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Old 11-18-2007, 10:21 AM   #16
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Smoke detector - Living room with FP and fan


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Originally Posted by ladymacbeth View Post
Kudos to you for that posts..

What do you recommend that they do with the keys to keep them accessible and so that everyone knows where they are?

thats something you just taught me, because I've not addressed double locks and issues such as those in my articles or comments.. and I should.

and Happy Sunday to you too..
It's a super sunny day here in Nebraska.
I tell them to either change out the lock to one that has a knob on the inside if it's a solid or hollow core door or to put the key in the lock before bedtime so that it can be turned in the dark without any thought if it's a glass pane door. Now granted, if the door has glass around the lock area, security is somewhat lessened with the key readily available in the cylinder. But what many of my customers have done to keep the door secure while asleep is to buy a simple fully adjustable jam bar made by Master that's propped between the underside of the door's handle and the floor at an angle. No tools, no keys and you can remove it instantly. Rubber ends keep it from slipping or moving. But, this bar makes it virtually impossible for anyone to push open the door from outside, even if they broke the glass pane and turned the key. And, if positioned correctly, it's not easily visible from outside.

As for patio doors, the best lock at nighttime is still the round thick wooden dowel resting in the track on the floor. But, I tell my customers to tie a string to the end that's farthest away from the sliding door so that they can easily grab it, lift it up and remove it in an emergency.

Many of my customers are single women across all age groups and who live alone or senior couples. Here in sunny Arizona, the patio door is often the only alternate point of egress into or out of a condo or home. Those that have side garage doors, often forget at night to lock the inner door that leads to the garage itself so they are vulnerable. Some don't realize that the same door leading to the garage, if it's metal, is actually a fire door of sorts that can buy them time as they exit through the garage instead.

I'm always concerned about folks who have bars across their windows and gates across their doors. Granted, we all want to feel safe from intruders but are they possibly locking themselves in to where they could not escape in time?
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Old 11-18-2007, 10:33 AM   #17
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I lived for a time in New Mexico and found that many of the more upscale homes there had window bars and gates. Those things concern me as well.
Have they effectively sealed themselves off from those who want to help them as well as those who might have less honorable intentions in mind.

the answer to that is sometimes yes they have.. when we break into homes, the longer it takes, the longer people wait..sadly that means they wait longer for help in bad situations as well.

Safety is important from intrusions as well.. but do we sometimes go so far in the name of prevention of intruders that we prevent those we might need to gain access as well.

Thanks for the information.. I will make sure to include that in future writings. It's an important aspect that I was not addressing.
I particularly like the bar , thats a great idea.
LOL.. I personally opt for 2- 80 pound dogs and a gun, but then too I'm a radical..*L*.
Arizona is indeed beautiful.. I did a photo trip of ten states in June. Arizona was one of them and the photos were just awe inspiring.

I ended up in Vegas for a week at the Flamingo.. where I found some incredible ideas for my own house.. neat little amenities there.. The tv in the bathroom mirror impressed me to death..
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Old 11-18-2007, 10:58 AM   #18
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Smoke detector - Living room with FP and fan


Double cylinder deadbolts are not allowed in most jurisdictions anymore but obviously a lot of people have them.

If you have a newer door with a full pane of glass they are useless anyway as the total glass area will shatter if broken and you can step right through.

Hanging the key on a cup hook will work unless you drop it in the smoke during a fire. Consider a retractable belt worn type "key back" that has the chain on it screwed to the wall near the door. You can pull the chain out to use the key and open the door but if you drop it, it will go right back to a known place where you can find it again in the dark/smoke.

Dowels in the sliding patio door work well but just remember to take up the gap in the track over the door when its in the locked position. If not, the door can be lifted out of the track with the dowel still in place.
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Old 11-18-2007, 12:37 PM   #19
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about the doors shattering.. we've pretty much found out doing structure burns and test runs that anyone can get into anything if they want to badly enough..
THe problem is that time is a huge factor and when it took us five minutes to get in, particularly with an older home.. thats just too long..
While I understand why people opt for the bars on the window and doors, you just dread seeing them.
There has to be a happy medium between staying safe and living in Fort Knox..
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Old 11-18-2007, 12:52 PM   #20
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I agree on the bars... Dont care for them....


My Father made bars for his windows and had all of the cross peices line up with the ones in the windows and painted the bars white.. They were impossible to see from the outside... Worked well but if there ever was a fire.....
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Old 11-18-2007, 01:29 PM   #21
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Here in Arizona, most folks who live in large homes really aren't up to speed on an emergency or evacuation plan. Their garages are either loaded with boxes from downsizing or cars so that it's virtually impossible to reach the emergency door pull and get out if the electricity goes out. They padlock their gates leading out of the back areaway. Large furniture is placed in front of the only windows in a room, etc., etc. and so on. Many of my customers have pets but only a scant few have the "pet inside" labels affixed to their doors or windows.

