Fall Fire Safety Tips
It’s getting colder outside and fireplaces, space heaters and homemade meals increase your risk of household fires. Take these five precautionary measures to assure your home is as safe as possible for the coming months.
1. Change your detector batteries
More than half of all fatal residential fires occur in homes that don't have working smoke alarms. A good rule of thumb is to change your smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector batteries at the beginning and end of Daylight Saving Time every spring and fall.
2. Check your cords and outlets
Make sure your appliances and electronics don’t have frayed cords or damaged plugs. These can cause them to spark during use. And don’t overcrowd your outlets. When they’re not being used, make sure you cover them with plastic safety plugs to avoid potential hazards.
3. Practice safe cooking
Cooking is the leading cause of household fires in the U.S. Never leave food on the stove or in the oven or microwave unsupervised, keep towels and clothing away from burners and always remember to turn off your appliances as soon as you’re done in the kitchen.
4. Avoid candle hazards
Keep candles out of reach of children and pets and away from flammable materials, like curtains and bedsheets. Also, make sure they are set in jars or holders that won’t tip over or catch fire. And always make sure to blow them out before you leave the house or go to bed.
5. Purchase fire extinguishers
Buy a few fire extinguishers and place them in convenient locations throughout your home. Keep one on each floor and one in or near the kitchen. If you ever have any doubt about the capabilities of your extinguisher in the event of a fire, leave and call 911 immediately.
6. Prepare your heat sources
Space heaters should be placed at least three feet from anything flammable and never where a child or pet can knock it over. Check the fireplace to assure it’s clean before use. You should have your chimney professionally cleaned once a year if you use it often.