Winter Safety Alert – Carbon Monoxide Detectors Are Critical to Home Safety and Security

Some of today’s top home security providers bring a wealth of monitoring services to you that can save the lives of your family. These monitoring services can be the first line of defense against fire, smoke, flooding and carbon monoxide.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas that is undetectable to us. CO poisoning can cause illness and can be fatal. The symptoms of CO poisoning are nausea, confusion, dizziness, vomiting, and headaches. These can easily be mistaken as illnesses which can leave your family vulnerable.

Monitors can be installed in your home to detect the presence of this gas. It is important to periodically test the monitors for the safety of your family. Monitors should be tested monthly and batteries should be replaced yearly even if they appear to be working at the time of testing. The shelf life of most batteries is typically only a year. You do not want to take the chance of leaving your family unprotected.

Home security systems are equipped with high-pitched alarms. These alarms are set to sound when high levels of CO are detected. Monitors are available in three forms of CO detection. These forms of sensors are biometric, electrochemical, and semi-conductors.

Biometric sensors darken when carbon monoxide is detected using a synthetic hemoglobin. Semi-conductor sensors trigger an alarm when carbon monoxide reduces resistance to create a larger current. Electrochemical sensors are considered the most accurate. These sensors use 2 electrodes and an electrolyte to produce a current. The current is measured and shows the concentration of carbon monoxide.

These monitors are a great way to protect your family from this gas. Carbon Monoxide has a density that is similar to air and difficult to detect until it is too late. When CO is monitored it is measured in parts per million (PPM) which can be displayed on some monitors that are equipped with digital read-outs.

Regardless of the detection method it is important to respond quickly to an alert. If an alarm sounds to alert you to the presence of CO immediately evacuate family members and pets. Ventilate your home by opening doors and windows. Contact the fire department immediately for assistance.

If your home is protected by a home security provider that has additional monitoring capabilities, the monitoring center will be alerted to the presence of carbon monoxide. This will allow for the quickest possible response from emergency personnel.

Bin Safety and Security

Waste bins are an important aspect of waste management and keeping institutions and public locations clean and rubbish free, but there are several aspects of providing waste receptacles for the general public in these locations that have to be considered when installing public bins.

Locations like hospitals, hotels, airports and other transports hubs where members of the public congregate or stay, have to think about safety – and many of these locations have to adhere to stringent safety rules.


Hundreds of fires are started in bins each year, and while many of these are acts of petty vandalism in outdoor areas, if a hospital bin or those in hotels are set on fire then it could lead to catastrophic loss of life.

Stringent fire safety rules are set in places like this which every bin has to adhere to. Fire retardant bins are commonly used. These are made from metal, including the lids and are sometimes bolted into place.

In outdoor public locations wire-mesh sack-holders are often used which are also resistant to fire and unlike plastic bins won’t melt if they are set on fire.

Bomb Threats

In public locations such as airports, an unfortunate consequence of the time we live in is the need to ensure that bins can’t be used to hide explosive devices in.This is why it is common to see see-through sack holders in these sorts of locales.

These transparent sacks make it difficult to hide an explosive device in as it can be seen, which is why they are commonly used in sensitive area like airports and bus stations.

Other Issues

As vandalism is an all too common problem in public locations, often bins are wall mounted of floor mounted bins are commonly used to avoid the contents from being spilled or the bin getting kicked over.

It is also important for bins that may contain private information to be lockable, this is common in locations that have to dispose of documents which is why lockable document bins were designed to prevent confidential information from being taken from the bin.

If you have to provide bins for a public location and are worried about security or safety, why not speak to your bin vendor who should be able to identify the type of bin you need and the safety requirements for that area.

Panic Bars Offer Safety and Security

In the early 1900s, the panic bar was invented to prevent people from being trapped inside a building during a fire. Panic bars are now a required safety feature in all commercial buildings. Modern panic bars can be used on fire doors, time-delayed doors, and delayed exit systems. Mechanical and electric exit devices offer superb security and safety.

A basic, mechanical panic bar can be installed on fire exit doors or any door that needs the security of being locked on the outside but able to open from the inside. For example, back doors of offices, warehouses and retail business may opt for this type of locking mechanism. The best panic bars meet ANSI A156.3 – 2001 Grade 1 criteria. For the greatest security, choose panic bars that offer more than 2,000 pounds of static load force resistance. This prevents intruders from pulling or prying the door open from the outside.

Electric panic bars can be tied into a fire alarm system to automatically unlock when the alarm is tripped. In addition, some models can be programmed to trip the alarm system when they are pushed open from the inside. Typically, these types of panic bars are used on buildings with high occupancy levels that utilize a fully featured fire and security alarm system. Another function of electric panic bars is to control exit through a delayed exit system. These mechanisms allow security personnel to monitor access to and from the facility.

On new construction, door frames can be designed to accommodate the installation of the newest panic bar designs that include a more secure double latch mechanism and technology that makes bar operation quieter and smoother. When retro-fitting existing doors, look for panic bars that easily install in the existing panic bar footprint without having to do expensive door preparation.

The final consideration in selecting and installing panic bars is what type of trim to use on the exterior of the door. If the door is not intended as an entrance, then no trim is necessary or you may choose to install a night latch that includes a key lock with or without a handle. Other options include a dummy handle, a handle with a thumb latch and key lock, or a lever handle with a key lock. Panic bars can be designed to lock on the inside either with a hex key or a cylinder lock. Electric models often do not include an interior mechanical locking option and can only be locked and unlocked through the security system. Expect to pay $600 and up for quality panic bars; electric options raise the cost to $1000 and up.