I myself would never want to be a firefighter or emergency responder, period. Way too dangerous for me. In addition to the visible, there's always the hidden variable somewhere like the chemicals or BBQ propane tanks illegally stored, etc. People often do foolish (better word than stupid) things and don't pay any attention to the possible ramnifications of their actions.

My hat's off to all the firefighters, LEO's and emergency response folks out there! Kudos for taking the risks and doing a terrific job!
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Old 11-18-2007, 02:04 PM   #22
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I'll second that EG!
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Old 11-18-2007, 02:37 PM   #23
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LOL Endgrain. ..."Don't force it. Use a bigger hammer."
That reminds me of me,.. as a woman doing some projects.. when I was single.. and young I really had no one to teach me. I bought my first place, an old converted mobile home and used a steak knife and a protractor to figure angles to cut molding.. I've gotten a bit more educated and bought a few more tools since then thank heaven.. but sometimes i still find myself reaching for an inappropriate tool to whack a loose tack( a shoe maybe)..must be a woman thing..

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Old 11-18-2007, 02:47 PM   #24
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In all honesty I haven't done much hands on since coming to Nebraska and since I began evaluating the new firefighters testing.

I work full time in computers now.. networking, security and building as well as copywriting and some trouble shooting.. Thats where I started actually 20 some years ago..

LOL. some things don't change no matter what field you work in. There are as many people who don't pay attention to their machinery as there are those who don't pay attention to their safety.
Out of curiousity, what are the "public groups" that are on site here?
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Old 11-18-2007, 03:05 PM   #25
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I'm the same way... Flying a desk, cornputer, and phone all day...

Dont get in the field as much as I would like to but I have enough exposure on a daily basis to keep up with whats going on in the industry. Maybe sometimes even better cept for the hands on with the tools.

I think [but I aint sure] that the public forums would be for people that havent regsitered?
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Old 11-18-2007, 09:25 PM   #26
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Good points LadyMcBeth. More information that you may consider in adding to your article:

Fire extinguishers should be placed in the escape route, mounted and not hidden in a clothes closet. FX come in different ratings. The minimum size for commercial size is 2A10BC, we reccommend that for home use. the small 2.5 # just do not have enough chemical to do much, and we discourage people from purchasing those.

Sprinklers are the best bet, but do not react as fast as a portable FX.

Smoke alarms are the smokes w/o a panel back-up. They are also called single station smokes. Some jurisdictions are now requiring the smoke alarms to have the notification wires tied together so all the smoke alarms go off at the same time. 10year Battery back-up is a good idea as is the hush feature. Both features are required in Oregon, but Home Cheapo ignores that requirement on a regular basis. Smoke detetectors are part of a fire alarm system and will report to a fire alarm control panel. the panel may or may not send a signal to a central station.

I wish more ff would give out as good of information as you do. most ff don't know much except "put the wet stuff on the red stuff untill all that is left is the black stuff".

fireguy 25 years on the end of a hose, rose to be a white hat, retired as a hoseman
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Old 11-18-2007, 11:51 PM   #27
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always nice to meet someone who's eaten a bit of smoke too.. and thanks for your kind words. I took a good bit of crap over going to advance structure and all those worthless classes, but they do teach you something if you have the sense to not graduate and think you know it all, and still learn from the old guys..

those are also good points you make actually
.. To be honest, at times, you think that saying something is a bit too obvious, and that its not necessary to make those salient points because people will just know, but the truth is that sometimes they don't, or don't consider them.
One of the things I found that kids didn't know, and I tried to show them, was what we looked like with our masks, tanks and gear on.. We found that kids were scared witless and sometimes wanted to hide, and its important to let them know too, that this is what they will see if we come in to find them..

Thanks for adding to the conversation and the knowledge..

(LOL on the white hat.. not for me thanks. (I was on the hose too). although I'm embarrassed to say that I did marry one .L*.. )

Last edited by ladymacbeth; 11-18-2007 at 11:54 PM. Reason: Fingers not functional at midnight.. LOL.
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Old 11-20-2007, 08:05 PM   #28
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Okay, I have a question to ask of LadyMacBeth.

As a professional, can you unofficially recommend one particular brand and/or model of smoke detector for homes?

Most of my replacements call for AC powered with communication and with battery backup. No piggyback CO detection.

HD used to carry Firex which is pretty much the OE detector here in AZ but they dropped that brand and Lowes only sells Kidde. So, if I can't readily get compatible Firex smoke detectors at a good price, my customer will have to bite the bullet and buy all new ones the first time out.

I'd appreciate any recommendation as to overall performance "under fire" (no pun intended), false alarms, nuisance alarms, annoying chirps and squeaks, etc.

The prevalent Firex model here in AZ is a 1218 and compatible with AD and ADC.

