Steel Bars Hamper Rescue from Burning House

In some parts of the country, generally in big cities where crimes are higher, steel bars are a significant part of the home security landscape. We don’t see many new installations of steel bars today. If you live on a fist floor or basement level apartment, steel bars may be a consideration for windows and sometimes doors. However, newer technologies are available that are not only close to as effective to prevent a burglar, but are also safer when it comes to fire rescue.

A  man remained in critical condition Tuesday, a day after firefighters sawed through a set of steel security bars to pull him from his burning home. Bars on doors typically slow down the rescue by a minute or two – about the time it takes to warm up the power tools and saw through the steel. Steel bars on doors and windows typically are required to lock from the inside. If someone is locked inside a barred house and can’t leave on their own, rescue efforts can take a minute or two longer than usual.”

“Everybody wants their home to be secure, and steel bars are a good way to do it,” he said. “But again, I look at it from a different angle because of what I do,” said the battalion commander for Fire Emergency Management.

Certainly steel bars are going to be a deterrent. But in this situation the results of a fortress like home can be deadly in the event of a fire. Here are a few considerations.

1. Install a home security system that also has carbon monoxide sensors and smoke detectors to alert you, alarm central, the police and fire departments in case of noxious gasses or fire.

2. Consider home security cameras that can be remotely monitored.

3. Instead of bars on the doors, install a fireproofed door that doesn’t require firefighters to crank up a saw to get through. A battering ram is quicker.

4. Instead of bars on windows install window security film which is a clean thin virtually invisible layer of protection and is easily applied to your glass windows.

Robert Siciliano personal security expert to Home Security Source discussing Home Security on NBC Boston. Disclosures.