You Hear It Every Year and This Year Should Be No Different: Keep Fire Prevention and Fire Safety in Mind Regarding Your Christmas Tree

You hear it every year and this year is no different: keep fire prevention and fire safety in mind regarding your Christmas tree!  It’s the “most wonderful time of the year,” so don’t let it turn into a disaster for your family by ignoring some simple Christmas tree safety rules – especially when it comes to fire prevention.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) says every year an average of 210 fires are caused by Christmas trees.  Don’t let your holiday tradition become a NFPA statistic.

  • It’s a great idea to test your smoke alarms or fire alarm systems the day you decide to put up your Christmas tree. (Make that part of your family’s “tradition”!)
  • If you have an artificial tree, make sure the label indicates fire retardant certification.
  • When buying a fresh tree, make sure the needles are green and do not fall off when touched.
  • Keep the tree well away from any heat source such as a fireplace or radiator.
  • Keep a fresh tree well watered.
  • Never, ever use candles to decorate on or near the Christmas tree.
  • Turn off tree lights before going to bed or when leaving the house.

We know you have probably heard all of these tips year after year.  But when it comes to the safety of your home and family, what’s a little repetition?
We at ABEL Building Systems wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas!

Five Times You Should Consider Changing Your Locks for Your Family’s Security and Safety

Have you ever changed the locks on your home or requested a lock change at your apartment, with your family’s safety and security in mind?  It probably rarely crosses your mind, if ever.  But there are a few key times when it should.
A Department of Justice special report indicated: An estimated 3.7 million household burglaries occurred each year on average from 2003 to 2007. But, this report also showed: In 40% of unlawful entries to unoccupied residences, offenders gained access through an unlocked door or window!
Not only should you and your family members remember to lock the doors and windows, there are four key times when a lock change is a good idea for home protection and your peace of mind:

  1. Any time you move – moving into a new home or a new apartment is the ideal time to change the locks on the residence or to request an apartment lock change. Ideally, only you, your family or roommates, and your landlord should have access to your home.
  2. Any time you lose a key – it happens. You drop your keys and have no idea if it was at the mall or at the football game.  You lose your purse and it not only had your keys in it but your home address on your ID as well.  This is definitely a time to change your locks.
  3. Any time there’s a divorce, significant-other change or a change in roommates – a divorce or a break-up is another time to consider changing your locks. Despite all the other complications this type of relationship change may bring, don’t forget that protecting yourself, your family, and your property is priority.  Likewise, changing roommates also necessitates a lock change.
  4. Any time a lock is breaking or wearing down – an unreliable lock is the same as no lock at all. Particularly if you live in an older home or apartment complex, inspect the locks closely for signs of wear and tear that render them easier to break or give way with little effort.
  5. Any time you experience a break-in or attempted break-in – this unpleasant and frightening situation calls for action.  At the least, you will feel a strengthened sense of security when you change the locks.

Sometimes, it’s the little things that can mean a lot when it comes to protecting your family. Installing new locks is such a small inconvenience when you look at the big picture of securing your loved ones and your property.

Do You Really Need a Security System, Camera Surveillance or CCTV? Let’s Look at the Facts

ABEL Building Systems assists schools, businesses, warehouse and industrial sites, assisted living facilities and more with fire alarm and security system solutions.  One question we are often asked is, do I really need some type of security system, cameras or CCTV?
To simplify, let’s talk about businesses and cameras/CCTV.  Let’s say a large business enterprise decision-maker wonders if video surveillance is a luxury or a need.  The easiest way to answer that question is to look at some quick facts:

  • A survey conducted by the American Management Association indicated:
    • Almost half (48%) of the companies surveyed use video monitoring to counter theft, violence and sabotage.
    • Seven percent use video surveillance to track employees’ on-the-job performance.
    • Most employers notify employees of anti-theft video surveillance (78%) and performance-related video monitoring (89%).
  • It is a fact that there is a decrease in criminal activity when there is knowledge that “someone is watching.”
  • Cameras or CCTV shed light on the truth of a variety of matters ranging from dishonesty to criminal theft.

These are only a few of the facts that decision makers and building owners in the marketplace will want to keep in mind when analyzing their security system needs – in particular here we are talking about cameras and CCTV systems.  Speaking with a reputable security professional and learning about the different systems available and having a frank discussion about budget and video/security system needs is invaluable.
The main thing to keep in mind is that protecting all you have strived to build as well as the people who count on you or your company is not a decision to take lightly. When you’re ready, learn all you can about different products available and take a proactive measure to protect yourself, your business, your customers and your employees.  We are a proud supplier of Avigilon CCTV products.

Fire Prevention and Alarms, Fire Safety and Fire Escape Planning are Year ‘Round Endeavors

October was National Fire Prevention Month, and there is always a lot of good info out there about fire safety, smoke alarms, fire alarm systems and fire escape planning in that month. But, fire safety is a year ‘round concern and should be reviewed often by your family or your business – no matter what month it is.
We at ABEL Building Systems are taking a minute to give you some basic fire safety tips to keep in mind all year long.
For homeowners:
1. Protect your home, your family and your pets with working smoke alarms and/or fire alarm systems. Make sure all systems are fully functional at all times. Test them periodically and change batteries yearly. As we reminded you last month, when you “fall back” or “spring forward” time-wise is a great reminder to check those smoke alarm batteries.
2. Have an “escape plan” in place for your family, should the alarm go off. Discuss the plan with everyone in your home and practice it – more than once, if you have small children.
3. If possible, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends everyone know at least two ways to escape from every room in your home.
For apartment and high-rise building dwellers:
1. When looking for an apartment, it is best to rent one where there is a fire detection system with smoke detectors. Many times an automatic fire detection system can provide early warning to the authorities before a fire starts.
2. Know the evacuation plan for your apartment or high-rise. Go over this with your family and always take part when your complex practices any type of fire or emergency drill.
3. In case of fire, never, ever use the elevator – take the stairs. If someone in your family is unable to use stairs, be sure to incorporate this issue within your personal fire safety plan.
For business owners:
1. The first step is to make sure you are at minimum following the OSHA guidelines for fire safety standards. This at minimum should include fire prevention measures, an emergency evacuation plan and clearly marked exit routes.
2. It is a good idea to work with a specialist to identify what system would work best for your company’s set up. We at ABEL Building Systems provide NFPA fire code compliant systems to our customers and install non-proprietary Silent Knight and System Sensor fire alarm equipment.
3. Keep any machines (copiers, computers, office equipment, etc.) that get warm or produce heat away from easily flammable materials. If possible, turn off electrical appliances at the end of each work day – for example, the coffee pot!
Remember, fire Prevention and alarms, fire safety and fire escape planning are things to keep in the forefront of your mind throughout the year.