2 Feb 20140 Comments
Today is a great day to do a walk-through of your home and check for fire hazards. Things to check for are:
- Make sure you have working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Keep them clean and change the batteries every year. Have one on every level of the home, near the bedrooms, kitchen and laundry room at least.
- Fire extinguishers, do you have one in each room, are they charged up and does each member of the family know how to use them?
- Outlets make sure your outlets do not have too many things plugged in that would over load a circuit.
- Space heaters, this is particular important during the winter time, never leave a space heater unattended, also insure they are not close to blankets or clothing. Never go to sleep with a small space heater on.
- Smoking, if you smoke (you should quit for more reasons than fire hazards, your health is counting on it) make sure you don’t fall asleep with a burning cigarette, also make sure you don’t throw an ash tray out in the trash if there is a slight chance there is still a burning ash or butt.
- Candles never have burning candles near drapes or clothes. Also insure pets can’t get near or know over a candle. Never leave a candle unattended.
- Cooking, never leave the kitchen when you have something on the stove or oven.
- Dryers, always make sure your lent catcher is cleaned out before each run of the dryer. Several years ago the local animal shelter caught fire due to the dryer lent filter being so full the dryer caught fire. Many animals were killed; just a little ounce of prevention could have saved so many innocent furry animals.
- Curling irons, make sure if you use one you keep it away from towels, and don’t lay it directly on a counter, insure you always unplug it when not using and never leave it unattended.
- Irons, same as curling irons, never leave it unattended and unplug when done.
- Fuse box, make sure it is up-to-date and there are no recalls on it. When I moved into one of my homes the home inspection failed due to the home having an old fuse box and one that was recalled and known for starting house fires. I had my replaced and the electrical system inspected.
- Home appliances, double check all your appliances to insure there are no recalls and if there is, insure you get it resolved. A good place to check for recalls is at Recalls.gov
- Automobiles, this may sound odd, but many home fires start from the car in the garage, make sure your car doesn’t have any recalls and is always in good working order.
- A/C filter, make sure yours is clean and change it at least each month
- Insure no one in the house plays with matches or lighters
- Wires, make sure all the wires on your lamps, TV’s and other devices are in good shape and not frayed.
- Laptops, when using a laptop make sure it is able to breath and the fan area is clear, laptops get very hot and many use them in bed, causing the bedding to block airflow, this can cause a fire.
- Halogen lights, these suckers get super-hot, make sure they are not near any type of cloth. Also make sure they can’t be tipped over easily.
Most importantly, check with your local fire department, many times they will come out and do a fire prevention and safety walk through of your home. They are the professionals and I highly recommend you enlist their help in review your home for fire safety.