Fire Prevention: Save Your Home and Family
Fire prevention can save your home and your life.
You protect your family by locking doors at night, monitoring who they spend time with and where they go. But do you consider fire prevention and preparedness tips?
As a homeowner, the thought of a fire breaking out in your house is a nightmare scenario. It puts your family’s safety at risk, and you could lose many possessions including your home itself. Avoid this frightful scenario and potentially save lives by reducing the risk of fire.
Maintain Smoke Alarms
All homes should have smoke alarms to alert you to fire danger. One or two alarm devices are not enough if you have multiple levels or a larger property. Your home should have a working smoke alarm in every bedroom and an additional alarm per floor. Maintain your smoke alarms to ensure they are effective in the unfortunate incident of a fire.
- Test your smoke alarm once per month by pressing their tester button.
- Change the batteries in your smoke alarm at least once per year.
- Never disconnect your smoke alarm.
Practice an Evacuation Plan
It is a wise idea to explain rules for safely exiting the home. Putting together a simple to understand plan for all family members is an easy way to make sure you and your family are on the same page in the event of a fire emergency.
Something as simple as identifying a meeting location outside, explaining how to open tricky windows, or showing how to remove cut window screens is a great start for teaching young children safe fire evacuation. Teaching administration of tools like the fire extinguisher and its location can prevent small kitchen fires from forming catastrophes.
Keep an Eye on the Dryer
Of major appliances, the dryer is perhaps the most significant potential culprit for starting a fire apart from countertop ovens and griddles. Check the filter and remove lint buildup after every load. Doing this also helps dry time, so it’s a win-win! We also recommend inspecting the outside vent and the hose leading from the dryer to the vent for proper ventilation. There are many YouTube tutorials that explain the ins and outs of dryers and their filters—those videos may be useful for extra, seasonal, deep cleanings.
Being aware of electrical problems is an important fire precaution. Never overload your outlets. Also, be mindful when you use power strips, especially with computers and TVs. If an outlet looks dingy, it could be blown which indicates hidden problems. Outlet inspection is especially necessary for rental apartments or townhomes. Take precaution and call a professional electrician or property maintenance for help. We do not recommend fixing electrical problems. This is not a DIY project.
Be Careful When You Cook
Because there are many silent heat sources in a kitchen, fire prevention is most likely and therefore most important here. Make sure your oven is clean and functioning correctly. If the oven emits an unusual amount of heat when closed and cooking, there may be problems with the seal or heating mechanism. It does not hurt to have a professional look at the appliance to ensure the temperature regulation mechanisms are working properly.
If all is functioning, it is wise to use the self-clean setting when your oven looks particularly grimy. This will heat the inside of the oven to a high temperature, burning stuck-on residue. When the self-cleaning is done, the food particles inside will be ash and can be easily wiped out. This is a simple and effective way to clean an oven. However, do not leave your oven unattended while this process is happening.
In fact, never leave any kitchen appliance unattended, especially food on the stove. A good rule of thumb is to store items off and away from the stove—you may not know when a child messes with the dials or an adult forgetfully leaves a burner on. In this age, stoves have smart locks that prevent accidental dial clicks. Regardless, putting items away ASAP as opposed to leaving them on the stove is a good, safe practice.
You can have peace of mind when you follow these fire prevention guidelines. We, at SERVPRO, want you to help prepare you. Still, accidents happen. In the event of an unfortunate situation, we offer fire damage services like Fire & Smoke Restoration, soot and odor removal and contents cleaning. If you have fire damage, contact SERVPRO of Bartlett / Cordova at (901) 382-0900.