Protecting Your Property Investments with Fire Extinguishers

Fire incidents in high-rise apartment buildings all over the world have garnered attention on the issue of fire safety equipment. How safe are these buildings? Fire safety in high-rise apartment buildings has its own challenges because of the building’s design, for example, a longer time is needed to evacuate as there will be a great number of people going through the staircase during evacuation. There isn’t a need to panic. High-rise buildings are now subject to a stricter safety code. In fact, in Canada, there is a legislation requiring all multi-unit dwellings to be inspected on an annual basis. Also most of these high-rise buildings are built to be fire proofed; its design made in such a way that the spread of fire will be limited, so if a fire breaks out, it will be confined to a specific location.


As an investment there is a risk and reward of large multi-story multi-unit buildings. More units equals more rental income. There is higher risk as more units means you’re increasing your risk of fire destroying the entire investment. Instead of one kitchen a typical high-rise apartment might have 100 to 200 kitchens. You’ve now magnified your fire problem.


Who is responsible for safety? It is the property management’s duty to ensure the safety of its residents; but everyone must still keep watch of their own. Home fires usually start in the kitchen mainly because of unattended cooking. There are a lot of home fire stories involving cooking – pans left unattended while stove is on, frying or grilling that burned that resulted to fire – these are just some of the reasons, all pointing to the same culprit that is unattended cooking. In a report from NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) from 2010-2014, unattended cooking made up one-third (33%) of reported home fires.


People nowadays are easily distracted by TV, phones, computers, or sometime, with babies crying that they leave their cooking unattended. In a survey made, the respondents admitted they are guilty of having done one or two of the things mentioned while cooking. Multi-tasking is tempting especially when you wanted to get things done the sooner, but cooking is an activity that should be enjoyed and not one to cause injury. It is advised to always stay in the kitchen when cooking, and if you need to leave, turn off the stove and other electronic equipment in the kitchen that could start a fire.


Residents in high-rise apartment buildings must properly educate themselves to a fire safety plan. Yes, accidents happen no matter how careful you are, but when it does happen, isn’t it nice that you are prepared? As a responsible property manager of high-rise buildings, there are safety precautions that you can do to help avoid fire incidents. Ensuing every unit has a working fire extinguisher is one simple precaution. A fire extinguisher is a handy dandy device that is used to efficiently control small fires. Most of the time a fire can be controlled by the use of fire extinguisher alone. According to research done by the NFPA, for approximately 80% of all fire incidents, a simple portable fire extinguisher can put out a fire and lessens the impact or damage that the fire can cause.

There are different types and classes of fire extinguishers in the market, each with its own purpose.


Fire Extinguisher Types:

  • Class A: ordinary combustibles like cloth, wood, and paper
  • Class B: flammable liquids like grease, gasoline, and oil
  • Class C: electrical appliances and tools
  • Class D: flammable metals (mostly in factories)
  • Class K: vegetable oils, animal oils, or fats in cooking appliances


For home use, it is best recommended to have a combination of ABC. As the name suggests, this is well suited to put out all three fire types. Many of the fire extinguishers sold for home use are labelled such. If still unsure, get in touch with professionals or trained individuals who can help you with its proper usage before buying. A quick guide on the how to use a fire extinguisher is to follow the PASS method.


How to use an extinguisher:


Pull the extinguisher’s safety pin.

Aim the chemical at the source of the flames rather than at the flames themselves, standing at least 6 feet from the fire (or as directed on the extinguisher’s label).

Squeeze the trigger and hold it, keeping the extinguisher upright.

Sweep the source of the flames until the extinguisher runs dry.


Again, property managers and building owners need to know the fire safety code, develop and practice with their tenants their own safety plan. Do not compromise human safety. Material possessions and property can be replaced at any given time, but the lives and safety of the people around you should not be put at risked. Understanding the importance of having a fire extinguisher in the kitchen could help avoid the risk of damage and/or injuries. Society’s silent hero – as people call it. A fire extinguisher is a good equipment to invest in. Spectrum United hopes that you never get to use it, but an extinguisher is money well spent when you have a situation where you need it.

Why Refurbished Electronics and Surplus Appliances Are A Bargain

Report by Spectrum United Investment Advisor Ammie A.

