Life-Safety Posts

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Last week, we featured a list of the Top 5 Worst US States for Fire Safety. We received some positive feedback from the post, so we decided to present you with the five safest states in that same category. By doing this, we hope to make everyone to be a little bit more aware of fire safety.

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Before we present our list, we have a few things that we want you to keep in mind. Living in one of these states does not make you or your family immune to fires. You must have a plan in place for dealing with a fire in the event that one occurs in your household. The best time to take action is before any serious damage or loss of life occurs. A good place to start is by getting a monitored security system with programmed smoke and heat detectors for fire-safety. Make sure that your system and sensors are working correctly, and remember to test them regularly. Always put your system on test mode before testing to prevent any false alarms and potential fines.

Also, work with all members of your household to ensure that everyone follows proper fire safety practices. This includes any children in your household, as well as anyone who is elderly, hard of hearing, or may have trouble moving. Put a proper fire-safety plan into place, and make sure that everyone in your household is aware of that plan and how to follow it. You may even want to hold regular fire drills in your household or enlist help from your local fire department by contacting them on their non-emergency phone number for additional ideas and support. And make sure to check out our post on the top ten (10) causes for house fires so that you can understand how most fires occur and what actions can be taken to prevent them.

If you saw our previous post on the five (5) worst states for fire safety, then you will already understand our methodology. Our list represents the average number of fire-related deaths per million people per year across the years 2013 thru 2017. The statistics we are using were reported by the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA). This represents the newest NFPA data that we were able to find. We believe that this data presents a pretty accurate picture of current fire safety, even though it is technically a few years old at this point.

The table below shows the five (5) US states that have the lowest average number of fire-related death per million people per year for 2013 thru 2017. Just like last time, we have included earlier groupings of years in the graph. While it is interesting to look at how these statistics have changed over time, please understand that these five states made this lists exclusively because of their 2013 thru 2017 statistics. With that out of the way, let's take a look.

Based on this information, the five best states for fire safety are:

  • 5. Massachusetts
  • 4. Colorado
  • 3. Hawaii
  • 2. California
  • 1. Utah

Before breaking down this list in fine detail, it's very good to see that fire-related casualties do indeed suggest a downward trend over time. Four of these five states have seen their average annual rate of fire-related deaths be reduced by at least half their NFPA-reported statistic since 1981. And when looking at Massachusetts, the figure has been cut down to less than one-third!

Massachusetts was the only state in the Top 5 to not get its average annual fire-related death rate under six (6) deaths per one million people. The state came very close with its rate of 6.1. Still, keeping the average number of fire-related deaths to just 6.1 for every one million legal residents is pretty remarkable. And what's more promising is that the figure has the potential to go further down.

The only state without a clear downward trend on this list is Hawaii. The Aloha State posted the lowest figure in the entire study, with just 2.8 deaths per million people on average from 2008 to 2012, only to see that figure nearly double to 5.3 deaths per million people on average from 2013 to 2017. Still, that 5.3 figure is good enough for third place in the entire country.

Some observers might be surprised to see California anywhere on this list, let alone being landing second place for fire safety. The state has a notorious reputation for its wildfires, and they seem to be an annual occurrence for the region. It's important to consider that this list is strictly measuring loss of human life in determining these rankings. While California certainly has its ongoing issues with wildfires, it's clear that the state has done an excellent job of ensuring the safety of its citizens when dealing with these natural disasters, at least when covering the years 2013 thru 2017.

Congratulations to Utah for having the lowest average rate of fire-related deaths per million people for 2013 thru 2017. The state had just 4.6 fire-related deaths per million people on average for these years. However, Utah has reported lower fire-related deaths in the past, so it's anyone's guess whether the figure will go up or down the next time this information is collected.

Remember, these states made this list not because fires don't occur in their areas, but because its residents know how to take proper action when fires do occur. Knowing what to do in the event of a fire is equally as important as preventing fires in the first place. And never forget that while most of your possessions and your home can be replaced, the lives of those around you cannot.

If you are looking for top-quality residential fire monitoring, then Alarm Grid is happy to help you get started. We encourage you to reach out to us for more information by emailing support@alarmgrid.com, or by calling (888) 818-7728. Keep in mind that our support hours run from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. Our experts can help you determine the perfect system for your household, and we can work with you to choose the best life-safety accessories for your needs. We look forward to working with you and your family to help you remain fire safe.

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At Alarm Grid, one thing we take very seriously is fire safety. Our security systems integrate with smoke and heat detectors that trigger fire alarms when activated. Most residential users can use central station monitoring to receive automatic dispatch in the event of a fire alarm.

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Although fire safety is important no matter where you live, statistics show that some areas experience higher rates of serious fires than others. We decided to look into this a little bit further to determine the five (5) worst US states for fire safety. Not only are these statistics rather interesting, they can also be quite eye-opening if you live in one of these states.

Our method for determining the worst US states for fire safety was quite simple. We just took a look at the average number of fire-related deaths per million people per year for the years 2013 thru 2017, as reported by the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA). This is the newest NFPA data we were able to find. Although this data is a few years old, it should still be quite accurate in determining the biggest offenders for fire safety.

In the table below, you will see the five (5) US states that have the highest average number of fire-related deaths per million people per year for 2013 thru 2017. You will also see earlier groupings of years in the graph. We won't focus too much on the earlier years, but it is good to see that fire-related deaths are generally decreasing. All of these states have experienced at least 11 fewer fire-related deaths per million people per year on average when comparing the years 1981 to 1985 with the years 2013 to 2017. That in itself is a good sign that these states are improving their fire safety.

