Fall Fire Safety Tips – Devastating home fires are all too common. According to the National Fire Protection Association, every year, there are nearly 400,000 home fires in the United States. And many of those fires are fatal – 83% of all civilian fire deaths are result from home fires. The real tragedy is that so many of these fires can be prevented. By taking the basic precautions listed here, you could stop a disaster before it starts.
- If you have stand-alone, battery-powered alarms, test them once a month and replace the batteries once a year, fall is a good time.
- Replace all smoke alarms, including alarms that use 10-year batteries and hard-wired alarms, when they are 10 years old. They should also be replaced whenever they do not respond properly.
- If you have questions about where to install smoke alarms, contact your local fire department. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions on installation, battery replacement, and maintenance.
- Stay in the kitchen while your frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you need to leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the oven or stove.
- Keep your stovetop clear of anything that can catch fire, including oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels, and curtains.
- Keep a lid nearby when you’re cooking on the stovetop. If a small grease fire occurs, smother it by sliding the lid over the pan. Turn off the stove immediately and leave the pan covered until it has completly cooled.
- For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
- Many Candle fires start during power outages. Instead of candles, use flashlights or similar sources of light.
- Don’t leave candles unattended or within reach of children or pets.
- Don’t allow candles to burn to the bottom of their container.
- Small votive candles should be placed in a fire-proof container, we had a single small votive burn and the bottom metal wicking flowed down the melted wax on a nightstand and ignite the bedding on fire.
- Have your home inspected by a qualified electrician, especially when your buying an older home. The Electrical safety Foundation International recommends an electrical inspection on any home that is 40 years old or older.
- Use a qualified electrician when you are having any electrical work done on your home.
- Never use extension cords as permanent wiring. If your home needs more outlets, consult a qualified electrician for help with the problem.
- Be alert for any red flags that may signal electrical problems. If you have frequently blown fuses or tripped breakers, dimming or blinking lights, outlets that are warm to the touch, or similar types of problems, have your home inspected by a qualified professional.