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Fire Won't Wait: Prevention Tips for Homeowners

Today’s homes burn faster than ever. You may have as little as two minutes (or less) to safely escape a home fire from the time the smoke alarm sounds, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

At ServiceMaster DSI, we have seen residential fire damage up close and understand its devastating effects. A solid fire safety plan can improve your family’s chances of escaping a fire safely and, in some cases, may help you avoid a house fire altogether.

Fire Prevention Month

Every October, we observe Fire Prevention Month as an opportunity to highlight how you and your family can stay safe from home fires.

At the heart of Fire Prevention Month is the NFPA’s Fire Prevention Week – the longest running U.S. public health observance on record. This October 9-15, Fire Prevention Week reaches its 100th anniversary.

The theme for Fire Prevention Week 2022 is “Fire Won’t Wait. Plan Your Escape,” highlighting the critical importance of developing a home escape plan with all members of the household and practicing it regularly.

Personalize Your Plan

Everyone needs to know what to do and where to go if there is a fire. The NFPA suggests the following safety tips:

  • Make a home escape plan. Draw a map of your home showing all doors and windows.

  • Know at least two ways out of every room if possible. Make sure all doors and windows leading outside open easily.

  • Have an outside meeting place a safe distance from the home where everyone should meet.

  • Practice your home fire drill at night and during the day, twice a year, with everyone in your home.

  • Teach children how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them.

  • Close doors behind you as you leave.

A good home fire safety plan also includes having the right supplies and safety equipment on hand.

Install smoke detectors on every floor of your home, in every bedroom, and outside each sleeping area. Further, inspect and maintain your smoke detectors.

Test the alarm monthly. Replace the batteries at least once every year. Replace the entire smoke alarm every 10 years, says the U.S. Fire Administration/FEMA.

Fire extinguishers can keep small, containable fires from growing out of control. Have an extinguisher handy whenever you use cooking or heating equipment.

Need help learning how to use a fire extinguisher? Check out ServiceMaster Restore’s video tutorial on how to put out a fire.

Home Fire Prevention

In addition to having a fire escape plan, consider how to prevent fire altogether. The best way to stay away from home fires is to stop them from occurring in the first place.

ServiceMaster DSI recommends following these top fire safety practices:

  • Keep flammable materials away from heat sources. If you're using a portable space heater, keep it at least 3 feet away from flammable objects like furniture, blankets, electronics and anything combustible.

  • Don't leave flames or smoking materials unattended, including fireplaces, stovetops, candles and cigarettes. Avoid smoking indoors, and never smoke in bed.

  • Fix or replace frayed electrical cords or wires.

  • Don't overload wall outlets or extension cords.

  • Have your furnace or home heating source periodically inspected and kept in good working order.

  • Make sure everyone in the household understands the importance of home fire safety and observes fire-safe habits, including your kids.

Ready to Respond

Fire Prevention Month serves as a great reminder to create a home fire safety plan and to engage in fire prevention steps year-round. Remember, your ability to get out of a home during a fire depends on early warning from smoke alarms and advance planning. Following a few simple fire prevention tips can stop a fire from happening in the first place.

In the event of an unexpected house fire, ServiceMaster DSI is ready to restore your property and peace of mind. Available 24/7 every day of the year, our professionals have the expertise, training and innovative technology for soot and smoke odor removal and home fire damage restoration. For more information, please call us at 844-413-3130 or submit a request online.