Each October, the National Fire Protection Association celebrates Fire Safety Month. I thought I’d share my top five tips with you. Raising awareness of simple fire safety tips ensures safety for you and your home.
My Top Five Fire Safety Tips:
- Smoke Detectors – You should consider having one on each level of your home at minimum. It is also a great idea to have them in each bedroom. I recommend replacing the batteries in your smoke detectors at least twice a year. Choose a time of the year and stick to that same time each year. I use the time change – each Spring and Fall, I not only change my clocks but I also change my batteries. Having a working smoke detector in a home reduces the chance of death by fire by 50%.
- Fire Extinguishers – It is suggested to have one of these on each level of your home as well because a fire can start in any part of a home. I recommend having one located in your kitchen for sure as 44% of home fires begin in the kitchen. Not only are they common, but they can be deadly. Making sure you know how to use it is just as important. We practiced using a fire extinguisher when my son was in cub scouts and I felt it was important for adults and children to learn about fire safety and to know how to use this important tool.
- Fire Escape Plan – Make sure you and your family have developed a fire escape plan. Have fire ladders conveniently located in second floor bedrooms, so that if needed, there is a secondary exit other than the first floor entryway. Have a meet up spot outside where the family will gather. Make sure the younger kids know to call 911 in an emergency.
- Heating – Having your furnace checked and maintained each year to ensure that it is in working condition is a fantastic habit to have. On average heating fires jump to 27% during the colder months. Faulty furnaces and heating with portable sources (ie. kerosene, electric, propane) can cause a fire. Make sure if you do utilize a portable heating source that it is clear of anything flammable, curtains, blankets, etc.
- Maintenance – There are a couple maintenance items.
- Keeping your stove/oven clean and free of debri
- Keeping your dryer clean of lint and checking the hose to ensure you don’t have anything caught behind the dryer that could catch fire
- Checking your electric cords to make sure that pets haven’t chewed on them and that you don’t have any exposed wires
- If you have a fireplace, be sure to have your chimney cleaned and inspected on a regular basis and that you dispose of your ashes in a proper metal container
If you have young children, make sure that you are talking to them about fire safety. You can be the biggest fire safety tool and spreading the knowledge of fire safety can be your best defense. Check with your local fire department: many offer free smoke detectors to keep the communities safe and many will also offer free tours to groups. If your neighborhood or local organization would be interested in learning more about fire safety and taking a tour of your local fire station, I highly recommend reaching out to them today.