Fire Safety Tips for the Holidays

Decorating for the holidays can be an exciting time but with all the added candles, lights, and other decorations around your home, your risk for home fires increases. 

Keep your holidays merry and bright by following these fire safety tips. 

  1. Don’t Overload Your Circuits 

While celebrating during the holiday season, it’s easy to overload your circuits while trying to accommodate cooking appliances, lights, and other holiday decorations. Trying to squeeze all of your devices on one power strip can be hazardous to you and your home. Avoid adding extra lights and devices to a room with large appliances such as your kitchen. Use extension cords and power strips with circuit breakers for an added level of safety.  

  1.  Carefully Inspect Everything 

Your holiday decorations are probably being stored away in boxes for most of the year. Holiday decorations can deteriorate while being stored, causing lights to break or become damaged. Inspect each strand of light, looking for broken or missing bulbs, frayed wires, and damaged plugs. Damaged lights could cause an electric shock or fire when plugged in. 

  1. Water Your Christmas Tree

With candles, lights, and other holiday decorations, your Christmas tree can quickly become a major fire hazard. Usually, shorts in lights and open flame candles are the culprits to tree fires. Along with inspecting your lights, having a well-watered tree is a way to prevent these fires from happening. Remember, when placing your tree, keep it away from heat sources such as radiators and fireplaces. 

  1. Monitor Your Candles 

Everyone loves a festive candle filling their homes with the scent of the holidays. However, during the holiday season, it’s important to be careful with your candles. Christmas Eve, Christmas, and New Year’s day are when most home candle fires occur. When burning candles in your home, be sure to keep them at least 12 inches away from flammable objects such as curtains, bedding, books, and furniture. Also, never leave candles unattended and always make sure they are put out before leaving your home or going to bed. 

When celebrating the holiday with loved ones, it can be easy to forget the added risks that are associated with the season. Keep these fire safety tips in mind so you can keep yourself and your family safe while celebrating the holidays. 

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At American Security, we believe in keeping you, your business, and your family safe at every level. We are proud to be the New York area’s top choice for multi-tiered security since 1979. 

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Commonly Asked Questions About Auxiliary Radio Communication Systems

The New York City Fire Code mandates that high-rise buildings have an auxiliary radio communication system, or ARCS. With the NYC Fire Code changing every couple of years, it can be hard to keep up with all aspects of the code. In this deep dive, we will answer the most commonly asked questions about ARCS and how you or your business can stay compliant.

What is an auxiliary radio communication system, or ARCS? 

An ARCS is a two-way emergency radio network that may be installed throughout a building to communicate with the Fire Department in the event of a fire or other emergency. 

What is an auxiliary radio communication system, or ARCS made of?

An ARCS has many parts, usually including a base station, an antenna network, and a radio console. The base station receives and conducts radio signals throughout a building. Antenna networks are carefully designed to ensure the quality of radio signals, and lastly, a radio console. This radio console, or main communication system is most frequently placed in the lobby or main area of a building.

Does my building need one an ARCS?

If your building is a newly constructed, high-rise building, ARCS installation is required. Additionally, all buildings over 75 feet tall are designated by the NYC Fire Code to implement an ARCS.

Who can install an ARCS?

Only companies with master electrician qualifications are permitted to install auxiliary radio communications systems. At American Security, we have a team of experienced professionals that are qualified to install ARCS.

We’ve installed an ARCS— what now?

After installing your ARCS, it must get certified by passing two inspections. Your ARCS must be inspected to ensure your newly installed system passes both a Commissioning Test as well as an FDNY Acceptance test.

Once your ARCS has passed all necessary inspections, maintenance is important to ensure your system will last a long time, but more importantly, will work properly in an emergency situation.

Does my ARCS only need to be certified once?

No. NYC Fire Code states that ARCS must be inspected annually and re-certified completely every 5 years. 

What if there’s a power outage?

Your auxiliary radio communication system works even when the power is down. You may use it to communicate with the Fire Department with or without power.

