Preparing and maintaining your home to prevent fires is an excellent way to protect your family and your belongings.
TEST YOUR SMOKE ALARMS REGULARLY
Press the test button, if it beeps weakly, then you need to change the batteries ASAP.
INSPECT YOUR HEATING SYSTEM
If your heating sources aren’t working properly, they could trigger a fire. Have them checked annually by a professional. Make sure your air filters are always cleaned or replaced. If you’re using a space heater – it needs to be positioned away from anything flammable.
KEEP YOUR STOVE AND OVEN CLEAN
When stoves combust, it is usually caused by oils spilling during cooking, or because forgotten food particles are on the burner. If you leave a dish towel or cookbook on a burner that you forgot was still hot, they can catch fire.
DON’T LEAVE COOKING FOOD UNATTENDED
A few seconds is all it takes for a fire to break out. Never leave cooking food unattended. If you must leave the kitchen, call someone to watch the food until you return.
ALWAYS CHECK YOUR DRYER
Driers should be inspected on a yearly basis. Don’t forget to clean out your lint trap every time you put in a new load of laundry. You also want to check behind the machine for lint or clothing items like socks… clean the area and remove clothing items.
MAINTAIN ALL ELECTRICAL CORDS
Before you plug something in, make sure that the cord hasn’t been frayed. Replace damaged wires because this is a huge fire hazard. Check your cord placement. They tend to get hot. Avoid running them under a rug or between your wall and furniture.
PROPERLY STORE FLAMMABLE PRODUCTS
Household cleaners, solvents, and common cosmetic items such as hairspray can be hazardous if they are exposed to a heat source. They can combust. Keep them away from space heaters and other high heat sources.
PRACTICE CAUTION WITH CANDLES
Be cautious with candles. Keep them far away from curtains, blankets, or other flammable objects. Never put them on an uneven surface like carpets. If you have pets, make sure lit candles stay out of their reach. Blow out candles when you leave the room.
BE CAREFUL WITH YOUR FIREPLACE
Use a fire screen to prevent sparks from escaping from the fireplace. Don’t burn rubbish in a fireplace. Don’t leave the room with the fireplace blazing. Dispose of the ashes properly. Make sure they are cool. Dispose of them in a metal container designated for the ashes.
HAVE FIRE EXTINGUISHERS ON HAND
Fire extinguishers are your best defense weapon when a fire breaks out. Make sure you have at least one in the kitchen, one in the garage. Every family member should know how to use an extinguisher so if a fire does happen, it can be put out as fast as possible. However, never put your life at risk. Know when to escape!