Fire Prevention week falls on October 4-10 this year. We spend a lot of time discussing floor plans and building trends, but if safety precautions are not taken, your home could become a trap in the event of a fire. According to the National Fire Protection Association (more commonly the NFPA), there were a roughly 369,500 recorded house fires in 2013 resulting in over 2700 deaths. Often times, fires in the home can be prevented. Here are a few things to consider:
First, make sure there are smoke alarms installed in your home and that they are installed in their proper locations. Smoke alarms should be installed in every bedroom, outside the bedrooms in the vicinity of sleeping areas, and on every floor level in the home. Hardwired smoke alarms with battery backup are preferred over simple battery detectors. Also, make sure your hardwired smoke detectors are all interconnected so that if one activates they all will. You can test this by holding down the “test” button on one of the smoke detectors in your house until it activates. If you continue holding down after it activates, you will hear the other alarms throughout the home activate as well. Smoke detector batteries should be changed twice a year (even if your detector is hardwired). A good way to remember this is by changing your smoke detector batteries whenever you adjust your clocks for time change.
Electrical issues are a major cause of house fires. Multi-outlet converters have become increasingly more popular. There just never seems to be enough receptacles where you need them, and these little devices are excellent problem solvers. This can often result in overloaded outlets leading to fire danger. Overloading extension cords is equally hazardous and running them under rugs creates a recipe for disaster. Take no chances when it comes to electrical issues. If a receptacle or wire appears to be faulty, have them inspected by a licensed electrician.
Finally, use caution with appliances and heating equipment. Be sure to clean the lint filters in your dryer after every load. Keep portable heaters a safe distance from everything. When cooking, make sure all handles are kept out of the 6 o’clock position as to avoid spilling any flammable cooking oils. You can never be too safe when it comes to fire safety. Create a home evacuation plan and outside meeting place (commonly the mailbox), especially if there are young children in the home. Explain the importance of fire safety to your children. If you’re looking for something fun to do with the family, fire stations are open to the public at any time!
We love building homes! It brings us joy to see how excited people are when they get to move into their new home. The last thing we want to see is a family lose anything in a fire. Check your home for any fire dangers. To learn more about Gustafson Properties, LLC visit www.gustafsonproperties.com.