Winter is coming and, unfortunately, this means an increased chance of fires in our homes and offices. Fortunately, by taking a few necessary steps and precautions, you can prevent fires or be prepared so that the unthinkable doesn’t happen and someone in your family is injured or killed.
Know your safety plan and exit routes
A ready family knows the plan for when there is a fire. Where can they go from each room in the house? Have your children imagine different places a fire can be and tell you how they might get out in that case. Make sure everyone in your home can open the windows if necessary.
For upstairs rooms, you might need alternative routes. A rolled up bedroom ladder doesn’t take up much space, but might save a life in the case of a late-night fire.
Check your appliances
Do periodic updates on your key appliances around the house. This is especially true for your furnace and any indoor fireplaces. Routine maintenance is less expensive and time consuming than an unplanned fire or smoke incident in your home.
Keep your alarms up to date
Your home should have multiple smoke detectors, and a carbon monoxide detector as well. Make sure that they are kept up to date by replacing batteries annually. Also, these detectors often come with expiration dates. Save yourself time and energy by writing their expiration dates in Sharpie on the outside of the detector so when the time comes, you can invest in new alarms to protect you and your family.
Be safe with fire
Stoves, gas furnaces and water heaters, and candles all create possible fire hazards in your home. Periodically check to make sure that you don’t have any flammable materials near these sources of flame. Use candle holders that prevent candles from being blown over or falling over.
Finally, use this checklist from FEMA to check that you have done everything you can to keep your property and the people you love safe.