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Protecting Your House From Fires

Protecting Your House From Fire Image

 

Protecting your house from fire becomes a priority if you live in fire-prone states or regions. However, preparations against fire are not limited to houses in these states only. The National Fire Protection Agency reported that domestic fires in America have been on a steady rise since the 90s.

One may be forgiven for thinking that people would be more equipped to protect their homes from fire due to the several technological tools for early detection and fire suppression. But this is not the case. We still have a lot to learn. 

Knowing The Harsh Reality

 

Like most house owners out there, I’m assuming you have smoke alarms installed already. Also, there’s a fire extinguisher on your kitchen wall to kill those little kitchen tires before they go rogue. 

These are surely good steps, but they are little ones in the right direction. The casual fire extinguisher you have at home will only put out small fires and only if applied on time. 

More so, these are merely the basics for killing a fire that starts inside. What’s your plan for putting out a fire that starts outside your house? How do you intend to deal with wildfires?

According to the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, America has been hit year after year by devastating wildfires, and every successive season turns out worse than its predecessor. For instance, over 40 million acres have burned since 2017. In California alone, more than 10 000 structures have been damaged from over 9 000 wildfires. 

Fighting The False Assumption

 

The average American believes that preparations against wildfires and domestic fires are meant for residents of the West Coast, as they are the only ones at risk. Sure, the West Coast is more vulnerable to fires; the risk is not limited to the region. If you live in a wooded neighborhood, you are equally at risk. 

Protecting your home from wildfires has to be taken very seriously, even if you live where you believe to be very safe. You are not 100% excluded even if there’s a green belt surrounding your region. Fire may fall from the sky if a nearby area is burning. 

It’s hard to put out a fire burning at 1 500° with an extinguisher, don’t you agree?

Recommendations For Protecting Your House From Fire

 

I should mention that the strategies below do not guarantee absolute protection from fires. However, they greatly reduce the risk of occurrence and cut down on the damage these fires may cause. 

Set Up A Residential Sprinkler System

 

Installing a sprinkler system for your residence has to be one of the first steps you take when preparing against fires. It is recommended that you incorporate it in the building process of your home. In cases where you or the constructor did not, the responsibility falls on your pockets, and I must say it can be white hefty. 

If you would rather not spend so much on an afterthought sprinkler system, you can opt for DIY projects and certain kits designed for the purpose. However, these systems don’t look very appealing and may not conform to the standards of most families. 

Set Up A Natural Fire Breaker Barrier

 

The presence of a green belt around your home may not guarantee you absolute protection, but it remains one of the most effective and inexpensive setups for protecting your home from fires that start outside. A natural fire breaker barrier is a space that you leave between your structures and the woods (or any other combustible material), and other houses nearby. 

The main purpose of this is to make it difficult for the fire to get to your home. Some states recommend that your fire breaker barrier is at a foot radius of 30-100 around your home. Note that the wider your fire breaker, the harder it is for a wildfire to get to you. 

Fires burn uphill, so you must know the slope of your home first. An upward slope helps the fire to climb. So, if your property has a great slope, the bigger the fire breaker to set up. 

Another advantage of your barrier is that firefighters have space to fight the fire from within. 

Try Out Some Landscaping

 

With your natural breaker in place, it is necessary to control the shrubbery and trees surrounding your home. You have to be smart with your designations. 

There are plants that aid fires and others that slow them down. Go for plants that shed fewer leaves and with a lot of moisture. The former means there isn’t a lot of natural fuel for fire to build on, and the latter ensures some resistance to the fire. Plants like these are described as fire-proof, and the commonest ones include wintergreen, moss phlox, ninebark, wild geranium, nannyberry, bearberry, and columbine. 

When planting trees, only select those with rough bark and low sap or resin content. You can consult with your local landscapers to make the appropriate choices here. 

When shrubbery and trees are controlled, it becomes necessary to maintain them too. 

Use Foams & Gels

 

Foams are useful for putting out interior fires. They do so by making a thick blanket that sucks oxygen out of the fire, thereby putting out the fire. These foams last for 16 hours on surfaces as they are absorbed by construction materials. However, I’m not referring to ordinary foams. They are EPA-approved and biodegradable. 

Foams make good fire-protection tools as they do not stain or damage your structure, nor do they kill plants. You can spray foams with a garden hose or a mechanical pump. You don’t even have to clean up after using foams. 

Fire-retardant gels are also a substitute for these foams, but they bring quite the mess, and cleaning up after them costs a fortune. Also, gels will last for only five years, but foams take up to 20. 

