Healthier Living | Child Safety | Eco Friendly Tips

Barbara Staib, President of Safe Home Products, is an expert on child safety, emergency preparedness, pet training and even pest control. She has personally helped thousands of customers since SHP started in 1999. Here you can find Q&A with Barbara to foster safer, healthier and simpler living.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Replacing an Evac-u8 Smoke Hood for Fire Safety in an Office

Questions about the Safe Escape Smoke Hoods, 30 minute and 60 minute versions.

Q: "My company has offices in a high rise office building. We checked expirations on our Evac-u8 smoke hoods, checked on line and realized these were recalled several years ago. We need to replace them. What do you suggest?" Thanks. Steve

Answer: I recommend that first decide on 30 minutes or 60 minutes escape time and then on a hard or a soft case. Your 30 minute choices are the 30 minute hard case Safe Escape Smoke Hood or the 30 minute soft case Safe Escape Smoke Hood.
Your 60 minute choices are the 60 minute hard case Safe Escape Smoke Hood or the 60 minute soft case Safe Escape Smoke Hood.

We, too, were surprised when all Evac-u8 smoke hoods made during a 6 year time frame were recalled by Brookdale International, a Dupont company. We learned recently that the reason was that the units, which resembled a sealed transparent soda pop can, were leaking air which was causing the filters not to function properly.

Once a privacy statement was signed by Brookdale, our customer list was given to them and they handled customer notification and recalls.

The units we are selling currently are made in China by Safe Escape. These are vacuum sealed in a plastic bag so don't remove them for examination or they will not function properly when you need them.

Please contact us with the number of fire hoods you need and we can quote price plus shipping costs. We typically stock several cases of each on site in Iowa.

Sincerely, Barbara

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Friday, November 21, 2008

PEARL, The Home Fire Escape and Rescue Ladder in a Cabinet

Question about the Pearl Protected Escape and Rescue Ladder.

Q: "I read about the Pearl fire ladders. How difficult is it to install one? We live in a two story house. I want my family to be able to escape a fire. I am concerned about panic setting in and the kids not remembering the chain ladders are under the bed." Thanks Tom

Answer: Installation is not that difficult. The PEARL ladder is a 23 foot 8 inch ladder for 2nd and 3rd story homes or buildings. The PEARL is housed in a cabinet mounted between wall studs in a hallway, bedroom or other room. Usually the ladder is mounted under a window. Studs must be 16 inches center to center with a finished wall space equal to the dimensions of the cabinet. If you do not have 14 inches of wall space, you may notch out part of the molding (window apron and/or baseboard) to make room for proper installation.

We recommend professional installation. If you are handy, DIY installation takes about an hour. The easiest time to install is when a home is being constructed or remodeled.

You can use this ladder for up to a 3 story installation. The primed cabinet can be painted to match the wall The cabinet dimensions are 14" high x 16.5" wide with an access door of 13.5" x 15.25".

# Anti-slip rungs: Spaced 14" apart, stand offs on each rung. Fingers and toes have ample room for climbing.
# Ladder Rungs: Extruded aluminum ladder rungs (6061, T6). Lightweight, strong and durable.
# High heat resistant Nylon webbing . Lightweight, stronger, tangle-free alternative to chain.
# Load Capacity: 1500 pound maximum.

Repacking this ladder is not something we recommend. so don't try to rehearse fire drills with it! Children can deploy it much easier than a portable chain ladder as PEARL weighs less and is easier to get out the window.

I do recommend two PEARL ladders minimum per second floor and above. You need more than one escape route besides your stairs.

Thanks for your question.
Sincerely, Barbara

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Gas Alarms to Monitor Land Fill Methane Gas

Question about the product Safety Siren Pro Series Combustible Gas Alarm

Q: "I work for a disposal company with a maintenance building located on an old landfill. Recently, an employee complained about a gas odor. We had a professional inspector come in who reported a small amount of methane gas was leaking into that building. We need 6 gas monitors for that building. Is the Family Safety Gas Monitor the best choice? We've check with local authorities and there is no code that specifies we must install commercial monitors. " - Dave

Answer: The Family Safety Products gas monitor meets all the UL1484 standards and would meet your needs if you have an electrician install electrical outlets in each room that are within 6 inches of the ceiling. That is because methane is lighter than air and tends to puddle above a leak. Most standard electrical outlets are about 18 inches from the floor so this unit would not detect gas if installed that low. One advantage of this unit is that it has a tamper proof feature, a hole through which you can put the outlet cover screw and keep the unit installed.

If you do not want to install the electrical outlets, then I recommend that you purchase 6 of the Safe-T-Alert 40-411AC gas alarms and install them. These units feature a 65 inch cord so you can mount them nearer to the ceiling without installing new electrical outlets. Since this is a maintenance building, you may already have outlets higher than 18 inches from the floor. Or you can use an extension cord.

Thanks for your question.

Sincerely, Barbara

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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Natural Gas Leak Detector Coverage Area?

Question about methane gas detectors for homes.

Q: "What is the coverage area for the natural gas leak detectors you recommend?-Judy"

Answer: Giving an exact coverage area is not possible for a variety of reasons. The best we can say is that a natural gas monitor be mounted near every potential gas leak source. Natural gas is lighter than air and rises to the ceiling above and near the gas leaking appliance. Even inside your home there are air currents in a room due to air conditioning or heating ducts, differences in temperature in a room (warmer air collects near the ceiling, cooler air settling to the floor).

