Tips for Fire Safety in Your Home

Date:March 6, 2012|Author:|

In an instant, a fire can turn from a controlled flame to an out-of-control fire that destroys a home. That’s why the time to take action for an unexpected event, or to ward one off, is before it ever starts.

According to Federal Emergency Management Agency, (FEMA), 78 percent of all structure fires occur in residences — both apartments and single-family homes. Nearly all fires are accidents and most are preventable — with fireproofing.

But there’s more to fireproofing a home than keeping a fire extinguisher on hand and testing fire alarms. To keep your home safer, consider a few these tips:


  • According to FEMA, the greatest cause of kitchen fires is unattended cooking. The best defense is to never leave things unattended — especially on the stove top. For things in the oven, set a timer if you have to leave the room. Regular oven checks are also a good idea.
  • Kitchen counters are often cluttered with flammable items: paper towels, oven mitts, papers. Keep clutter to a minimum, especially near stove tops.


  • Only use electric blankets and space heaters that have been approved by nationally recognized testing laboratories.
  • Do not trap electric cords against walls or under the bed where heat can build up.
  • Piles of old clothing and papers can create a flammable hazard that spreads fire quickly. Clean out closets and storage places regularly.
  • Replace mattresses made before the 2007 Federal Mattress Flammability Standard, which requires higher safety standards for manufacturers.
  • Do not drape clothing (scarves, hats) on top of lamp shades. It doesn’t take much for the clothing to ignite from the heat of the bulb.

Electrical and Appliances

We all do it occasionally, but leaving an appliance on — even the dishwasher — greatly increases the chances of a fire. The appliance can short out and spark, which can shortly turn into a disaster if you’re not home.

Check appliance and fixture cords for fraying.

Never overload an outlet with too many things plugged in. If you continually trip a circuit and blow a fuse, you’re increasing your fire risk. Call an electrician to get to the bottom of the problem.

Never leave your home with the clothes dryer running.

Clean out dryer lint traps, stoves, and replace filters on your vacuum and furnace.

Have your wiring checked out, especially in older homes, and in crawl spaces and attics where sparks can ignite dry insulation. Older knob-and-tube wiring can deteriorate over time and the wires can become exposed.


Despite your best efforts, no home will ever be completely fireproof. Make sure you’re familiar with your home insurance or renters’ insurance policies in case of a fire


Habitat for Humanity partners with Gold Seal Homes

It’s official, Gold Seal Master Builder will be starting two semi-detached bungalows in Carstairs for Habitat for Humanity Southern Alberta.  After a few years of talks, it was announced yesterday that Habitat SA is pleased with the offer Gold Seal has made to build two affordable, safe and energy efficient homes in the Havenfields community.

The close proximity to Hugh Sutherland School, the Memorial Arena and the fact that Gold Seal is a Built Green builder all were contributing factors.  Gold Seal will be building these two homes at a reduced cost and offering up over $60,000 donation of product and services.

Many of Gold Seal’s suppliers have already stepped up to the table with donations.  All Weather Windows, whom we have a 23 year relationship with have already constructed all of the energy efficient windows and doors necessary for the project.  Uponor (our plumbing pipe manufacturer) has committed to supplying all plumbing materials necessary for potable water services and the fire sprinkler system.

It is interesting to note that this will be the first Habitat home to feature a fire suppression system. Click here to see what Murray has to say about Uponor.

Contributing to Habitat Southern Alberta not only helps support a new home, but also a brighter future for so many deserving families. With each new home, Habitat comes one step closer to its goal of breaking the cycle of poverty.  Building with donated time, funds, materials, and professional services is what keeps the cost of Habitat homes within reach for families in need, helping Habitat SA continue to offer a ‘hand-up’ to parents wishing to break the cycle of poverty for their children.  Habitat homes help families avoid making impossible choices between rent and other basic necessities by providing them with a mortgage they can afford. An affordable mortgage allows our partner families to ensure their needs are met – including childcare, transportation, groceries, education, school supplies, medical and dental expenses, clothing, furniture, and more.

8 out of 10 fire deaths occur in the home

Including fire sprinklers in your new home is a great idea that can save your family’s lives. But it does raise many questions. This article can answer these questions.

Home fire sprinklers can contain and may even extinquish a fire in less time than it would take the fire department to arrive on the scene.

Nationwide, more than 300 people die in fires each year. Fire sprinklers save lives, reduce property loss and can even help cut homeowner insurance premiums. Installing both smoke alarms and a fire sprinkler system reduces the risk of death in a home fire by 82%, relative to having neither.

Only the sprinkler closest to the fire will activate, spraying water directly on the fire. Ninety percent of fires are contained by the operation of just one sprinkler. Nationally, on average, home fire sprinkler systems add 1% to 1.5% of the total building cost in new construction.

Home fire sprinklers use only a fraction of the water used by fire department hoses. See a demonstration. Home fire sprinkler systems are at least as reliable as home plumbing systems.

