Tag Archives: fire

Home Security Systems Then and Now–Is It Time for an Upgrade?

We humans have always protected our homes and families. It’s innate in us, this desire to defend our property and loved ones. How we have gone about it has changed, however, and in recent years, it has changed dramatically. If you haven’t looked into home security systems lately, or you’re thinking it’s time to upgrade yours, here’s a rundown of the dramatic changes we’ve seen in home security systems in recent years…

From one job to many
Home security systems used to have one job and one job only: sound the alarm when a break-in occurred. This alarm would be audible within the home and also notify the home security provider so they could dispatch police.

Today home security systems help to protect homes and families against intruders as well as other threats such as carbon monoxide poisoning, fires and flooding.

In addition to being able to recognize these other threats, home security systems have also evolved from home security systems to home automation systems. That means homeowners can use them to regulate lighting, heating and cooling, in addition to monitoring home security.

From one trigger to many
Home security systems used to be limited in scope, recognizing that a door or window was opened and triggering the alarm.

Today’s home security systems include motion sensors, video cameras and more to enable more thorough home security. Cameras can be placed outside the home and inside, enabling more security coverage. That means garages and other outbuildings can be monitored as well.

Features such as video cameras also allow for real-time monitoring. Someone shows up at the front door while you’re at work? You can see who it is via the camera.

From onsite to remote
And you can see who is at the front door while sitting at your desk at work because today’s home security systems can be monitored and managed remotely, requiring only an Internet connection to see what is happening. In addition to the video access, this remote monitoring lets homeowners lock and unlock doors, control lighting and heating, and more, all from a computer, tablet or smartphone that is Internet-enabled.

From hardwired to wireless
Finally, another huge evolution in home security is the the switch from hardwired—requiring hours of installation time to drill holes and run wires—to wireless. Sometimes hardwired is still the right setup for some homes. However, wireless has many advantages, not the list of which is the fast installation time (no drilling required) and the fact that you can take your home security system with you when you move. (See seven advantages of wireless home security systems.)

As with everything, it seems, technology drives significant changes in how we work, live and play—and that includes in how we protect our homes and loved ones. If your home security system is old and limited in scope compared to what’s on the market today, it might be time for an upgrade.

Cooking Fires: Tips to Prevent Them and Tips to Put Them Out

We had a big event at our house: We replaced our vintage 1940s range with a brand new one. It was a bittersweet moment, I confess. I loved the look of the old range, and I have nothing but admiration for an appliance that can hold up for 70 years, especially with all of the cooking I do. But little by little, things were breaking and I was losing patience with it.

Our kitchen is now home to a gorgeous stainless steel wonder that has made my cooking time much more enjoyable!

That new range came with a brochure. OK, it came with a whole lot of papers: manuals, safety instructions, all that kind of stuff. But it also came with a slick little brochure called “Recipe for Safer Cooking.” It impressed me so much, I decided it was worth sharing here as part of our home security and safety tips!

Besides, I think we often forget just how dangerous our stoves and ovens can be. According to one study, 41% of home fires start in the kitchen. I think that makes sharing this safety information a worthwhile thing to do, don’t you?

The brochure is divided into two sections: 1) tips for preventing a kitchen fire, and 2) how to put out a kitchen fire.

To prevent a cooking fire in your kitchen

  1. Keep an eye on your cooking and stay in the kitchen. The brochure says unattended cooking is the number one cause of cooking fires!
  2. Think about your clothes, and wear either short sleeves or close-fitting ones. If you’re rolling up your long sleeves and they won’t stay rolled up, change your shirt. Seriously.
  3. Keep an eye on kids in the kitchen! Little ones in particular can be clueless about the heat of the stove and the pan handle sticking out within reach.
  4. When kids are old enough, teach them how to cook safely. (And teaching kids how to cook period is a great idea!)
  5. Keep surfaces clean of food and grease that could catch fire.
  6. Keep fabrics like curtains, towels and hot pads away from the stovetop and other hot surfaces, like in the oven. (I know I have accidentally touched the element in the oven and caught a hot pad on fire that way!)
  7. Keep the handles of pots and pans turned in, not out.

To put out a kitchen fire

  1. If it’s more than a little fire, call the fire department first, usually by dialing 911 (depending on where you live).
  2. Slide a lid over the flames of a fire in a pot or pan. This takes away the oxygen and can smother the fire.
  3. Never, ever, ever use water on a kitchen fire! If there is any grease involved at all, you will only succeed in spreading the fire. Keep baking soda handy and use it to smother a fire.
  4. If the fire is in the oven, shut the door and turn off the heat to smother the fire.
  5. Have a fire extinguisher handy (and know how to use it), and change the batteries in your smoke detectors twice a year. (Although if you’re staying in the kitchen, per the first tip above, you should know if there’s a fire!)

I hope a kitchen fire never happens in your house, but if it does, wouldn’t you rather be prepared than not? Plus these are all good tips to share with your whole family. You can download a copy of the brochure “Recipe for Safer Cooking” from the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers.

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Customer Reviews

I feel so much better knowing my family is protected! I spoke with SafeStreets USA in the evening and a technician was able to come install the system for me then for my parents first thing the next morning. Very impressed with his knowledge and care!


We had our ADT system installed by SafeStreets USA and were really impressed with the service we received from our technician. He was very friendly and answered all of our questions on the system and how it worked. He set everything up in a couple of hours and was a real pleasure to talk with []

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