Fire Safety Tips
Crime is not the only danger we face as Homeowners. Here are some helpful tips from Firesafety.gov
We are lucky enough to have a firehouse across the street from us, but we should still be diligent about fire safety.
-Make sure the smoke alarms in your home have charged batteries in them, and test them annually at a minimum. A good time to replace the batteries is when setting the clocks forward or back for daylight savings. That way you will remember when you changed them and when to change them next.
-Smoke alarms don't last forever, they need to be replaced every 10 years. Our neighborhood is about 10 years old, so chances are, it's time to replace yours.
-Develop and practice a fire safety plan with your family. Try to make at least two different plans in case one of your exits are cut off by fire. Make a designated meeting place for all family members. Designate one family member to help any older or disabled family members to escape.
-If you notice smoke in the neighborhood, go ahead and call the Fire Department. Don't assume someone else has already done it.
-Always keep an eye on food being heated. Unattended cooking causes the majority of fires in the kitchen. If you leave the kitchen, set a timer to remind you that something is on the stove. Keep children away from appliances when cooking. Have a "kid-free zone" around the stove and teach youngsters not to play in that area. Roll-up sleeves or, if possible, wear short or tight fitting sleeves when cooking. Loose fitting clothing and sleeves can be dangerous near open flames. Try not to reach over the stove. You can avoid this by not storing items you use directly over or behind the stovetop.Turn handles inward so pots and pans won't be pulled or knocked off the stove.
-Have a professional technician inspect your heating, cooling, and water appliances annually.
-Have the fireplace chimney checked and cleaned routinely by a chimney "sweep" at least once a year.
-Do not leave a portable heater operating unattended or operating while sleeping. Portable electric air heaters are designed for use only as temporary supplemental heating and only while attended. Look for portable heaters that are listed by a nationally-recognized testing laboratory. These heaters have been tested to meet specific safety standards, and manufacturers are required to provide important use and care information to the consumer.
-Do not use an electrical cord that is stiff or cracked. The insulation on electrical cords can become damaged by wear, flexing, or age. Inspect electrical cords for frayed wires, which can cause fires. Replace all worn, old or damaged cords immediately.
-Install additional receptacles where needed. Extension cords should never be used as a long-term solution to the need for installing additional receptacles.
-Keep combustibles away from light bulbs. Light bulbs, especially halogen types, get very hot and can ignite combustible materials that get too close.
-Never place clothing or towels on top of a lampshade. Do not use table lamps without a shade where they might fall over onto a bed or sofa.
-Use the correct bulb wattage for the fixture. Most light fixtures are labeled to show the type of and highest wattage bulb that can be safely used in that fixture; too high a wattage bulb can cause the fixture to overheat and start a fire.
-Keep matches and lighters out of the reach of young children.
-Exercise caution when using candles. Do not leave candles unattended or lit while sleeping. Candles should be kept away from combustibles. Extinguish candles when you leave the room. If power is out, consider using flashlights instead.
-Never smoke in bed and extinguish tobacco products when tired. Use an ash tray when smoking.