The Home Safety Council reports that fires and burns are the third leading cause of home injury in the United States. The sad fact is, much of the time, these fires could have been prevented. Many homeowners have fire alarm systems and – while the fire alarms are effective
in notifying you and your monitoring company of a fire in progress – the alarms don’t prevent fires.
Don’t put yourself and your family at unnecessary risk. If you know where the primary trouble spots for fire are, you can do a room-by-room assessment and make any needed changes before you and your family become victims.
Most people focus on the kitchen when it comes to fire safety. They make sure their fire alarm systems include smoke and fire detectors in the kitchen as well as fire extinguishers. Most people already know they should:
· never leave the kitchen while cooking
· never wear loose clothing around burners or gas flames
· always carefully watch splattering oils during frying
· never have paper, plastic or other flammables near burners
However, the majority of homeowners stop there. Unfortunately, we all have fire hazards throughout our homes. Each room needs to be given due attention in order to prevent fires from occurring. Installing fire alarms is a great idea, but you can’t stop there. To be thorough, use the following checklist to conduct a room-by-room survey. Once you’re finished, you can feel much more confident that you and your family are safe from potential fires
___ Fireplace has a screen, glass door or other protective device to prevent sparks from exiting the fireplace.
___ Matches and lighters are stored in a locked cabinet if small children are in the home.
___ The fireplace has been inspected annually and cleaned by a professional as needed.
Garage or Outdoor Area
___ Chemicals (including fertilizers) are locked and out of reach of children.
___ Gasoline and kerosene are stored outside the home in a cool place in properly ventilated containers.
___ Grills are kept at least two feet away from anything flammable including bushes and tree branches.
___ Grills have been cleaned of all grease drippings, inside and out.
___ Cigarettes are dipped in water before being disposed of.
___ Candles are never left unattended.
___ Space heaters are kept several feet away from curtains and drapes, newspapers, magazines, books, blankets, towels or other flammables.
___ Electrical outlets are not overloaded.
___ Power cords are in good condition and are not frayed.
When you take just an hour or two to inspect your home, you can dramatically reduce your chances of falling victim to a fire. Alarm systems are a tremendous help in times of trouble, but by taking a few preventative steps, you greatly reduce the likelihood of an accident happening in your home