When it comes to being prepared, there is nothing more important than fire awareness. Our homes are made of wood, paint, and gas and electric lines. Inside our homes, we have furniture made of wood and fabric. Outside our homes, we have grass, trees and shrubs. All of these elements are highly flammable should a fire occur in or around your home.
Now that we are a little scared, what can be done to prevent or reduce the risk of fire to our homes? These five tips are just a few that can help reduce risk of fire causing more damage than necessary.
Replace Batteries in Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
One of the easiest tasks that can be done by any family member, is to change out the batteries in all of your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Our detectors let us know when a fire is happening or gas is leaking, both of which can cause death. Be careful when climbing ladders to get to these detectors. If you feel that your detectors are old and past their usefulness, then is likely time to replace them. The life expectancy of a smoke detector is around 10 years.
Invest in Fire Extinguishers
If you have fire extinguishers, check their expiration date. Like smoke detectors, fire extinguishers usually need replacing between 10 – 12 years. If you do not have fire extinguishers, get them for your home and place them in potential high fire areas of your home. Areas like the kitchen, the laundry room, near grills and one somewhere need a bedroom in case you need easy access to one.
Change out Candles
Many people forget to blow out burning candles or unplug units that heat oils for a fresh smelling home. Instead of using candles, try using natural spices or scented products that do not require heat. Products like scented reeds or sprays. Add scented oils to pine cones or some other decor to make your rooms smell great. Candles can easily cause fire damage especially with forgetfulness.
Professionally Check your Heating System
To avoid any issues with carbon monoxide or shorts in systems, have your heating systems checked by a professional. By checking your heating units, you make sure you stay warm in winter months and you avoid any potential issues from malfunctioning units. A professional knows what to look for and can make recommendations of fixes if necessary.
Clean your Stove Vent
Many people do not realize that their stove vent collects grease from cooking. If you are not a cook, you do not need to worry about this tip. But if you are an avid chef, it is great practice to regularly clean your stove vent. You can remove the vents and soak this in hot water and soap. After soaking them, scrub them to remove excess grease. Grease can drip down into your food while cooking and cause a fire instantly. Not to mention, you food will taste like last month’s meal … yuck.
These five tips can get you started on how to care for your home during fire prevention week. There are other tasks that you can tackle to also prevent fires and some of those tasks can be found here by the US Fire Administration.