Based on this information, the five worst states for fire safety are:

  • 5. Alabama
  • 4. Alaska
  • 3. Arkansas
  • 2. Mississippi
  • 1. West Virginia

We understand that this is an overly-simple ideology for ranking states based on fire safety, but it is still interesting nonetheless. And just because your state is on this list doesn't mean that you should get discouraged. Whether or not your household or business practices proper fire safety techniques is up to you, not the rest of your state. Therefore, you should do your part to prevent yourself and those around you from becoming another unfortunate statistic in this dataset.

To keep your home or business as safe as possible, you should start by making sure that the building is properly outfitted with smoke detectors. It is recommended that you have at least one smoke detector on each floor. There should also be a smoke detector inside of every sleeping area and inside any large central area. Great locations for smoke detectors include bedrooms, hallways, living rooms, and any big room in a business. You may also use standalone heat detectors in areas that are not suitable for traditional smoke detectors. These include bathrooms, garages, kitchens, and basements. Remember to test your smoke and heat detectors at least once per month and change their batteries regularly. If your smoke and heat detectors are enrolled with a monitored alarm panel, then make sure to place your system on test mode first to avoid false alarms.

We also strongly advise viewing this post we made last year about the top ten (10) causes for house fires. Understand how fires are caused, and take the proper actions to prevent them. Make sure that every member of your household or business is as fire safety conscious as you are. You should hold regularly scheduled fire drills in your home or business. Get everyone involved, and make it a group activity. It is crucial that you have an action plan and that everyone else in your home or business understands and follows that plan. You may even want to reach out to your local fire department on their non-emergency number to see if they can help you maintain fire safety.

Remember, fire-related deaths are something that you and those around you can prevent. But you need to take action beforehand. Once you lose someone to a fire, you can't bring them back. Let's work together to make this decade the safest yet. If you want to learn more about fire-safety or our residential fire monitoring services, then you can always reach out to us by emailing support@alarmgrid.com. Remember that our support hours run from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to helping you remain fire safe!

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Actress Anna Faris, known for her comedic roles, suffered from a not-so-funny incident over the recent Thanksgiving Holiday. The actress and 12 members of her family were the victims of a carbon monoxide (CO) gas incident. The incident occurred in a North Lake Tahoe cabin they were renting.

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A representative from the North Tahoe Fire Protection District stated that the vacation cabin had carbon monoxide levels as high as 55 parts per million (ppm). Long-term indoor exposure should be no higher than 15 ppm. The structure did not have any carbon monoxide sensors installed to indicate such danger. Nevada state law requires CO alarms in all family dwellings.

Thankfully, Anna Faris and her family are okay following the incident. However, two of her family members visited the local emergency room. Doctors diagnosed them with CO poisoning, and they were perfectly fine after receiving some care. Firefighters from the North Tahoe FD immediately rushed to the cabin and saved Ms. Faris and her accompanying family shortly thereafter.

According to North Lake Tahoe Fire Official Erin Holland, the CO levels indicated inside the building would have caused a "fatality in a short period of time" had the rescue team not intervened. Faris made sure to send her sincere gratitude to the North Tahoe FD following the incident.

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We have spoken about the dangers of carbon monoxide gas many times on the Alarm Grid blog. The odorless and tasteless gas kills hundreds of people every year in the United States. If it weren't for the quick work of local firefighters, a talented actress and her family may have fallen victim as well. They are lucky to be alive, and the rescue team deserves praise for the fact that any exposure was kept as minimal as possible.

As you know by now, it is crucial to have carbon monoxide sensors installed in your home. Ideally, you should have CO detectors enrolled with your security system. By pairing these devices with a system that has active monitoring service, you and/or a central station can receive alerts regarding any of your CO sensors that activate while you are away.

If your home has hardwired high-voltage CO sensors (as is required in most jurisdictions), you can indirectly integrate these devices with your alarm system using a wireless takeover listening module. We offer variants for 345 MHz, and 433 MHz wireless alarm systems. And if you don't have hardwired CO detectors in your home, then we sell plenty of standalone units that pair directly with alarm panels like any other sensor.

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When traveling, make sure that all on-site CO sensors and smoke detectors are working properly. If you have any doubts, ask the building operators to perform a test. This is a reasonable request that any property manager should be able to accommodate. Please note that we ARE NOT suggesting that you bring canned CO gas or canned smoke on an airplane for testing purposes. That could get you into a lot of trouble. Make arrangements for on-site testing, without bringing your own supplies.

It may also be a good idea to buy a cheap conventional battery-operated carbon monoxide sensor when you get to your vacation site. It may turn out that the place you visit does not have CO detectors. This was the case with Anna Faris and her family. We do not sell standalone battery-operated CO detectors on our website. But you can get most models between $10 and $20 from most department and hardware stores. Some models will even show you the detected parts per million for CO gas! If you are staying in a larger property, you may want to obtain multiple sensors.

Remember that our goal at Alarm Grid is to keep you and your loved ones safe. If you ever need help choosing a carbon monoxide sensor for your system, or if you would like to learn more about how we can monitor your home, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com. You are also invited to call us at (888) 818-7728 during our usual business hours of 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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