Also, opt for buy-retardant paint and additives when constructing your house or doing some repairs. These materials are available for interior and exterior usage. They help in keeping fire from spreading. 

Conclusion on Protecting Your House From Fire

 

Protecting your house from fire is compulsory regardless of where you live. I’m not denying that some regions are more prone to fire outbreaks than others, but no place is absolutely safe. Implement the above suggestions alongside your smoke alarms and fire extinguishers. You can also install a swimming pool to connect with certain kits that’ll help to keep your yard perpetually wet. These are not expensive methodologies, and even if they are, the cost of rebuilding after a fire is always more. 

 

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Grid Operator Raises Alarm as Power for Millions Threatened

Grid Operator Raises Alarm as Power for Millions Threatened

(ConcernedPatriot.com) – A power grid operator is sounding the alarm over the impending closure of a significant coal plant due to green agenda initiatives.

The coal plant serves millions of Americans in the mid-Atlantic region.

The DC and all or parts of 13 states and the PJM Interconnection, which manages wholesale electricity flow, warn that the scheduled shutdown of a coal-fired power plant will seriously threaten the electricity supply.

The 65 million-customer power grid operator issues a warning, stating that blackouts may happen before the startup of new power sources.

According to PJM Interconnection, the region’s grid dependability will be impacted by the impending closure of the coal-fired Brandon Shores power station, which is situated outside of Baltimore.

As part of an agreement with the left-leaning environmental organization Sierra Club, the plant’s operator, Texas-based Talen Energy, plans to deactivate the facility in June 2025.

“There has been a strong push for quite some time to get coal power out of Maryland,” Christopher Summers, the founder and president of the Maryland Public Policy Institute, said in a statement.

“In this accelerated timeline of exiting from coal-fired power plants in the coming 12 to 24 months, I think it’s going to create a major reliability concern for the state.”

“The loss of power poses a real danger to the well-being and livelihoods of Maryland families and businesses,” Summers said.

“Until these current risks to our grid are fully dealt with, it’s a mistake to close reliable, baseload power plants too soon. That should be a concern to consumers in Maryland and businesses in Maryland that rely on dependable power.”

2020 saw the announcement by Talen Energy that it and Sierra Club had come to a deal to close Brandon Shores and two other significant coal-fired power plants in the area.

The decision was made in return for a commitment by the Sierra Club to forgo further legal action or disagreements over permits about coal at Talen Energy’s “transitioning sites.”

According to Talen Energy’s then-CEO Ralph Alexander, the move was a component of the company’s shift to green energy and its larger future focused on environmental, social, and governance (ESG).

The corporation intends to completely phase out the use of coal in its wholly-owned power facilities by its present far-left ESG commitments.

Prematurely closing down Brandon Shores, which has a capacity of 1,295 megawatts or more than a million homes, would cause an imbalance in the system, according to PJM Interconnection.

The regional grid operator must redirect electricity generated elsewhere to shut down such an essential power source.

Still, Maryland transmission upgrades won’t be completed for another three years, until 2028, following the scheduled shutdown of Brandon Shores.

“The PJM region and the state of Maryland are facing future reliability challenges as a result of the announced retirement of the Brandon Shores units,” said Jeff Shields, a spokesperson for PJM Interconnection.

“Specifically, PJM analyses showed that the deactivation of the Brandon Shores units would cause severe voltage drop and thermal violations across seven PJM zones, which could lead to widespread reliability risks in Baltimore and the immediate surrounding areas.”

“Therefore, there is an urgent need to upgrade the transmission system in order to maintain reliability and the flow of power to the 65 million people we serve,” Shields said.

“The chosen transmission solutions include in-service estimates in the 2027-2028 timeframe.”

Due to the short lead time, PJM has asked that Brandon Shores continue to operate under a “Reliability Must-Run Agreement” through 2028 or until transmission modifications are finished.

Shields pointed out that such an agreement cannot proceed due to Talen Energy’s agreement with Sierra Club.

Furthermore, Talen Energy finally abandoned its plan to convert Brandon Shores to a different, less polluting fuel source. It shut down the facility entirely, which may raise more reliability issues in the future.

PJM and Talen Energy stated they are in talks with the Sierra Club and Maryland state representatives to find a solution.

“Talen is currently in discussions with PJM and others regarding the reliability issue claimed by PJM,” Talen Energy spokesperson Taryne Williams said.

