Fire Safety Learning Center

Articles and other information related to fire safety equipment and procedures in Illinois.

Fire Extinguishers: Types and Uses

It is not uncommon to see fire extinguishers in homes, businesses and public places. The (typically) red, cylindrical device is ubiquitous in our world, sometimes encased behind safety glass. But how much do we actually know about them? If faced with a fire, would you know how to correctly operate a fire extinguisher under duress? The reality is that there are many different types of fire extinguishers with different uses. Utilizing the wrong type of extinguisher in a fire situation can be deadly.  Water-based extinguishers are usually expelled in the form of foam or mist. They should only be used...
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What is the NFPA?

NFPA Logo   The NFPA, or National Fire Protection Agency has been informing homeowners about fire safety and prevention since 1896. The non-profit organization has written and implemented many well-known safety codes in the last century, including the Fire Code, which sets standards for safety and protection in buildings, and the Life Safety code, which requires developers and managers to enact measures to protect building occupants from fires and their related dangers. The NFPA has also set standards for fuel gas and electrical installations, as well as proposing a code that led to the creation of the Fire Diamond (see Figure 1...
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Fire Prevention Tips

Fire prevention tips  A fire can bring severe consequences for a homeowner: thousands of dollars in property damage, the loss of belongings, and a potential loss of life. Once a fire starts in your home, you may have little to no time to get to a safe location. However, there are many steps you can take to protect your family's well-being.  1. Make sure your smoke alarms are in working condition. Smoke alarms should be tested at least once a month to ensure the batteries are working. You should have smoke alarms on every floor of your home, in all bedrooms and near...
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According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the United States Fire Administration (USFA), the presence of smoke detectors in residential structures rose from less than 10% in 1975 to more than 95% in 2000, which coincided with a 50% reduction in the number of home fire deaths over that period of time. The number of homes with smoke detectors has remained consistent since then, with surveys consistently reporting that 95% or more of households report having at least one smoke alarm. Such percentages will no doubt continue, as Illinois, like many states, requires that newly constructed multi-unit dwellings have...
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Requirements for carbon monoxide detectors in Chicago condo buildings

For a condo association, you will need a carbon monoxide detector installed in any room containing a heating unit that utilizes fossil fuel. (Refers to common areas only) For example, if your building has a centralized heating system that uses coal, natural gas, kerosene, oil, propane or wood as fuel, a carbon monoxide detector will be required in the same room as the heating system. The sections of the Chicago Building Code related to carbon monoxide detectors (that affect condo associations) are as follows: 13-64-280 Carbon monoxide detectors – Buildings heated by central fossil fuel powered heating unit. In every building...
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