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SMOKE ALARMS


Mandatory Smoke Detectors in Residential Homes Prior to Lease or Resale

The New Jersey State Uniform Fire Code requires the installation and certification of Smoke Detectors in the following situations:

"Smoke Detectors in Homes"

Legislation has been passed as a result of fire deaths in residential homes. During one week in March of 1998, seven children died in homes where there was no working smoke alarm.

For more information, contact your local Fire Department.
 
 

Protect yourself and your family...

85 % of all fire deaths and injuries occur in homes where there are no working smoke alarms.  Remember, only a working smoke alarm can save your life!  Most fatal fires occur at night when people are asleep.  Often, victims never wake up.  A working smoke alarm will alert you, giving you precious time to escape.
 

What is the best type of Alarm to buy?

Smoke alarms have many different features.  They can be electrically connected, battery powered, or both.  The pause feature to reduce nuisance alarms is recommended.
 

Where to install Smoke Alarms...

Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, near sleeping areas.  Because smoke rises, they should be placed on or near the ceiling, according to your user's manual.  Try to avoid areas such as bathrooms, heating appliances, windows or close to ceiling fans.
 

Why does my Smoke Alarm beep?

An intermittent beeping means that the battery needs replacing immediately.  Don't wait this long.  Replace the battery in all of your smoke alarms at least twice a year. Use special dates, for example, when you change your clock.
 

Smoke Alarm care...

Follow the manufacturer's directions.  Test your alarm weekly by pressing the test button. Once a month test your alarms using smoke from a smoldering string.  Dust can clog a smoke alarm, so every six months, carefully vacuum inside the power unit according to manufacturer's instructions.
 

Smoke Alarms do not last forever...

Replace smoke alarms that are over ten years old.  Replace smoke alarms that fail the above tests or that malfunction in any way.
 

Plan your escape!

Make sure that everyone knows what the smoke alarm sounds like and that they know what to do when they hear it.  Know two ways out of every room in your house and have a pre-arranged meeting place outside.  Once out, stay out and call the fire department from a neighbor's house.  Tell them your name, address, telephone number.
 
 
 

Carbon Monoxide Detectors


New Jersey Mandates Installation of Residential CO Detectors...

Effective April 7, 2003, the New Jersey State Department of Community Affairs adopted regulations that provide for the installation of Carbon Monoxide alarms in one and two-family homes.

Under the provisions of the law, installation of detectors will be required in buildings and or dwellings, which contain fuel-burning appliances or have attached garages, and are of Use Group type I-1, R-1, R-2, R-3, R-4,
or R-5.

The detectors must be installed in the immediate vicinity of all sleeping rooms, in buildings of the Use Group types noted above.

   

What is carbon monoxide?

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless and deadly gas.  It is almost the same density of air, not heavier nor lighter, so it mixes freely with it.  Because you can't see, taste or smell it, carbon monoxide can kill you before you know it's there.  CO is inhaled and bonds with the hemoglobin in your blood, displacing the oxygen you need.  It will eventually displace enough to suffocate you from the inside out, resulting in death or brain injury.
 
 

Where does Carbon Monoxide come from?

It is a by-product of anything that burns.  It comes from gas or oil fired appliances such as furnaces, dryers, stoves, water heaters, and barbecues. It can also come from wood burning stoves, fireplaces, and automobile engines.
About 50% of all reported cases of carbon monoxide poisoning are caused by defective heating systems.

 

What are the symptoms of Carbon Monoxide poisoning?

Symptoms can be mistaken for those accompanying the flu.  They may include headache, fatigue, nausea, dizzy spells, and confusion.  If you feel better after being away from the house for a period of time, you could be suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning.
Medical studies have determined that a high percentage of the population is particularly vulnerable to CO, including low levels over longer periods of time. This high-risk group includes fetuses, children, the elderly, and those with heart and lung disorders.
According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, carbon monoxide poisoning is the leading cause of accidental poisoning death in the U.S., responsible for 1,500 accidental deaths and 10,000 illnesses annually.
 
 

Carbon Monoxide Detectors

CO detectors are now widely available in battery or plug in types. Follow the manufacturer's instructions and place it near the sleeping area.
Less than 18% of U.S. households have a carbon monoxide detector.
For more information please contact your local fire department.
 