“We are always mindful of regional electric system reliability and how it relates to electricity consumers in Maryland,” stated Maryland Public Service Commission spokesperson Tori Leonard.

Leonard pointed out that PJM is in charge of running the regional transmission grid dependably.

To thwart the Brandon Shores shutdown, PJM proposed an emergency plan for transmission enhancements worth up to $800 million, which was approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) earlier this month.

On November 8, FERC Commissioner Mark Christie stated that the shutdown might result in “severe voltage collapse in Baltimore and the surrounding zones, including Northern Virginia, the District of Columbia, Delaware, and southeastern Pennsylvania” and that this would be “potentially catastrophic” if proper upgrades were not made.

“Closing an efficient, low-cost energy-producing plant like Brandon Shores is just one more way America is surrendering our energy advantage to China and Russia,” Rep. Andy Harris, the sole Republican member of Maryland’s congressional delegation, said in a statement.

“It is foolish to think that anything will come of this short-sighted energy policy, cooked up by the out-of-touch liberals who run Maryland, other than even more expensive electricity bills for hard-working, over-taxed Maryland families,” he said.

Maryland has pursued some of the country’s most ambitious sustainable energy goals.

The Climate Solutions Now Act, passed by the state last year, is a component of that plan and mandates that Maryland attain a “net zero” carbon emissions standard by 2045.

Governor Wes Moore, a Democrat who took office in January, has demanded that by 2035, the state’s electrical grid run entirely on renewable energy.

He says this may be accomplished by reducing energy use and “supercharging investments” in solar and wind energy technologies.

“Governor Moore remains committed to a vision for Maryland’s future that includes 100 percent clean energy — a commitment that will bring countless jobs and hundreds of millions in economic investment across the state,” Moore’s spokesperson Carter Elliott said.

“Earlier this year, the governor was proud to sign the POWER Act and partner with Orsted to announce Maryland’s First Offshore Wind Turbine Component Center at Tradepoint Atlantic.”

“Orsted’s projects will support the creation of thousands of jobs in Maryland, power nearly 300,000 homes with renewable energy, and help the state achieve its goals of 8.5 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2031.

“At every opportunity, the governor has worked aggressively to help Maryland meet its energy goals, and he will continue to lead the state with that goal at the top of mind while maintaining grid reliability and protecting ratepayers.”

Copyright 2023. ConcernedPatriot.com

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ALERT! Black Friday, Cyber Monday Scams to Watch Out For

ALERT! Black Friday, Cyber Monday Scams to Watch For

(ConcernedPatriot.com) – It’s time for the yearly Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales when consumers scramble to get the most incredible bargains before the hectic holiday shopping season begins.

However, Concerned Patriot cautions that cybercriminals have excellent opportunities during significant sales events.

“Fraudsters are becoming increasingly clever as technology evolves, and during this busy shopping period, it provides the perfect opportunities to exploit the increased volume of transactions and potentially catch shoppers off guard.”

These are a few of the most prevalent frauds to be aware of throughout the holiday shopping season.

Immediately needed requests for updated billing data

Sometimes, to trick customers into entering their bank information into a phony website, scammers will email them stating that their billing information has to be updated immediately.

Instead, we suggest that customers contact the retailer directly to ensure they are getting accurate information.

Phony websites offering discounts on well-known goods

Fake websites occasionally advertise deals on products that are ultimately bogus, deceiving customers into paying for stuff they will never receive and disclosing their payment information.

This occurs when buyers look for popular items on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Concerned Patriot advises customers to use the Better Business Bureau to verify the genuineness of goods and dealers.

Email phishing

Like the rest of the year, bargain hunters should be on the lookout for phishing emails this weekend. These emails attempt to deceive recipients into clicking on dangerous links and divulging personal information.

Phony alerts for package tracking

Scammers sometimes send phony shipment tracking notifications using an email attachment or link. This can be used to trick customers into visiting phishing websites or downloading malware onto their devices.

Concerned Patriot advises customers to verify tracking information via a seller’s website, as reputable vendors will not provide tracking numbers via an email attachment.

Instant messages containing links to ostensibly amazing offers

Concerned Patriot advises customers to be wary of direct messages that offer links to purportedly fantastic Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.

Fraudsters frequently use fake URLs to direct customers to retailer websites, where they can click on links that infect their devices with malware.

Customers should instead go straight to a retailer’s website to make sure they are, in fact, giving a deal.

False charitable organizations

Many Americans also participate in Giving Tuesday after the famous shopping weekend. Scammers do, however, occasionally try to trick well-intentioned donors by using phony charity.

