The end of daylight savings time is finally here. As the weather cools down and you begin turning back your clocks, take note of fire prevention this season by making sure that you and your family are following the best fire safety practices. Not only does fire prevention include changing out the batteries in your smoke detectors and practicing fire safety when lighting a fire in the fireplace, it also means creating an emergency evacuation plan that everyone can follow in the event that a fire does start. According to the National Fire Protection Association, more than 1.3 million fires occur in the United States each year. A fire prevention checklist is essential to keep your home safe. Having the checklist helps you be proactive and take important steps to reduce the risk for a fire. If your home caught on fire today, would your family know what to do? If the answer is no, take steps to change that immediately. Everyone in the family needs to be involved and know what to do in the case of an emergency.
Home Fire Safety Checklist and Tips:
- Have a family/roommate fire escape plan and practice the steps.
- Identify at least two ways that you can exit each room in the event of a fire.
- Replace batteries in every smoke detector in the house and test them to ensure they're working properly.
- Replace smoke alarms every 10 years or as needed.
- Check your fire extinguisher for corrosion, missing pull-pins and changes in the pressure gauge. When it's in good condition, leave it in an easy to find location.
- Don't overload an electrical outlet – go easy on your surge protectors.
- Practice electrical cord safety: no frays or tears.
- Never leave a burning candle unattended.
- Before starting a fire in your fireplace, have your chimney inspected.
- Turn off the oven before leaving the house.
- Never use a generator indoors.
- Take extreme care when using space heaters.
Lastly, no matter what, please remember…..If a fire occurs in your home, the first priority is to get out, stay out and call for help. Practice your escape plans with the entire family regularly. For a printable version of our Home Fire Safety Checklist, click here.