October is Fire Prevention Month, so it’s the perfect time to make sure you have a fire prevention plan in place to protect you, your family, and your home.
Here are some fire safety tips.
- Have at least one smoke alarm on each floor. Place smoke alarms outside bedrooms. It is best to install multiple detectors and put one near each sleeping area. For the best protection, put a smoke detector in each bedroom. The basement ceiling, near the steps, is also a good location for extra protection. Install each detector on the ceiling or on walls between 6” and 12” below the ceiling. Do not put it within 6” of where the wall and ceiling meet on either surface- this is dead air space with little circulation. Also do not mount a smoke detector in front of an air supply or return duct. Keep your smoke alarms in working order by testing them monthly and replacing batteries once a year. (Smoke alarms and batteries are available in our lighting and electrical department)
- Install carbon monoxide detectors. Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas that is very harmful to your health. The detectors will help alert you to toxic fumes. Place them near bedrooms alongside smoke detectors and in the same rooms as gas burning appliances like furnaces and water heaters. (Carbon monoxide detectors are also available in our lighting and electrical department)
- Inspect cords. Guard against electrical fires by inspecting electrical cords regularly and discard them if they frayed. Never plug too many cords into a single socket and keep the cords away from sources of heat and water.
- Use appliances with care. Appliances can overheat, resulting in flames and smoke. Keep cords and wires out from under rugs, hanging over nails or in the middle of high traffic areas. An unusual smell emitting from an appliance is a warning sign, so replace old or broken parts immediately.
- Use portable heaters wisely. Follow the product instructions for use and keep heaters at least three feet away from furniture, curtains, bed linens, clothing, and any other combustible item.
- Safety-proof your fireplace. Use a heavy, well-built screen to prevent rolling logs and make sure that the screen is large enough to cover the entire opening of the fireplace to keep flying sparks and hot embers inside. Make sure the fire is completely out before going to bed or leaving the house.
- Have a fire escape plan in place. Your final step should be an evacuation plan. The plan should include at least two ways out of every room in your home. Share the plan with every member of the household and practice it occasionally.