Instruction manuals recommend that a natural gas monitor be mounted near the gas source for the most accurate detection. Mount the detector within 6 inches from the ceiling or on the ceiling at least 6 inches from the wall. Natural gas pools above the source gas, kind of like a stalactite begins from the ceiling of a cave.

We sell two brands of natural gas alarms that are easily installed because of the long cords. Two brands are UL1484 listed for use with natural gas and propane gas and also work with gasoline fumes and butane fumes. These are the Safe-T-Alert 40-411AC and the CCI Natural Gas Alarm with Battery Back-Up. We sell another unit by Safety Siren Combustible Gas Alarm by Family Safety Products that requires that an outlet be installed near to the appliance at the proper height.

Thanks for your question.

Sincerely, Barbara

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Monday, August 25, 2008

Installing Window Guards on Jalousie Windows

Question about the product Product Code: JS-1123-P WHITE 3 Bar Fixed Window Guards 23-42 Inches wide.

Q: "Can this style of window guard be installed on crank out jalousie windows?"

Answer: Yes, this fixed window guard can be installed on a jalousie window. What is important is that the guards are installed so that when the windows tilt they do not touch the bars. This may mean mounting the window bars on the window frame or beyond the frame into the wall studs after first screwing blocks of wood on the sides of the windows so as to make sure the window glass does not touch the window guard.

What you have chosen is a fixed or security window guard. These are recommended for non-sleeping rooms. If you are going to install this in a bedroom or are concerned about escape, please consider a window guard that can be opened by removing a lock pin. For example, the WHITE 5 Bar Lift Out MAX Long Window Guard 21x40-60 In. is a sturdy security window guard that also lifts out for window washing and escape. Also the WHITE 6 Bar Swing Open Window Guard (24-42 in. wide) swings open for window washing and escape.

As one website pointed out, the advantage of jalousie windows is the great ventilation and that they do not obstruct the view. The disadvantage is that the panes of glass are small,are a security risk as they are more easily and quietly broken out than a solid pane and are almost impossible to seal for energy efficiency.

Thanks again for your question.

Sincerely, Barbara

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Monday, August 11, 2008

Which Gas Detector Do I Need? I Have Anosmia.

Q: "I have anosmia, i.e. I have lost my sense of smell. We have natural gas heat, a natural gas water heater and a natural gas cooking stove. I cannot smell a gas leak. Which gas detector do you recommend?"

Answer: Currently, we sell three brands of combustible gas alarms.

Two brands are UL1484 listed for use with natural gas and propane gas and also work with gasoline fumes and butane fumes. These are the Safe-T-Alert 40-411AC and the Safety Siren Combustible Gas Alarm and the Safety Siren CO and Combustible Gas Alarm.

The advantage of the Safe-T-Alert is the long cord for proper positioning of the detector, i.e. high and near the appliance for natural gas and low and near the appliance for propane. We also sell the Safe-T-Alert in a 230VAC unit for Europe and Asia. The Safety Siren unit is a direct plug in with a safety tab that the outlet plug screw goes through so the unit cannot be easily removed. Most customers who buy the Safety Siren model install an electrical outlet at the proper height for natural gas or propane.

The third brand is fine tuned to be either propane specific or natural gas specific and features a battery back up in case of a power outage. The CCI Propane Gas Alarm and the CCI Natural Gas Alarm and Gas Detector are these two units. Propane has a lower flammable and lower explosive level than natural gas and thus this alarm goes off at a lower concentration level.

All our combustible gas alarms sound at less than 25% of the lower explosive or flammable level of the gas.

Please contact us if you have further questions or are interested in our gas shut off valve system that is activated by a combustible gas alarm.

Sincerely, Barbara

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Sunday, August 3, 2008

Can the Life Hammer Break Out Office Building Glass?

Question about the product: Original Life Hammer Escape Hammer (Orange Product Code: : SM-IN-LH002

Q: "Could this product be used in a ground floor office building? We would like to have these available in our office to ensure persons an exit in an emergency. We would likely mount this devise on the wall. Would this product be able to break double paned glass? do you have other products that can perform this task for us. Thank you for your assistance. Lisa "

Answer: We contacted the USA master distributor for his input. Here is his response:

"The LifeHammer is designed to break safety glass or tempered glass for autos. However it can be applied to other purposes if the type of the glass / windows have the same characteristics. Your client should first try to find out about the glass they use (from the builder or from the fire department of the city)."

We hope that this helps.


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Friday, June 27, 2008

Warning: Keep Smoke Hood Sealed Until Use!

Question about the product: TWO Safe Escape Fire and Smoke Hood ASE30A, Hard Case.

Q: "Is this unit still usable? I removed the smoke hood from the plastic bag because I was curious about what it looked like. I did not remove the plugs which were taped over. And I did not wear it. After I did this I wondered if the unit was all right to use. I put it into a heavy plastic storage bag and used a vacuum cleaner to remove all the air". - Thanks, Bernard.

Answer: I contacted the USA distributor. Here is his response: ""The SECURITY Label states quite clearly that once the SEAL is broken the unit is considered used. Also the Label on the actual Vacuum Sealed Bag indicates that once the sealed bag is opened that the unit is considered used and must be thrown away. These units are vacuum sealed (at the Factory under stringent monitored conditions) specifically to insure a 5 year shelf life to the unit and ALL of its contents. Once this is broken it has voided any and all expressed or implied warranty and must be immediately discarded as it is considered to be used.

We have training units which are designed specifically for training purposes available in both the ASE30A and PurifyAir 30M CE Hard Case units."

Sorry I had to give you the bad news that the warranty is voided on that unit.


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