Consumers can usually identify fraudulent organizations by payment methods, as they frequently exclusively take cryptocurrency, gift cards, and wire transfers.

Phony social media profiles

Sometimes, con artists use social media personas to fool customers into divulging personal information or purchasing phony products.

Concerned Patriot advises customers to look for verified social media accounts with more significant followings before clicking on a profile.

Deceptive evaluations obtained via “review exchange” clubs

Sellers occasionally participate in “review exchange” organizations, trading things for kind and frequently deceptive product ratings on websites like Amazon.

Customers should examine reviews from various official shops to obtain more accurate reviews.

Unlicensed vendors

Shoppers should be cautious of unlicensed vendors during the weekend discounts as they might not appropriately display, package, handle, or ship products, which could make returns or exchanges more challenging.

Lost or stolen gift cards

Because gift cards are so popular during the holidays, con artists occasionally dupe customers into buying phony or stolen gift cards.

Only official retailers’ storefronts or websites should be used to purchase gift cards.

Enjoy the holidays, and always remember to stay vigilant. Happy Holidays!

Copyright 2023. ConcernedPatrtiot.com

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Citizens OUTRAGED as Town Officials Approve Flying Palestinian Flag

Citizens OUTRAGED as Town Officials Approve Flying Palestinian Flag

(ConcernedPatriot.com) – North Andover, Massachusetts, officials obtained a permit on Monday that permits the flying of the Palestinian flag on the town common.

The black, white, red, and green flag was hoisted Tuesday morning and will stay there until December 7, according to Boston 25 News.

Monday night’s board meeting, postponed due to “threats of litigation as well as public safety concerns,” drew attendance from supporters and opponents of the flag’s display on town land.

Salma Boulal, a local, attended the meeting and told the news station that Palestinians should have the same rights if Israel is allowed to fly its flag on North Andover Common.

Numerous police officers were present at the conference to maintain order.

According to town manager Melissa Rodrigues, an application to fly the flag was apparently filed in the town on October 16, just six hours before town authorities changed their flying flag regulation.

Before the regulation change, a town citizen could apply to fly a flag on the town flagpole.

Although the subject of a flag cannot be considered when assessing an application given under the previous regulation, Rodrigues stated that the application led to the flagpole being evaluated for a public forum.

By a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in Shurtleff v. Boston, the new regulation restricts the usage of the flagpole to declarations of official speech.

It prohibits the flying of any other flags associated with any particular culture.

“According to the decision in the Shurtleff case, the Town may not prohibit a flag from being flown based on its content, its meaning, or its message,” concluded Rodrigues.

“This limitation on the Select Board’s discretion indicates that denial of a resident’s flag application under the prior policy places the Town in jeopardy of legal action,” she added.

Additionally, the TV channel stated that since Hamas began attacking Israel in early October, the town has permitted the Israeli flag to fly in the Town Common.

Congregation Ahavat Olam, which translates to “everlasting love” in English, is led by Marc Freedman, who told Fox News Digital that he was appalled and appalled by the town’s choice to fly the Palestinian flag.

He added that doing the right thing is more essential than paying the price, citing the possibility of legal action if the town had refused to allow the flag to be raised.

“The town was a coward,” according to Freedman. “I don’t believe the flag should have been raised because today it is a symbol of hatred and antisemitism.”

Although the 57-year-old has lived in North Andover for 25 years, he has never attended a Town Select Board meeting before Monday night.

He said there were perhaps 600 individuals in the room on Monday, and the select board had allowed three minutes for everybody wishing to speak. However, he said that the public comment period would have to end after sixty minutes.

According to Freedman, two microphones were put up, with supporters flying the Palestinian flag positioned at one and opponents at the other.

He remarked that some people should be kicked out of the room because they occasionally chanted phrases like “from the river to the sea.”

In the end, the board decided to raise the Palestinian flag. At the same time, several members acknowledged—according to Freedman—that they might disagree with the decision but had to approve it based on legal opinion.

Not all towns in Massachusetts have approved raising the Palestinian flag in the town square, like North Andover.

The Worcester Telegram & Gazette reported last week that Worcester, the second-largest city in the state, flew the flag in front of City Hall.

Similar to North Andover, last month, following the terrorist assaults in Israel on October 7 by Hamas, the Israeli flag was flown for a week in Worcester.

The only flag representing a country in the United States should be the American flag. Do you agree?

Copyright 2023. ConcernedPatriot.com

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