Modern residential sprinklers are inconspicuous and can be mounted flush with walls or ceilings. See how they work. Find answers to Frequently Asked Questions about fire sprinklers.

Article courtesy of CASA

Sprinkler Temperature Study

Temperature Sensor

Yesterday, Gold Seal Homes (in partnership with Uponor and TSM Plumbing) made the first step to dispel, once and for all, the myth that residential fire sprinklers will freeze in the attics of Canadian homes.  “We have been asked time and again about the possibility of failure due to cold weather”, Murray (V.P. Operations at Gold Seal Homes) explains.  “So we thought that we should find a way to collect data to show that water lines installed in attic spaces, that have been insulated to the code requirements, have no chance of freezing under extreme temperature conditions.”

In the test house, nine temperature sensors have been placed to collect and record temperature data every half hour of every day, year-long.  The data can then be analyzed to compare outdoor temperature, indoor temperature, attic temperature and water line temperature continuously.  We will collect this data for the next few months to ensure that everything is working properly.  Once we are satisfied that the data is valid, it  data can be offered up to an interested agencies (government or private sector) that wish to create reports or studies on this issue.

Many builder’s site a fear of water damage due to potential line failure. “If we can prove that there is no such danger, we are one step closer to help other builders and buyers with their comfort level surrounding the instalation of this life-saving technology in their homes.”

The sensors have been connected to CAT5e data lines that will feed into a server to transmit the daily data to Gold Seal Homes and Uponor.

Viking Group intruduces new ‘Spinkler Saves Blog’

Every day, all over the world, sprinkler systems are saving lives and property.  When a sprinkler successfully operates to control a potentially deadly fire, the event is unfortunately seldom reported in the media.  Sprinklers work quickly and efficiently to suppress a fire.

From the media’s perspective, there is often nothing to report … end of story.   Gold Seal and Viking employees know that the real story, the compelling story, is the potential tragedy that was averted. Viking is a supplier of fire sprinkler products in North America, and Gold Seal Homes has used some of their products in our homes.

To this end, when a “sprinkler save” takes place, we want to promote it.  Last year Viking Group created a new web page dedicated to highlighting and recording successful sprinkler activations.  Just since Thanksgiving, over 150 successful activations on the new “Sprinkler Saves” blog have been posted.

You can view the blog via the following link:, or by clicking on the orange “blogger” link from the top of our home page.  The format is quick and easy to read.  There is a concise headline, including the location of the save, and a brief one or two line description.  You can then click through to the media story for additional details.

 The ultimate goal is to influence how the media reports on successful sprinkler activations.  When a “sprinkler save” occurs, we want journalists to report on the lives and property that were saved by the sprinkler system.  When a fire occurs in a building without sprinklers, we want to media to ask why sprinklers weren’t installed.

 You can help bring more attention to our sprinkler successes by signing up to follow the “sprinkler saves” blog.  To sign up, click the “join this site” link on the lower right-hand side of the blog.  The more followers we have, the more exposure we will be able to generate.

Residential Sprinklers: A Fire Department’s Force Multiplier

Force Multiplier
Definition: (DOD) ‘A capability that, when added to and employed by a combat force, significantly increases the combat potential of that force and thus enhances the probablity of successful mission accomplishment.’

I remember reading this phrase years ago in a Tom Clancy novel and it struck me that ‘Force Multiplier’ can be used to describe Residential Fire Sprinklers. It is appropriate to do so as sprinklers increase the effectiveness of a fire department without the immediate deployment of fire assets;(trucks/firefighters).

Sprinklers increase the likelihood of a successful outcome in the event of fire and reduce the chance of potential firefighter injury or LODD (line of duty death).

Just one more reason that sprinklers make sense. For more information on fire sprinklers, visit the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalitions web site:


Why Build With Home Fire Sprinklers?

Fire Sprinklers Protect our Customers and our Future

Most people don’t realize that 8 out of 10 fire deaths occur in the home. They usually happen at night when people are asleep. Fires are also fast; they can go from a tiny flame to total destruction in as little as three minutes. Fire sprinklers can suppress and often extinguish a fire before the fire department arrives, giving a family time to escape.
Including fire sprinklers in the homes you build puts your company on the cutting edge and gives your homes a distinct security advantage that homebuyers want and need. Through the use of trade-ups, you can achieve reduced construction costs while providing higher value homes for your customers. But it does raise many questions. In this section you will find Fire Sprinkler Facts, and read Builders’ Success Stories.

You will also find some entertaining and informative videos about a Home Fire Timeline, Protect What You Value Most and the History of Fire Sprinklers. You can take a tour of the HFSC Virtual Sprinklered House, and download The Future of Fire Safety Here Today.
There is also a short video introduction to the HFSC BUILT FOR LIFE® for homebuilders.

This content was pulled from the HFSC website