October is Fire Prevention Month!

The U.S. Fire Administration reports that fires kill more than 4,000 Americans each year and approximately injure 20,000 more.  Across America, our fire departments respond to nearly 2 million fires each year. Our homes are our sanctuaries.  This month, take the time to make sure your family is prepared in case of a fire.

Here are some simple, yet valuable fire prevention tips to implement in your home today:

Smoke Alarms– Remain an important part of our homes. They are widely available and inexpensive.  Install one on every level of your home.  Remember to check the batteries and test it once a month.

Electrical Plugs– Do not overload your circuits and extension cords. You should never place plugs or wires in high traffic areas or under rugs. Make sure all plugs fit securely to the outlets in the wall.  If you have a poor connection between plug and wall, the plug can overheat and start a fire in minutes.

Appliances– Unplug all appliances when not in use. Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines that come with the appliance.  If a plug is overheating, smells funny, shorts or sparks – SHUT OFF THE APPLIANCE. If the plug or outlet cannot be repaired, it might be time to replace that appliance.

Alternate Heaters– Make sure there is plenty of room around any portable heater. Anything that can catch fire should always be away from the heater.  Inspect your chimney annually and use fire screens to prevent sparks from landing on your carpet or anything flammable near it.

Fire Safety Sprinklers– When combined with working fire alarms, your chance of surviving a fire increases.

Escape Routes– Know your escape route and practice it with your family. Stay on the floor and check for hot doors using the back of your hand.

Appliance Positioning – Try to keep TVs, and kitchen or other appliances away from curtains. If there is a wiring problem, curtains can quickly go up in flames.

Dryer Vents– Clean your lint filter every time you use it. Make sure your exhaust duct is made of metal tubing and not plastic or foil.  Try to clean the exhaust at least twice a year. 

Holiday Caution– Keep your lights in good condition. Make sure they are not frayed and do not have exposed wires.

Regular Inspections– Check all your wiring and electrical equipment at least once a month.

By following these simple FIRE SAFETY TIPS, you could save a life.

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