Fire prevention is crucial to home fire safety. Here is a short list of quick, easily implemented fire safety tips and prevention measures.
- Install smoke detectors Every floor of your home should have an installed smoke detector, including inside and outside of each bedroom/sleeping area. It is extremely important to test your smoke detectors regularly and change out the batteries in each detector AT LEAST once a year.
- Kitchen safetyNever leave your pots and pans on the hot stove unattended. Try to have a working fire extinguisher in your kitchen and other areas where you might have an open flame, like near a fireplace or backyard barbecue grill.
- Fireplace Safety Have your chimney or wood stove inspected and cleaned annually by a certified chimney specialist.
- Clear the area around the hearth of debris, decorations and flammable materials.
- Leave glass doors open while burning a fire. Leaving the doors open ensures the fire receives enough air to complete combustion and keeps creosote from building up in the chimney.
- Close glass doors when the fire is out to keep air from the chimney opening from getting into the room. Most glass fireplace doors have a metal mesh screen which should be closed when the glass doors are open. This mesh screen helps keep embers from getting out of the fireplace area.
- Always use a metal mesh screen with fireplaces that do not have a glass fireplace door.
- When dumping ashes, ensure they are completely cool! Do not dump in your dumpster, as this can ignite a fire.
- On your way out Before leaving home (even if it’s just for a few minutes) be sure to turn off and/or unplug appliances like coffee makers, curling irons, toasters, clothes irons, or scent warmers. It’s also important that you not leave candles unattended, so remember to blow them out!
- Eliminate potential hazards You can start by clearing out any dead trees or shrubbery from your property. Yes, this includes leaves. Your firewood pile should be stacked at least 30 feet from your home. Keep roof and gutters clean from leaves.
- Electrical Wiring If you experience any problems, or suspect any issues with the electrical wiring in your home, have an experienced electrician come and conduct an inspection immediately.
- Plan an escape In the best interest of your family, have everyone practice how to get out of the house in the event of a fire. Be sure to designate a meeting place outside the home, so you’ll know when everyone is out safely.
- Make a fire safety checklist Sit down with your family, and make a checklist of fire prevention and safety measures, including ways to prevent fires at home, as well as the steps to take should an actual fire occur. Post this checklist on the refrigerator, bulletin board, or other higly visible area for a quick and easy access at all times.