Fire can happen anywhere, anytime.
That is the 2018 slogan—and the warning—of The National Fire Prevention Association. And while October 7-13 is officially National Fire Prevention Week, we should be vigilant all fifty-two weeks of the year. Fire is a devastating and quick-moving danger, and mere seconds can mean all the difference between safety or tragedy. How ready are you—and your family—to handle this kind of a crisis?
Every home should be equipped with at least one smoke detector on every floor and one near every bedroom. If battery-operated, the batteries should be changed every six months and the detectors themselves tested monthly.
Is anyone in your home hearing-impaired or are they heavy sleepers? There are smoke detectors designed to awaken people in other ways besides sound. Investigate these types if there’s a risk that anybody in your house might not be alerted to the alarm a standard smoke detector produces.
Keep a fully-charged fire extinguisher on every level of your home and inspect it regularly to make sure it remains in good working condition.
It’s important to plan not one, but multiple escape routes from your home. Every single member of the household should have a clear plan in mind for getting out of the house as quickly as possible, and to practice the route several times. It’s a good idea to keep your phone by your bed in the event that you aren’t able to escape. By the same token, when staying with friends or in a hotel, take a few minutes to spot fire exits, fire extinguishers and the best route for getting out of unfamiliar surroundings as quickly as possible.
Everyone should conduct a thorough safety inspection of their house and to do so often. Chimneys and furnaces should be inspected and cleaned regularly. Make certain that all objects—flammable or not—are never closer than three feet to any heat source. There should be a clear and unobstructed path leading out of every single room. Never leave portable heaters running when you are asleep or out of the house.
These are just a few of the fundamental things to keep in mind to ensure that your home is as “fire-proofed” as possible. Take the time to visit The National Fire Prevention Association’s website at www.nfpa.org where you can click on “Safety Tip Sheets” for much more valuable information on the steps to keeping yourself, your family and your pets safe.
Remember, too, that you can rely on the professional and friendly Craftsmen at your local Handyman Matters office to assist you with the installation of smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors and any other tasks—large or small—that will make your home a safer and happier place to live.