Fire Safety Tips for Fall

Fall has fallen! With the turn of the season, it is important to protect your family and property from all of the fire hazards associated with autumn. 

Here are some of American Security’s top fire safety tips for the fall:

  1. Be extra careful with your candles

Autumn is a great time to light up those pumpkin pie-fragranced candles! But, candles are some of the most frequent causes of house fires. This season, make sure to exercise caution with your candles by always setting them on sturdy surfaces away from other flammable objects, lighting them only when attended, and blowing them out when you leave the house. You can also consider flameless alternatives like oil diffusers and plugin fragrances for a fire-safe way to make your home smell festive.

  1. Check on your furnace

With cooler weather comes a cooler household. Before you start turning on the heat, make sure to call your heating company to do a regulatory check-up on your furnace. Any leaks or damages can put your house in danger!

  1. Make sure your smoke alarms are working properly

This year when you’re changing your clocks for Daylight Savings, make sure to also swap out the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. And don’t forget to check and replace your fire extinguishers if need be. 

  1. Exercise caution with your fireplace

Want to make your living room extra cozy by lighting up the fireplace? Make sure to exercise extra caution. Make sure your fireplace is contained and that no extraneous flammable materials are close by. Consider investing in a fire-smothering blanket in the event that a fire spreads. Never leave a lit fireplace unattended and double-check that the embers are completely extinguished before going to sleep.

  1. Don’t burn those leaves

Burning your raked leaves isn’t only a fire hazard, it’s potentially cancer-causing! According to the Environmental Protection Agency, burning fall leaves releases carcinogenic chemicals. If you do choose to burn your leaves, be sure to see that the weather is not too windy and can be done in a secure area away from a house or other flammable materials.

All in all, fall is a wonderful time to enjoy all things fragrant and festive, though it does come with its seasonal risks. At American Security, we believe there is no margin for error when it comes to life safety, so we highly recommend you take these fire prevention measures to enjoy a festive and fire-free fall!

Learn about our fire protection services here: https://americansecurity.com/#fire

About American Security

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. 

Explore our security solutions

How to Keep Your Property Safe This Halloween

Spooky season is here! Did you know that crime goes up by 50% on Halloween night?

It turns out that ghosts, ghouls, and goblins aren’t the only spooky things you need to look out for this festive time of year— you’ll also need to protect your home from vandalism, theft, and burglary.

Here’s a couple of tips to keep your property safe this Halloween:

  1. Set up surveillance around your home

If you don’t have it already, home security systems and cameras are some of the best ways to deter criminals from taking interest in your property. Before Halloween, make sure to see that your cameras are working and that they’re receiving unobstructed footage so that in the event of an attempt, you can have video footage of the crime. Check out American Security’s surveillance solutions here.

  1. Stay in

If you can, plan on staying home altogether. Your property is at a higher risk when no one is inside to safeguard it.

With someone home, the odds of a house break go down significantly, and if one still occurs— you’re there to report it immediately!

  1. Keep the lights on

Home or not, another excellent way to deter crime is by keeping the lights on! Burglars are less inclined to approach a house that looks currently occupied or lived-in. Find other ways to signify that the house is full of people, like leaving the TV on or playing music.

  1. Prepare for the worst

As the saying goes: “Hope for the best but prepare for the worst.” There’s nothing more spooky than being unprepared if the worst-case scenario pans out. Before Halloween, take small but effective measures to make your home an unappealing target for burglary. This means using several layers of protection, not just one. It starts with video surveillance, signs that indicate your property is monitored, or even ‘beware of dog’ signs. Who wants to invade a home with a furry alert system?

But don’t just stop there. Test your locks, put away your valuables, ask your neighbors to stay vigilant, and lock all points of entry that you might not usually do. If you have a garage, park your car inside of it for the night to keep it away from vandals and thieves.

All in all, Halloween is a fun and festive time of year that can be enjoyed anxiety-free if you take the right precautions to protect yourself and your property. If you want to explore more ways to keep your home safe, check out our security services here.

About American Security

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. 

Explore our security solutions

4 Important Fire Safety Measures For Apartment Buildings

Even though an apartment building and a private home have the same amount of risk of experiencing a fire, the apartment buildings’ proximity to each other makes fires much more dangerous. Fire, heat, and smoke can travel throughout the entire building, putting all occupants of the building at risk. 

Owners of residential apartment buildings with three or more units are required by the New York City Fire Code to establish a fire safety plan that includes fundamental fire safety advice as well as information regarding the structure, such as the kind of construction, fire protection systems, and emergency exits. 

Here are a few tips that can prevent fires in apartment buildings: 

  1. Maintain at least one smoke and carbon monoxide detector in each unit

NYC law requires the installation and maintenance of smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. 

  1. Make sure all fire escapes are clear and unobstructed

Each fire-escape must be accessible through one or more exterior doors or windows that open from the room, apartment, or suite, with a clear width of two feet or more and a clear height of two feet six inches or more. Any such window’s sill must be within three feet of the floor.

  1. Make sure your window security gates are approved by the FDNY

Some people put up security gates on their apartment windows to prevent an intruder from entering their home. Only New York City Fire Department certified security gates that open without a key may be installed on an outside fire escape window if your apartment building has one. 

  1. Know your exits 

Your apartment building must have two ways of egress (exits).

Your primary or first exit is the door to your apartment, which leads to either an unenclosed (not divided by walls and doors) stairwell or a public hallway with an enclosed stairwell leading to the street. Depending on the construction date of the building, your backup exit should be one of the following:

  • An additional enclosed stairway accessible from the public hallway. (newer buildings)
  • An enclosed fire tower (stairway accessible from the public hallway).
  • An outside fire-escape accessible from within the apartment through a window or door.

Prevention and planning is the key to protecting your building’s occupants and neighbors. 

Stay NYC Fire Code compliant with American Security’s turnkey fire systems. From design to completion, every phase of your project is handled by our factory-trained technicians with certifications ranging from NYS licensing to NICET.

Contact us

About American Security

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. 

Explore our security solutions

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.