Fire Prevention & Safety

Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detection

In a fire, seconds count.  Seconds can mean the difference between escaping safely from a fire or you or your loved one's lives ending in tragedy.
Nearly 26,000 residential electrical fires are reported annually in the United States, resulting in death or injury to more than 1,300 people.  Residential electrical fires result in a greater dollar loss per fire than nonelectrical fires.  The saddest part of this is that most of these deaths, injuries and damage could have been prevented by taking the following steps:
  • Electrical Inspection
If you have an older home, hire a qualified electrician to inspect the wiring.  Although quality electrical wiring will last for a very long time, it is not meant to last forever.  Is your home more than 70 years old?  Have you found aluminum wiring in your home?  Have you had any electrical issues such as blowing fuses, tripping circuit breakers or having the lights dim when appliances start up?  If you can answer yes to any of the above, then it is highly recommended to have your electrical system inspected.
  • Electrical Plug & Cord Damage

Faulty wiring is one of the main causes of electrical fires.  If you find anything that is frayed, tattered or worn out, have it replaced with new wiring.  Electrical cords in poor condition can overheat or cause sparks that can lead to a fire.

  • Overburdened Electrical Outlets

Overloading leads to overheating and is a common cause of electrical fires.  This occurs when too many appliances or devices are plugged into the same outlet, extension cord or power strip.

  • Keep Flammable Materials Away From Heat

Anything that can burn should be kept away from sources of heat.  Portable electric space heaters are especially dangerous, but don't overlook irons, hair dryers and even lamps.  Any electrical appliance can start a fire if it makes contact with flammable materials, including blankets, towels and rugs.  Don't hide cables, especially extension cords, under rugs or carpets.  If overheated, they can easily start a fire.

  • Have Properly Functioning Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Three out of every five residential fire deaths are caused by fires in homes without smoke detectors or non-operating smoke detectors.  If your home does not have smoke detectors, having a professional install them in the correct locations will dramatically increase your odds of survival.  Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a residential fire by more than half.  It is important to keep your smoke alarms in good operating order.  When a smoke alarm fails to operate, it is usually because the batteries are missing, disconnected or dead.  Replacing your batteries twice a year will help prevent this from happening.  The best time to change your batteries is at the interval of daylight savings time since it is easy to remember for most people.

Carbon monoxide detectors play an additional role in preventing residential deaths.  Carbon monoxide is the product of incomplete combustion and occurs when fuels such as gasoline, propane, natural gas, oil or wood are burned.

For more information about smoke and carbon monoxide detection, please visit our All About Smoke & CO Detectors page.

Most homeowners can do their own proper fire prevention, but unless it is something simple, it is best to have a qualified electrician make the installation or repair.  A & K Services of Iowa takes fire prevention and electrical safety very seriously.  We want you and your family to be around for the future and we will do our best to see to that.  When you have concerns regarding your electrical system or fire prevention, do not hesitate to contact us.  Our professional staff is here when you need us and we're serious about safety!