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About Leviton OBC AFCI Receptacles

As a market leader in electrical wiring devices, Leviton has introduced an OBC AFCI Blank Receptacle which addresses the dangers associated with both types of potentially hazardous arcing – parallel and series arcing. Similar to GFCIs, AFCI receptacles provide feed-through protection and are able to detect downstream parallel and series arc-faults, as well as upstream series arc-faults. Utilizing an AFCI receptacle offers homeowners the benefit of localized Test and Reset, providing a convenient option to AFCI breakers.


The Difference between AFCI and GFCI outlets

AFCIs and GFCIs are both important devices to incorporate into a home’s electrical system. It is important to recognize, however, that although they are similar in appearance they offer very different protection. The AFCI blank receptacle is designed to provide protection from electrical fires that could result from arc-faults, whereas the GFCI receptacle protects people from potentially hazardous shocks and electrocution. Additionally, GFCI receptacles are required in wet or damp locations such as kitchens, bathrooms, basements, laundry rooms and garages. AFCI receptacles are often required in family rooms, dining rooms, living rooms, parlors, libraries, dens, bedrooms, sunrooms, recreation rooms, closets and hallways.

Posted in Safety Products By Leviton Product Support

The following is a fire safety checklist to lower the chances that a fire may start in your home:

• Keep the furnace in working order.

• Use a fireplace screen.

• Have proper ventilation for heaters and other small appliances.

• Do not smoke in bed.

• Use the correct size fuses.

• Don't use worn out electrical wiring or run it under rugs or out windows or doors.

• Clear refuse away-the less clutter, the less fuel a fire has to feed on.

At First Alert, your family's fire safety is our first concern. But, we can't do it alone. By properly equipping your home with smoke alarms and fire extinguishers you'll be taking an important first step in improving total fire protection for your family. If you have any other questions regarding fire safety, please contact First Alert directly.

*Source: National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
**Source: Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)

Posted in Safety Products By Tom

NEVER IGNORE THE SOUND OF A SMOKE ALARM. If the smoke alarm is sounding its alarm, there is a reason. You and your family must be able to escape quickly and safely. Here are several steps your family can learn and rehearse for an emergency:

1. Have an escape plan. Discuss and practice your escape plans. Know two exits from any room in the house.

2. Feel if the door is hot. Always feel the door to see if it is hot before opening It to escape. If the doorknob or door is hot, do not use that exit. Use your alternate exit to escape.

3. Crawl on the floor. Smoke from a fire rises and so does the temperature. If you crawl on the floor there will be less smoke and the heat from the fire will be less severe.

4. Meet at a prearranged spot outside the home. If you clearly show where everyone is supposed to meet outside the home when there is a fire, it will be easier to know who is safe.

5. Call the fire department from a neighbor's home. Be prepared to give your full name and address to the operator at the other end of the line. Stay on the line until the operator has all of the information needed.

6. Never go inside a burning building. Never return inside the house for any reason. The firefighters will be there soon.

If you follow these basic fire safety tips, you will increase your family's chances for survival in a fire.

Posted in Safety Products By Tom

CO can be produced by the combustion that occurs from fossil fuel burning appliances like a furnace, clothes dryer, range, oven, water heater, or space heater. When appliances and vents work properly, and there is enough fresh air in your home to allow complete combustion, the trace amounts of CO produced are typically not dangerous. And normally, CO is safely vented outside your home.

Problems may arise when something goes wrong. An appliance can malfunction, a furnace heat exchanger can crack, vents can clog, or debris may block a chimney or flue. Fireplaces, wood burning stoves, gas heaters, charcoal grills, or gas logs can produce unsafe levels of CO if they are unvented or not properly vented. Exhaust can seep into the home from vehicles left running in an attached garage. All these things can cause a CO problem in the home.

Posted in Safety Products By Luke

What is carbon monoxide?

2014-05-01 9:06:00 PM

What is carbon monoxide?

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an invisible, odorless gas. It is a common by-product of incomplete combustion, produced when fossil fuels (like oil, gas or coal) burn. Because you can't see, taste or smell it, carbon monoxide can kill you before you know it's there. Exposure to lower levels over time can make you sick.

Why is carbon monoxide so dangerous?

Carbon Monoxide robs you of what you need most: oxygen, which is carried to your cells and tissue by the hemoglobin in your blood. If you inhale CO, it quickly bonds with hemoglobin and displaces oxygen. This produces a toxic compound in your blood called carboxyhemoglobin (COHb). Carboxyhemoglobin produces flu-like symptoms, for example: headaches, fatigue, nausea, dizzy spells, confusion, and irritability. Since symptoms are similar to the flu, carbon monoxide poisoning can be misdiagnosed. As levels of COHb rise, victims suffer vomiting, loss of consciousness, and eventually brain damage or death.

Who is at risk from carbon monoxide poisoning?

Everyone is at risk because everyone needs oxygen to survive. Medical experts believe some people maybe more vulnerable to CO poisoning: unborn babies, infants, children, seniors, and people with heart and lung problems due to higher metabolic rates.