Thanks and a Happy Thanksgiving to you and Mr. MacB.
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Old 11-21-2007, 01:00 AM   #29
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*L* and the same to you End Grain.. and the rest of you too.. well its only fair that you pick my brain, because in the course of writing my articles and trying to get the black walnut stains off my gazebo I have every intention of picking yours..L*..

so yes.. I do like firex.. but to be honest, I even think the first alert duals are fairly good..
http://www.consumersearch.com/www/ho...oke-detectors/
In the reviews, First Alert consistently takes top billing ..
" It runs on a replaceable nine-volt battery and features a combination ionization and photoelectric sensor that is by far the most accurate and effective detection method available. The SA302 has extra features that many detectors do not, such as remote-controlled alarm silence and test, Intelligent Sensing, which differentiates non-threatening conditions (i.e., kitchen smoke) from real emergencies, and automatic daily self-check test. and it has a ten-year warranty. the retail price runs about forty bucks a unit so they aren't cheapo, but my life is well worth forty bucks..LOL..

I think that everyone who has ever asked me why they need two kinds, , I've pointed them to an article on MSNBc that I truly think everyone needs to read about the two types of detectors and why I think each home should have some of each or have the dual models, regardless of the brand name..

There is whats called an ionization detector, and what it does is to detect little particles of combustion, and will based on that set off the alarm.. while the photocell has the small light beam and when the smoke blocks the beam that one goes off.. but .. both are good, in different kinds of fires..

"The NBC2 investigators put both smoke detectors to the test. We put one of each side by side in the living area of a fire training home. Then firefighters ignited a slow burning fire, the most deadly kind in Florida.
In just 3 minutes and 36 seconds, the photoelectric model rang through the home." To read the rest of the article..

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21760962/

several seconds later it seems the ionization technology triggered its alarm.


While a few seconds don’t seem like a lot...trust me when I say that they are..
HOWEVER.. in the other type fire.. the fast burner, the photo cell actually melted before the smoke hit it, because the fire was coming on faster than the smoke..
Take a look at this article and based on that, recommend that your customers purchase a few of each type for their home, in order to be really safe.. or the duals, .. So much is available now, and new technologies are coming in every minute.
In the past few years, technological advances in fire alarms, even the low cost battery only variety have been just hard and fast, and they include some sensitivity adjustments, compensation for drift factors and indicators for maintenance necessary, and all of those things have combined really to reduce the nuisance, or false alarms they emit while actually shortening the time they take to react to a real fire.

Where i go to get all the information that I have ever needed on fire detectors and fires, is the NFPA, National Fire Protection Association, http://www.nfpa.org.

ALSO.. i would like to add that..

In 2005, cooking fires were involved in roughly 1,300 structure fires took place.. ALL OF THEM, on Thanksgiving day.
that is well above the daily average.. amost three times the average actually. Most of these fires start because cooking has been left unattended. Please please.. don't be a statistic during this season especially.. Don't leave things unwatched.. Thanksgiving and the Christmas holidays are really the start of the fire season due to all the extras we use out there at this time period...so.. take a few common sense steps and keep your holiday season safe.
Happy Thanksgiving..
and now.
How do you get the stupid walnut stains off your deck, short of sanding the whooooooooole thing.. LOOL..
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Old 11-21-2007, 08:43 AM   #30
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Thanks Lady MacB for the opinion, the links and the valuable information. Much appreciated.

As for deck stains, I'm surely no wizard or maven on the subject but I would suggest the least invasive approach first, after which, if that doesn't work, your approach can be escalated up. The home centers have several deck cleaning concentrates, mostly in gallons, but a few come in smaller cans. ACE Hardware and True Value have quite a few types as well. It's important to read the cans and jugs to make sure that the chemical is recommended for the type of material your deck is made of. Some will work better on oily or sappy residue and others will work much better on bird poop acids and berry stains.

Ideally, I would say a good deck cleanser along with a good manual scrubbing with a stiff deck brush on a pole followed by a thorough power washing may actually remove most of the stains or at least minimize their appearance. Two treatments may be required. If the stain has already been absorded into the grain, the best you can hope for is lightening them up.

Be sure to do the entire deck and not just one or two spots. The difficulty with cleaning decks that I have run into here in AZ is that whatever you do to one smaller area very often makes that area stand out like a sore thumb afterwards. One spot that was heavy with bird poop ends up looking pale compared to other spots. Same for those areas in the daily sun versus those usually regularly in the shade.

If cleaning doesn't work, oh well, get out your aluminum oxide grit and sand away. *LOL Just remember that pressure treated lumber contains a poisonous chemical so a good respiratory mask, complete eye protection and nitrile gloves are in order if you intend to make sawdust. A thorough shower afterwards is also in order.

Don't know if any of this is useful, but that's about as much as I know on the subject. Watersealing afterwards is probably a good thing to do.

Again, Happy Thanksgiving to you, Mr. MacB and everyone else here on DIY. Leave room for the pie!
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