View Full Version : Home Fire Safety

December 31st, 2013, 10:50 AM
I live a street over from where that house burned down in Hidden Valley. Got me thinking about protecting my home. I weld, use a plasma cutter, reload ammo, have some gas stored, etc. so there is lots of potential for fire at my place.

I ordered some Heat sensors for the garage - smoke alarms are useless as other things set them off all the time. They will go off if the temp exceeds 130 or rises more than 15 degrees in an hour. I will hard wire them in this weekend.

Next I'd like to get some real fire extinguishers. What do I need to know about them? I recall the fire extinguisher thread here a while back and seem to remember hearing the 'kidde' ones at major stores weren't so great. What is a good one for home use? Can I take my old ones somewhere in town and have them checked / recharged? What if they are very old?

Any other suggestions on improving your home's fire resistance is appreciated.

December 31st, 2013, 10:55 AM
I have a couple of kiddies for when I go offroad or shooting. Thankfully I haven't had to use them so I cant comment on quality. price was $20 each off amazon; they are the general purpose ones.

ABC fire intown here does all of our extinguishers at work

December 31st, 2013, 11:08 AM
Yes there are places that can service and recharge your extinguishers if they are not cheap throw away ones. We have to have ours inspected every year at the business and ABC Fire does ours.

Here was that other extinguisher thread you mentioned

December 31st, 2013, 11:15 AM
I have ten pound ABC's in 6 places in the garage and a five pound D by the man door and one in the kitchen. If I am welding or cutting I have two (one on each side of the work area) ext nearby. Numerous ones in vehicles of the 2 or ten pound variety. My CJ has three. One for each side below the seat on the rocker panel and one inside the rear hatch.

I also do not ever weld inside since I have to much combustible stuff. All flammables are stored (when not in use) in a flammables cabinet which is 25 feet from the house. Ammo etc is stored on the other side of the house in appropriate containers.

Heat sensors are a great idea. Might want to put some in the attic(Reference Richard Jones fire).

December 31st, 2013, 11:35 AM
I get twin-packs of 2.5 lb. Kidde at Home Depot for $21 (10.50 ea). They work great for semi-annual training for my wife and kids. I've heard people knock them for the plastic valves and say the pickup tubes fall off inside, but I haven't had it happen. For sure, there's better ones with metal valves, that are built to be refillable.

I have a "good" 10 pound in my garage, and two good 2.5's in my 4x4 (one halguard and one higher-end dry chem), but I appreciate the cheap ones that make it so I can afford not only to train more often, but to have at least 6 others around the house, backyard, the little-used cars and so on. So if my barbecue gets out of hand, I only have to go 6 feet to reach a cheap one that I won't hesitate to empty, versus going across the house to get a good one that's going to cost me if I pull the trigger.

I would also definitely recommend the 2.5 gallon water cans like Amerex etc. Those you can fill yourself and charge with an air compressor through the shrader valve. The only problem is they're about $100, so I'm not going to have a half-dozen around the house.

For the detectors, heat can work good, but also try both photoelectric and ionization smoke detectors. I use a photoelectric in the garage and kitchen and I don't get false alarms. I have ionization in the hallway and bedrooms. CO and gas sensors are helpful too, especially anywhere you use gas or burn anything. I have them in the laundry (gas dryer); kitchen; by the gas fireplace; and the garage (gas water heater, cars, air compressor etc.)

Also, be sure to replace detectors on schedule. The ionizing smoke detectors are only good for so long and then they expire. Most are 7 or 10 years. The gas detectors last 7 years. If the ones you have now aren't networked, replace them with networked ones.

A few years ago I looked into getting a voice annunciation system but there wasn't a cost-effective option. Voice can help a lot for little kids. Strobes might be helpful to people who can't hear the alarms.

A fire protection system is worth it for new construction. I think I heard code requires it only for buildings over 5000 square feet, but I'd do it for a house like mine that's a fraction of that. Retrofitting's obviously a little harder and you'd have to weigh the cost/benefit.

December 31st, 2013, 11:35 AM
ABC Fire. I believe they sell some that work on everything in the house including electronics. We had them come by my last job and give a class on how to use them. The powder looked like I was powder coating the fire. Now I need to call them and get some myself.

December 31st, 2013, 12:26 PM
Will ABC fire service older ones? I have some that were given to me because they were 'too old' to be used at the warehouse I worked at. The house I bought came with several that are even older.

I will look into the photoelectric alarms. I didn't know they would work in a kitchen environment.

Are there any fire retardants you can coat your rafters or garage walls with that won't give you cancer?

December 31st, 2013, 01:05 PM
BTW the best thing you can do to fire proof your house is to get rid of shakes. Roofing, siding etc.

Jed is your garage dry walled?

December 31st, 2013, 01:24 PM
No wood shake roof or siding thankfully. Yes garage is drywalled. Siding is a wood product though - sheets of painted processed wood.

I plan to rip out most of the juniper bushes in the spring. I hear they can really light up.

willys dave
December 31st, 2013, 02:00 PM
I believe the recommended extinguisher for house hold is an ABC type . It's rated for many kinds of fires . I have several about the house , garage , and bbq area .

December 31st, 2013, 02:38 PM
ABC is the best bet for home fires. They cover pretty much everything except metal fires which you need a D extinguisher for. Metal fires are not common home fires though.

December 31st, 2013, 05:38 PM
ABC is the best bet for home fires. They cover pretty much everything except metal fires which you need a D extinguisher for. Metal fires are not common home fires though.

There is a type "k" now that is especially for kitchen fires - big money.

I did see a kitchen fire once where an aluminum pan was left on the stove on high and empty. Ugly mess, lit the cabinets on fire and melted down.

December 31st, 2013, 05:41 PM
Keep in mind, smoke can kill just as easy as the flames. Keep a box fan or similar in your garage to vent the garage or house after the fire is out.. Breathing the smoke and chemicals the fire extinguisher create, can be deadly for some.

January 13th, 2014, 09:15 PM
Damn 6 8 or more fire extinguishers.... I havee 2 or 3 in the garage and im pretty sure non in the house... I had to use two in the shop. One i had my sink drain catch on fire, had a buddy rinse some brake clean or some crap in my drain. day latter after it sat in the Pee trap i put a freshly torched chunk of iron in the sink to cool her down aand the whole sucker lit up with the water running... That extiguisher was from Ace abut 10lbs and was maybee 30 bucks... The other i can a suburban catch fire by my house and used teh white 10lbs extiguisher from lowes that was only 20 bucks!