Posted in Safety Products By Luke

Never ignore an alarm! It is very possible that you won't be experiencing symptoms of CO poisoning when the alarm sounds. That doesn't mean there is no carbon monoxide present. The alarm is designed to go off before may you feel sick, so you have time to react and take action.

Don't panic. Press the Mute Button to temporarily quiet the alarm, then call 911 or the Fire Department. Immediately move everyone to a source of fresh air. Moving outside is the safest solution.

Leave the CO alarm where it is (The emergency responders will want to check it when they arrive). Do not re-enter your home until the emergency responder has arrived, your home is aired out, and your CO alarm returns to normal operation.

Have the problem corrected as soon as possible. Keep your home well ventilated until the problem has been fixed.

In some cases, problems can occur even if all appliances are working properly:

• If appliances, flues and chimneys are confirmed to be in good working order, the source of carbon monoxide may be from backdrafting. This condition exists primarily in newer, more energy efficient, "airtight" homes. Flue gases normally vent to the outside through flues and chimneys. As temperatures drop at night, air pressure inside an airtight home may become lower than outside, causing flue gases that normally exit the house to turn around and flow back down the pipes.

• Inadequate air supply in a room where two or more combustion-driven appliances share the same air source, such as a water heater and furnace in a utility closet, can create a more complicated form of backdrafting called reverse stacking. This occurs when one appliance turns on, such as the furnace, and is unable to get adequate fresh air. When the furnace operates, it draws contaminated air from the water heater exhaust, and spreads polluted air throughout the house.

• A broken thermostat can keep the furnace running continuously, depleting the oxygen supply inside the house. This may lead to backdrafting.

• In multiple family dwellings like apartments or townhouses, where living spaces share walls and pipes, carbon monoxide from one unit may go into a neighboring space through floorboards, cracks, or underneath doors.

Posted in Safety Products By Bob

It's not a smoke alarm. CO alarms are not a substitute for a smoke alarm. Although firs is a source of carbon monoxide, a CO alarm does not sense smoke or fire. Warning of fire requires the installation of smoke alarms. While a smoke alarm triggers an alarm when it detects particles of smoke, a carbon monoxide alarm triggers an alarm based on exposure to CO over time. It is designed to sound an alarm before an average, healthy adult may experience symptoms.

Remember, with carbon monoxide, it is the concentration of CO over time that poses a threat. Since carbon monoxide displaces oxygen in your blood, it can harm you if you are exposed to either high levels of CO in a short period of time, or to lower levels of CO over a longer period of time. Current UL Standard 2034 limits for CO alarms to sound are:

• 30ppm for 30 days

• 150ppm for 10-50 minutes

• 70ppm for 60-240 minutes

• 400ppm for 4-15 minutes

If initial testing does not confirm the presence of carbon monoxide, there may be other reasons for an alarm:

• Professional equipment used to measure the presence of carbon monoxide in the air must be calibrated to sense low levels of gas concentration. Some detection devices only measure concentrations of 1,000 parts per million and higher, significantly above safe levels.

• If initial readings don't reveal sufficient concentrations of carbon monoxide to set off the alarm, testing equipment which registers levels over a 24-hour period should be used to help identify the source.

• If doors or windows are left open or appliances turned off, and outside air enters the home, carbon monoxide can dissipate. This can create a lower reading than the original level that triggered the alarm.

• To help assure proper measurement, after evacuating the home, carbon monoxide readings should be conducted by professionals as quickly as possible after the alarm has sounded. To ensure the most accurate testing by professionals, leave doors and windows shut after evacuating.

CAUTION: Do not reenter the premises until the emergency services responder has arrived, the premises have been aired out and the CO alarm remains in its normal condition.

Posted in Safety Products By Bob


  1. Operate the Test/Silence button.
  2. Call your emergency services, fire department or 911.
  3. Immediately move to fresh air—outdoors or by an open door or window. Do a head count to check that all persons are accounted for. Do not reenter the premises, or move away from the open door or window until the emergency services responder has arrived, the premises have been aired out, and your CO Alarm remains in its normal condition.
  4. After following steps 1-3, if your CO Alarm reactivates within a 24-hour period, repeat steps 1-3 and call a qualified appliance technician to investigate for sources of CO from fuel-burning equipment and appliances, and inspect for proper operation of this equipment. If problems are identified during this inspection have the equipment serviced immediately.
  5. Note any combustion equipment not inspected by the technician, and consult the manufacturers’ instructions, or contact the manufacturers directly, for more information about CO safety and this equipment. Make sure that motor vehicles are not, and have not, been operating in an attached garage or adjacent to the residence.

*Per ANSI/UL 2034


At the onset of hurricane season, it’s important for consumers to remember the proper safety precautions to take in the event of a power outage, as several dangers – including accidental carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning – arise when electricity is lost.

