Did you know October is Fire Prevention Month?
It is important to raise fire safety awareness to help ensure your home and family are protected in case of an emergency. Each year there are roughly 358,500 house fires that happen in the United States (with more than 50% of those fires occurring in the kitchen).
Although homeowners insurance should cover you from unexpected events, it is still good to take precautions, as house fires can easily cause thousands of dollars in property damage.
Luckily, though, there is plenty you can do to prevent fire damage to your home.
Here are some ‘spooktacular’ Fire Prevention Month tips all homeowners and family members should follow:
- Ensure that your smoke alarms, detectors, and/or sprinklers are properly installed, and that those items are checked on a monthly basis. Keep in mind that most smoke detector batteries will need to be changed approximately every six months. You should also always be on the lookout for any missing or disconnected batteries.
- Make a fire escape plan. Just like you had in grade school, your family also needs to have an established and practiced exit plan in case of a fire emergency. Otherwise, all other precautionary efforts you’ve made from this list might not be enough to save you or your loved ones if you’re ever caught in a house fire.
- Beware when cooking. Now that we know 50.7% of home fires start in the kitchen (2018 study), you will need to remember to keep a watchful eye on all of your kitchen appliances.
- Don’t smoke inside. If you do insist on smoking inside, make sure not to smoke in bed, when feeling tired, when taking medications that cause drowsiness, or after drinking alcohol. Additionally, if you have kids in the house, be sure to use child-resistant lighters/matches. (Source).
- Measure carbon monoxide levels. One of the most important areas to place a carbon monoxide detector is right near the bedroom. You should also routinely check that the device is still working properly (Source).
- Close bedroom doors when possible. This simple action can prevent a fire from spreading from room to room.
- Light candles safely. Never light a candle that is closer than 12 inches to any other flammable item. Place candles in sturdy holders that won’t tip over, or consider using flameless candles in your home. (Source)
- Check your outlets. Ensure that your outlets are not overloaded with plugs, and that the devices you do have plugged in to them are fully inserted into the sockets. If you have young children, install tamper-resistant outlets. (Source)
Preventative Measures for Outdoors
- Keep your home clear of any outlying debris that may catch fire.
- Prune your landscaping to decrease the possibility of fire traveling from the ground to a taller plant and into the house. (Source)
- Safeguard roof with fire resistant materials. Here’s a list of several fire-resistant roofing materials to consider for your next project. (Source)
- Asphalt Shingles
- Metallic Roofs
- Slate Roofs
- Synthetic Roofing Shingles
- Clay & Concrete Tile
- Synthetic Wood Shake Shingles
4. Lastly, don’t forget to move any combustible materials/appliances (grills, etc.) away from your home.