4 Tips to Prevent House Fires
Did you know that U.S. Fire Departments respond to calls on home fires every 86 seconds according to the National Fire Protection Association? National Fire Prevention Week (October 7 – 13, 2018) serves as a good reminder that there’s never a bad time to review fire safety tips with your family and make sure that you are practicing fire prevention in your home. Here are some proactive steps you can take to keep your home and family safe!
The National Fire Protection Association lists cooking as the number one cause of home fires. Never leave your cooking area unattended. Keep anything that can catch fire away from your stovetop such as oven mitts or food packaging. Always keep a lid nearby so if a pan catches on fire, you can quickly slide the lid over it to contain and stifle the flame.
Nearly half of all home heating fires typically occur in December, January and February. It is important to have a regular maintenance plan that supports annual inspections and tune-ups to keep heating systems and furnaces in peak operating condition. Also, ensure that the area around the furnace is free from obstructions and flammable items, and change the furnace filter regularly. Space heaters pose as a risk, too, so keep flammable items at least three feet away from them and remember to turn them off when leaving the room.
Frayed power cords, overloaded electrical outlets, and faulty wiring are just a few of the common causes of electrical fires in a home. Do regular cord and outlet inspections and eliminate any concerning issues. You should also consider calling a professional electrician to come in and inspect your electrical panel. Experts can check for corrosion or burn/hot spots, tighten wires to the breakers, test the breakers, or recommend a safe, affordable upgrade. Another culprit for starting fires are laundry dryers. Always clean lint filters every time the dryer is used and clean the dryer ductwork annually.
Have a Plan in Place
Practicing fire safety at home involves understanding prevention practices, planning, and coaching. National Fire Prevention Week is a great time to remind everyone in your household about proper fire prevention as well as being prepared to react in case it happens. Review your escape plans and practice fire drills to stay sharp on the planned safety routes. If you have a fire extinguisher at home, make sure that you are familiar with how to use it, and check the pressure gauges. You will also want to check the working parts such as the can, hoses, and nozzle aren’t damaged, dented, or rusted. And don’t forget to make sure your smoke detectors have fresh batteries! Roughly 3 out of 5 fire deaths happen in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.
For additional resources, safety tips, and family activities, you can visit the NFPA’s website specifically dedicated to National Fire Prevention Week. If you are fired up about owning your own home, call us today!
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