A friend was in an almost unfortunate situation recently. She got mugged on her way home, but luckily she managed to defend herself.  Unfortunately during the struggle the screen of her precious smartphone was broken (she used it to shield herself when she was about to get stabbed by her attacker, thank heavens for phones!). That’s a whole different story now, but that was the reason why we got into a talk of refurbished items. Having her phone repaired is definitely not an option because the estimates she got were ridiculously high.   She started thinking that she would be better off buying a new or refurbished phone instead.

‘Are refurbished phones even safe?’ she asked with doubt on her face.

My friend is one of the many who thinks that refurbished or items are lower in quality than the brand new ones, when in fact, that is not always the case. Recently I got a surplus Frigidaire 70 pint dehumidifier. Sure it had a small scratch on the left side and the box had seen better days, but my basement is a heck of a lot drier because of it and I saved $120. That’s $120 in just the initial savings. Now compound those savings in a conservative 5% investment over a ten year period and you get $196.82.

Now in my experience not every one of these refurbished items is as good as new. We live in a world where nothing is perfect, electronic gizmos included. Back in the day, I used to think the same way like her. Skeptical as I tend to be, I used to believe that reconditioned items are just another way of these businesses to earn money from the unknowing consumers. Having worked in an online electronics store a few years ago, I have come to learn and understand how the whole refurbishment process works. I have handled consumers who complained about the refurbished items they purchased, how they regretted buying it because it is nowhere near their expectations, how refurbished are thrash. And I would have to explain to them patiently that just because it is refurbished means it also has refurbished quality.

It is called refurbished for a reason. People tend to associate the word refurbished for used items. Used items are just that – used. The consumer purchased the item, used it for a good while, and decided to resell it.

Refurbished items, on the other hand, refers to items that were returned to the retailer or the manufacturer for reasons such as:

  • Buyer’s remorse. The customer decided they don’t want the item after all, took advantage of the return policy and got a refund.
  • Production defects. Somehow, this particular one managed to get past the quality control test without being detected.
  • Damage on the device. Scratches or dents during shipping and handling.
  • Items used for an in store demo that have now been repackaged and are being resold.


Are refurbished electronics a bargain?


For items that has production defects and damage, the manufacturer would have them fixed, have it go through quality test again, release it back to the market to have it resold at a discounted price. Note: Discounted price (sometimes at up to a 50% discount. Now who wouldn’t want that?). Items that were returned due to buyer’s remorse could still be lumped in as refurbished, or sold as opened box, with a close to refurbished price.

‘Is a refurbished phone now an option?’ I asked my friend.

‘Sure. But it has to be from a reputable store.’ She said.

Of course. No one would want to go through the emotional and mental stress thinking that you got scammed or tricked. You really need to be careful where to buy them, especially when you are planning to buy it online. We all have heard horror stories about online purchases. Do a lot of research before jumping in on a deal.  Find a retailer with a good reputation.  Another option is to join forums and ask other people who might be able to recommend a reputable seller.

If in doubt about a purchase, ask about the seller’s return policy and warranties. Yes, despite being refurbished they do offer warranties still. But since these items are already refurbished, a different warranty is in effect. In some cases, return is no longer allowed unless the item is damaged or non-functioning at all, and that the offered free repair service is for a limited time only. Limited it may be, but warranties just the same. If you are still unsure, it pays to have a friend who is knowledgeable enough about electronics to do the quality check for you instead.

In buying electronics, or any items for that matter, we always want superb quality, with the lowest price possible. The thing is though that some of those deals are hard to come by. Sometimes we see discounts on older models, where the price has already been slashed to make way for its newer counterparts. This strategy is often used with the Apple iPhone.  The newer the item, and the better the quality is – normally means the higher the price. For people who are on the lookout for ways to save money or on a tight budget, buying refurbished items are often sweet, heaven-sent deals. They allow some people to be able to buy items that are normally out of their budget.  For others they not only can save on their hard-earned money, but they are also helping the environment from additional pollution and electronic waste.

At Spectrum United Investment Advisors we are all about saving money for those investment opportunities and letting you enjoy a good life at a lower expense.  So, happy refurbished-shopping everyone!