Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Fire Safety Preps

My father was a firefighter when I was growing up. In a firefighter's house, clock changes are significant dates. With a change coming in just shy of two weeks, it's a good time to review fire safety preparedness.

Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Detectors: The batteries in your detectors should be changed when you change your clocks. You should also check the function of your alarms by pressing the button marked "Test" on the face of the device. Also, ensure that you have enough detectors. At a minimum, you need one on each floor of your home, and ensure you have one near each sleeping area.

Fire Extinguishers: Check the charge gauge on your extinguishers and make sure it still indicates a full charge. Ensure that the safety pin is still in place. Check the body of the extinguisher for any physical damage, corrosion, or leakage.

Escape Plan: While you're reviewing the rest of your fire safety preps, give your escape plan a once-over, making sure it is still current and appropriate. If you don't have an escape plan, now is the time to put one together, and practice it with your family. Make sure there are multiple escape routes from each living area, and keep them clear. Also have a planned rally point away from the house where everyone knows to gather.

Other fire safety tips:
  • Inspect your clothes dryer outlet vents. Make sure there are no bird or rodent nests, or buildup of lint and debris, at the duct outlet.
  • Check your electrical outlets. Ensure that they are not overly loaded with plug-in devices.  Overloaded outlets can easily lead to fire.
  • Check your furnace and any other heat-producing appliances. Make sure that all flammable materials are kept well away from your appliances.
  • Check your furnace filters monthly and change them as they get dirty. Restricted filters can cause a furnace to overheat and cause a fire. 
  • Store oily and greasy rags in a fire-resistant container, and keep flammable liquids in a safe area away from sparks and flame.
Fire safety is a simple but ongoing process. Stay on top of it to stay safe.


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