In summary, the installation of an ARCS keeps your buildings safe and compliant. While it may seem like a hassle to keep up with the maintenance of these systems and follow NYC Fire Code, many businesses find it helpful to enlist the support of security companies to design, install, and maintain the auxiliary radio communication systems your business or building may require.

Need help staying NYC Fire Code compliant?  Click here to talk to one of our experts to learn more!

At American Security, we believe in keeping you, your property, and your family safe at every level. We are proud to be the New York area’s top choice for multi-tiered security since 1979. Give us a call today to speak with an expert and experience the American Security difference. Visit our website at www.americansecurity.com or contact us to learn more about our solutions today.

3 Fire Safety Tips for the 4th of July

This Fourth of July, wouldn’t you rather worry about how well done the burgers are rather than how to put out a building or home fire? American Security’s fire safety systems can help keep you safe and in compliance with New York City’s Fire Code. Here are three tips to do just that!

  1. Open Your Gas Grill before You Light It

Always keep your gas grill open when lighting it. A closed lid can trap gas, leading to a build up. A single spark can ignite all that gas at once. Between the pressure of the built-up gas and the closed environment of the lid, you could end up seriously ruining someone’s day. 

  1. Maintain a Three-Foot Fire Ring around Your Grill

The U.S. Fire Administration suggests that you leave an area three feet wide around your grill or any open flames. This helps keep pets and children safe and also prevents spills or loose flames from causing damage to nearby buildings.

  1. Update Your Building’s Fire Safety Systems

NYC Fire Code compliance requires you to routinely update your building’s fire safety systems. That means checking smoke detectors, maintaining fire protection devices, and a whole load of other things. All this helps to reduce the risk of property damage or personal injury in case of a fire.

Stay Safe and Have Fun!

These three tips are just the tip(s) of the iceberg! American Security is glad to provide fire safety tips and solutions for the Fourth of July and all year round. 

Contact our experts today to find out how you can avoid fines and fires. Enjoy peace of mind this Fourth of July with American Security.
At American Security, we believe in keeping you, your property, and your family safe at every level. We offer advanced and customizable home security options from video surveillance to fire alarms and beyond. American Security is proud to be the New York area’s top choice for multi-tiered security since 1979. Give us a call today to speak with an expert and experience the American Security difference. Visit our website at www.americansecurity.com or contact us to learn more about our solutions today.

Top 2018 Home Fire Safety Tips

Did you know people often have as little as 2 minutes to escape from home fires? Are you fire ready? Nobody wants to think their home might be a target for a life-threatening fire but it can happen to anybody.

Here are some of American Security’s top tips to keep your home and family protected and ready:

  • In the event of a fire emergency, every second counts. Be prepared ahead of time and practice your home escape plan at least twice a year. Find alternative ways to get out of each room in your house in case the primary exit is blocked by fire or smoke.
  • Teach children to call out to firefighters or other emergency responders  in the case of an emergency – not hide from them.
  • Of course, a working fire alarm system in every level of your home  is a must and will greatly increase your chance of surviving a deadly home fire. Test smoke alarms every month and make sure to replace batteries as needed.
  • Make sure all of your windows are working properly, that window screens can be taken out quickly and that security bars are able to be opened.
  • Not all fire alarms make sound – accessible smoke alarms with a vibrating pad or flashing light are available for the hearing impaired.  If you are hearing impaired, learn more about the options available to you. Additionally, smoke alarms with strobe lights are available for the outside of your home to signal to neighbors that you’re in danger.
  • Preparation is key but when you are actually in a deadly fire emergency, crawl low to get underneath of smoke as smoke rises up, don’t open doors or door knobs if they are hot, and if your clothes catch fire – stop, drop, and roll.

Home fires are deadly but the worst can be prevented with proper preparation. When it comes to life safety, there is no margin for error. That’s why our customers have been relying on American Security to protect their homes, businesses, and facilities since 1979. We have been installing monitoring and maintaining security, fire and interactive video systems throughout the tristate area and specialize in commercial and multi-family housing applications.

Visit our website at www.americansecurity.com or contact us to learn more about our solutions today.