Fire Safety Tips to Protect You, Your Home and Your Family
October 8th through October 14th is Fire Prevention Week! Each year, house fires account for thousands of injuries, deaths and billions of dollars in damage. Prevention and planning are two of the most critical factors in protecting your family and home from a devastating fire.
Have a Plan
Every second counts during a fire. Talk with your family and have a plan in place to make sure everyone knows the best way to make a quick exit in the event of a fire. A family fire drill can help everyone practice getting to the nearest window or door that will lead to safety. The National Fire Protection Agency provides a handy checklist that can be used to prepare for fire emergencies.
Stay Alert with Smoke Detectors
Install at least one smoke detector for each level of your home to alert you and your family of a fire. It’s also a good idea to place additional smoke detectors near bedrooms to make sure the alarms will wake everyone up if the emergency occurs at night. Test the alarms twice per year to make sure they’re working properly and are able to do their job. A good rule of thumb is to test and replace the batteries each time we change our clocks for daylight savings, which is coming up as daylight saving time ends November 5th!
Perform Routine Dryer Maintenance
Dryer fires account for nearly 3,000 fires and millions in damages each year. Lint buildup is a major factor in these fires, but this can easily be prevented by cleaning out the filter after every cycle. Do not run a dryer without a lint trap in place. Also, be sure to check the vents behind your dryer and make sure the area is free of clutter and nothing is damaged.
Keep a Fire Extinguisher in the Kitchen
One in six structure fires in the United States begin in the kitchen. Many homeowners are surprised at how quickly a fire can start and spread from the kitchen to other areas of the home. A home fire extinguisher can help prevent a small fire from becoming a major disaster if something starts to burn out of control. Choose the right type of extinguisher for your home and keep one on hand at all times in the kitchen.