke detection devices wired into the electrical system and provide devices in each bedroom. Many families are following suit and adding the wired alarms when updating homes. It's imperative to work with a professional in this situation. If you're looking to do this in the Atlanta area, it is imperative to contact an Atlanta electrician before attempting to install any electrical components in the home in order to ensure proper installation and keep safety hazards at bay.

Many state programs provide free fire protection equipment to low income residents. However after an Atlanta fire took the lives of three young sisters in 2009; many debates have sparked over the effectiveness of the older model devices. Atlanta electrical contractors are offering area residents advice on how to upgrade to newer wired models.

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