During power outages, many consumers turn to various sources of alternative power and cooking as a temporary solution.  From gas-powered generators to gas grills to wood and charcoal, households look for ways to continue their daily lives during a loss of power.  Unfortunately, the incorrect use of many of these products can result in tragic consequences.  For example, the Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that more than 28 people died from accidental CO poisoning during the 2005 hurricane season as a direct result of portable generator use. The following safety tips will help families avoid CO and other dangers associated with power outages:

  • Never run a generator indoors or in a poorly ventilated area such as a garage, basement or porch, and use the appropriate-size power cords to carry the electric load.
  • Install a minimum of one battery-operated CO alarm (or AC-powered alarm with battery backup) outside each sleeping area, and for maximum protection install at least one CO alarm on each level of the home.
  • Ensure that CO alarms have working batteries installed.
  • Never burn charcoal or other outdoor cooking appliances indoors or in the garage.

Extra Guidelines to Help Prevent Carbon Monoxide (CO) Poisoning
A national survey reveals nearly three quarters of Americans think carbon monoxide (CO) can be “very dangerous” in the home, and their fears are warranted. CO is the leading cause of accidental poisoning in the United States, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Often referred to as the silent killer because one can’t see, smell or taste it, CO is a by-product of combustion produced by anything that burns fuel, such as gas furnaces, water heaters, barbeque grills, wood-burning fireplaces, stoves, alternative power sources and autos. Exposure to CO causes many flu-like symptoms and can be fatal.

That’s why it’s so critical for consumers to identify potential dangers and take measures to help protect themselves and their families against this serious threat.  First Alert, a leading manufacturer of home safety products including CO alarms, recommends following these guidelines:

  • Have fuel-burning heating equipment and chimneys inspected by a qualified professional every year before cold weather arrives. During the heating season, clear filters and filtering systems of dust and dirt.
  • Be sure to open the flue for adequate ventilation when using a fireplace.
  • Inspect the pilot lights on natural gas appliances to ensure that the flame is blue. When a flame is mostly yellow in color, it likely is producing CO.
  • Clean out the lint and debris that may build up in the clothes dryer vent which leads to the outside of the house.
  • Only use generators in a well-ventilated location outdoors away from windows, doors and vent openings.
  • Use barbeque grills only outside and never indoors or in the garage.
  • Never leave an auto running in a garage, even for a couple of minutes and not even if the overhead garage door is open.
  • Install a CO alarm outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement, as recommended by the National Fire Protection Association. Ensure that the alarms are plugged all the way in the outlet or, if battery operated, have working batteries installed. For better protection go a step further and install CO alarms inside each sleeping area.
  • First Alert recommends replacing CO alarms no later than every 5-7 years.
Posted in Safety Products By Bob

How to Help Reduce Nuisance Alarms

2014-05-01 9:06:00 PM

How to Help Reduce Nuisance Alarms

According to a survey performed by First Alert®, a leading manufacturer of smoke alarms, nearly 7 out of 10 Americans have had a smoke detector alarm because of smoke from cooking. More than 50% of Americans admitted to having silenced a false alarm by removing it from the wall or taking out the batteries. *

It is very important to never deactivate a smoke alarm for any reason. One way to help reduce the occurrence of a nuisance alarm is to install photoelectric-type smoke alarms in those areas of the home where they happen. First Alert recommends installing a photoelectric-type smoke alarm in these areas because it is activated by sensing the smoke from a larger, “smoldering fire” – not, for example, from the smoke particles of burnt toast or a blast of humidity from a hot shower.

First Alert offers the industry's widest range of photoelectric smoke alarms designed to meet all local and state fire codes. All of the alarms manufactured by First Alert meet or exceed the performance standards for smoke alarms set forth by nationally recognized testing laboratories.

*Source: National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
**Source: Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)

Posted in Safety Products By Bob

Interconnecting Smoke Alarms

2014-05-01 9:06:00 PM

Industry experts recommend installing interconnected smoke alarms on every level of your home and in every sleeping area as a part of a comprehensive fire safety program.  Having interconnected alarms in new construction is already a requirement of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 101 Life Safety Code, as this feature enables all alarms to sound when any individual alarm detects smoke to help provide an early notification.

There are easy solutions for wirelessly interconnecting smoke alarms in homes that do not have hardwired alarms installed. First Alert offers a new wireless smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarm series providing homeowners with whole-home safety in fire and CO emergency situations.  The new alarm series uses First Alert ONELINK® Technology, which allows homeowners to create a network of alarms that “talk” to each other with no wiring required.  When one alarm sounds, all alarms respond, providing an immediate warning and giving everyone in the home a better chance of hearing the alarms and reacting quickly.   

Upgrading to a whole-home safety network is easy.  Homeowners simply install two or more battery-operated, First Alert ONELINK alarms in different areas of their homes.  Until ONELINK alarms, having hardwired alarms was the only way to ensure all alarms sounded when one detected smoke or CO.

Posted in Safety Products By Bob
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