As with most improvements related to safety, some tragic event precludes the advent of the innovation. As is the case, with a new device that is currently being tested at Underwriter's Laboratories, that promises to provide voice alerts for smoke, slow and quick burning fires, carbon monoxide and weather alerts. Awesome!
A few years ago, whilst my husband was sleeping with our young son, I was awakened to the smell of a campfire in my home. I didn't think much of it, until my husband yelled up the stairs that our carbon monoxide detector had gone off in the basement. Our master bedroom is on the second story of the home and my son's room is on the main level with the basement obviously below.
My husband investigated the basement and reported that he couldn't detect a source and then called 9-1-1. The fire department arrived within about 10 minutes and as they exited the rig, I was standing outside with our son and informed them that there was also smoke in the basement. Things became very serious and they quickly donned their fire fighting gear and went into action.
Ash Pit with missing bricks
identified after repair
As it turned out, there was a fire in the ash pit located below our fireplace. As you probably know, there are three elements necessary for a fire to ignite. You need the fuel, heat and oxygen. Unbeknownst to us, we had the combination of the three in our ash pit.
Apparently, my practice of waiting 24-48 hours before dumping the ash into the pit was not sufficient in making the ash completely cold, coupled with the observation that mortar failed on a couple of bricks that fell to the basement floor, which allowed the introduction of oxygen to the ember(s), creating a fire. One small item to note in the picture to the right showing the repaired bricks, is the location of the electrical box directly to the right.
Luckily, the fire was contained to the ash pit and did not spark an external fire or electrical fire. The fire fighters were able to extinguish the fire from the ash dump door
on the exterior of the house with a standard
We were lucky! I have been unsuccessful, until now, in identifying detectors that could be interconnected and detected both slow smoldering and fast burning fires with the same detector. I can't wait to get these new detectors. Full disclosure, HT2 does not receive any kick backs for providing this information.
Check out this link to read the full article from Emergency Management magazine about this innovative product coming soon: Halo Labs