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A Guide to the Five Types of Fire Extinguishers

October 29, 2014
Fire Extinguisher
One of the most important safety areas that every homeowner needs to cover is fire safety. As well as having smoke detectors placed throughout the home, it is crucial for homeowners to place fire extinguishers in strategic locations around the home. Here is a look at the five primary types of fire extinguishers that are available.

Class A Fire Extinguishers

These fire extinguishers are designed to put out fires that burn ordinary materials. These include fires burning wood, paper, cardboard and other organic materials. Class A fire extinguishers are also designed to put out most fires that involve burning plastic as well. You can tell a Class A fire extinguisher by its symbol of a green triangle.

Class B Fire Extinguishers

A Class B fire extinguisher is a very handy type to have in your kitchen. Class B fire extinguishers are designed to put out fires that are burning flammable liquids like grease, oil, gasoline and kerosene. A Class B uses chemicals instead of water to put out fires. This is because water will only spread a fire that is burning flammable liquids like oil. Class B fire extinguisher are marked with a red square symbol to easily identify it.

Class C Fire Extinguishers

A Class C fire is one that is burning in an electrical device or inside electrical wiring. When this happens, the worst thing that you can do is to throw water on it. This could be deadly due to the risk of shock that happens when water contacts electricity. Class C fire extinguishers have been specifically designed to put out fires where electricity comes into play. If you want a fire extinguisher that puts out Class C fires, then look for one marked with a blue circle symbol.

Class D Fire Extinguishers

This is a type of fire extinguisher that is not needed in most homes. Class D fires are ones that burn with combustible metals. This includes things like sodium, magnesium titanium and phosphorus. Class D fire extinguishers are identified by a yellow decagon.

Class K Fire Extinguishers

If you do a lot of cooking in your home, then you may want to get a Class K extinguisher for your kitchen. Like Class B fire extinguishers, Class K fire extinguishers are designed to put out fires burning combustible liquids. The difference is that Class K fire extinguishers are designed to handle fires that burn hotter, which means that they are usually reserved for professional kitchens where open flames and oil fires are a nightly occurrence.

Now that you know the different types of fire extinguishers, you are ready to outfit your home with them. Most homeowners will benefit greatly from getting fire extinguishers that can handle multiple types of fires. Fire extinguishers that can handle Class A, B, C and D fires are the best bet for most homes.

5 Easy Pumpkin Carving Safety Tips

October 22, 2014
Pumpkin Carving
Halloween is just around the corner, and that means it is time to start carving pumpkins. Although this is a lot of fun, it can also be dangerous. There is nothing that ruins pumpkin-carving fun faster than an accident with a knife. To keep things safe this fall, follow these tips when you are carving your pumpkins.

1. Get the Right Tools

The first step in safe pumpkin carving is to get the right tools. The best way to do this is to purchase a pumpkin-carving kit that has all the tools you need included in it. If you want to put together your own carving kit, then you should start with a serrated knife. You never want to use a flat blade to cut your pumpkins. Also, get a pair of gloves to handle the messy job of scooping out the pumpkin innards. You will also need a magic marker to trace the outline of the design you want to carve.

2. Work at a Proper Location

Carving pumpkins is a messy job, and the pumpkins can be very slippery. You want to work on a flat surface that will keep the pumpkins from moving while you are using a knife on them. Working on a table works best in most cases. Just make sure that the table is not too slick. You will also need plenty of light to see what you are doing while you are carving.

3. More Sawing than Carving

Again, you do not want to use a kitchen carving knife when you are working with the pumpkin. In fact, pumpkin carving is a bit of a misnomer. It is actually more like pumpkin sawing. Using a serrated blade will give you the best results when you are carving your pumpkins. Use a slow sawing motion when you are carving to make it easier to cut through the pumpkin’s flesh, and reduce the chances that you accidentally cut yourself.

4. Never Leave Kids Unattended

One of the best things about pumpkin carving is that it is a great family activity. Carving pumpkins with your kids will create memories that last a lifetime. However, you need to make sure that you kids stay safe while you are doing it. The best way to do this is to watch them through every step of the process. Never leave them unattended for even a moment.

5. Fire Safety

One of the hazards of jack-o-lanterns is the traditional lit candles that illuminate them. Luckily, this can be avoided by using a flameless candle. These flameless candles will give you that wonderful flickering effect without the danger of an open flame.

Follow these tips to stay safe when you are carving your pumpkins. There is no need to spoil the family fun by someone getting hurt. Take your time and make sure that you follow every rule to keep your family safe when you are creating your jack-o-lanterns this Halloween.

Top 5 Security Mistakes Companies Make When Firing Employees

October 14, 2014
Crime Prevention
Unfortunately, your successful business will reach a point where it becomes essential to fire a once-valued employee. While this can be devastating for the person who is fired, it can also be dangerous for your business. Whether you are using a surveillance system, security guards or alarmed door locks, the situation has its risks. This list of mistakes will help you avoid making the same errors in judgment.

1. Not having a secure entrance.
Sure, your entrance might have an alarm with a code but is it changed consistently? You should be changing your security code on a regular basis, but you should also do so after you have fired an employee. If you use swipe-entry cards for your employees to gain access, ensure that you are revoking that access right away.

2. Failing to secure your facility with diverse options.
You have many different choices available. From swipe-entry access to high-tech surveillance systems, the world of security is at your disposal. Security breaches happen all the time. While most fired staff members will leave the premises professionally without the need for back-up, there are going to be others who are upset. They might try to take revenge on your business. If such a thing occurs, you want to have it captured on camera. Security systems like Total Connect™ can alert you to activities in particular zones of our business like the side or back doors.

3. Forgetting to collect keys, cards and electronics.
You should never forget to revoke all access to different forms of you business. If you have granted access to an employee to hold computers, phones, card keys and other company-owned items, you should request them back immediately. Fired employees should not have access to your network.

4. Arguing with the fired employee.
Whatever you do, do not engage in an argument or fight with the employee. Even if the employee chooses to vent his or her anger at you, it is imperative that you remain professional to the very end. Additionally, you should make the conversation short and straight to the point. You also do not want to offer extra help to the employee or make excuses. Honesty is the best policy when it comes to these matters.

5. Not having another employee in the room.
It is important that you have another employee in the office with you when you fire somebody, especially if you think he or she might cause a scene. A security guard, human resource professional or senior staff member are your best choices.

When it comes to firing an employee, you want to be as safe as possible. Surveillance systems and security guards can go far in protecting you from the dangers of an angry ex-employee. Cameras will protect you legally, and guards can protect you physically and financially. Ensure that you take all needed steps to be protected.