 
 

Fire Safety in High Rise Buildings


High rise apartment buildings are generally referred to as those that exceed 6 stories in height.  These buildings are considered to be safer from the spread of fire than the average single family dwelling.  However, it is a fact that residents of these buildings are generally unfamiliar with the built-in "safety features" of this type of construction, and what actions to take in case of fire.

 

Built-in Safety Features of High Rise Apartments:

Fire Resistive Construction

High rise apartment buildings in New Jersey are designed for fire safety and are typically constructed of non-combustible materials.  Fire resistive walls and floors separate all apartments from one another.  Consequently, they are quite safe from the danger of fire spread from one apartment to another.

 

Fire Alarm System

Many of these buildings contain a fire alarm system that will alert the entire building when activated.

 

Interior Fire Escape Stairways

The fire resistive stairways in these buildings are for escape purposes.  Illuminated exit signs typically mark exit stairways on each floor. To preserve the safety of these escape stairs, the doors to them Must Remain Closed at All Times.

 

Interior Water Supplies For Fire Fighting

These buildings contain interior water supplies and hose lines on each floor for the use of the fire department.  The building's water supply can be supplemented by the outside fire department connection.

 

In Case Of Fire in Your Apartment or Office...

Alert other occupants in your apartment or office and leave the fire area immediately.
Close the door to the suite as you leave.  This will help to contain the fire.
Activate the fire alarm pull station in the corridor.
Exit the building using the nearest stairwell, making sure that the door closes behind you to prevent the spread of smoke and heat into the stairwell.
Once outside, call the local fire department and give your name, building address and exact location of the fire.
Once out, stay out until instructed by authorities that it is safe to return to your suite.

 

When You Hear the Fire Alarm Sound...

Alert all the other occupants of your apartment.  Never assume that it is a false alarm.
Feel your suite door and handle with the back of your hand before opening.  If the door feels warm, fire and smoke could be on the other side.
If door is not warm, brace yourself against the door and open it carefully to check conditions in the corridors.
If the corridor is clear, move quickly to your nearest exit stairwell, closing all doors as you leave.
Take your keys with you or leave your suite unlocked in case you are forced to return to your apartment.
Open the stairwell door carefully and if stairwell is clear, exit the building.
Once outside stay out until instructed that it is safe to return to your suite.

 

If You Encounter Heat or Smoke...

If you encounter smoke in the corridor, crawl low under the smoke and return to your suite.  Never walk through smoke and heat.
If you encounter smoke in the stairwell, leave the stairwell immediately.
Proceed to alternative stairwell, and check for smoke.  If stairwell is clear, exit the building.
If smoke is present in the second stairwell, leave the stairwell, return to your suite if possible, or seek refuge in another suite or smoke free area.
Do not go to the roof.  Doors or hatches leading to the roof will be locked. Smoke and heat entering a stairwell will usually rise to the top of the stairwell.

 

Remaining in Your Apartment or Office...

If you must remain in or return to your suite, prevent smoke from entering.
Use tape or wet towels to seal all cracks around doors.
Use cardboard, tape or plastic bags to seal vents or ducts in kitchen and bathrooms to prevent smoke from entering your apartment.
Telephone the fire department and give your exact location.
If smoke enters your apartment, move to the balcony or most protected smoke free room.  Seal the room with sheets or towels as before and await rescue.
Open a window for fresh air if required.  Be prepared to close the window if smoke enters from the outside.  If the window does not open, break it only as a last resort.
If smoke starts to seep into the room, make a smoke tent by holding a sheet around your head and body and lean out the window.  You may also cover your mouth and nose with a damp cloth.
Remain calm and listen for any instructions that may be given by the authorities using public address systems or loudspeakers.

 

Don't Give Fire a Place to Start!

Observe safe smoking rules.  Use deep ashtrays and make sure all smoking materials have been completely extinguished.
Do not smoke in elevators.
Practice safe cooking habits.
Eliminate unsafe electrical conditions.
Practice good housekeeping at all times.
All residents should familiarize themselves with the building. Walk down the stairway to become familiar with it.
Know the location of all the exits, the location of the fire alarm stations and all the fire safety equipment.
Be sure you know your correct address.
Be sure your address is clearly posted on your residence and ensure that it will be visible during periods of daylight and at nighttime
For more information on fire safety, contact your local fire department.


In Burlington County Dial 9-1-1For Emergencies.