For every homeowner, the thought of a fire in your home can cause a great deal of concern. Damage, loss, and most importantly, injury or death can be the result. While there is no way to guarantee your home will never experience a fire, there are some excellent ways to reduce your chances significantly, and ensure that should a fire occur, you and your family are adequately protected. As the warm summer days turn to cool fall evenings, the changing weather is a great reminder to revisit your fire safety measures, and check to make sure that your home is ready. In fact, October is Fire Safety Month. In honor of this important reminder, we’ve compiled this home fire safety checklist to help you protect your home, your belongings, and your family.
There are several critical items you should check to ensure you are safe in the event of a fire, and to prevent a fire from occurring.
- Place smoke alarms on every level, and both inside and outside each sleeping area.
- Test and clean smoke alarms monthly and replace the batteries whenever needed
- Replace any smoke alarms that are not functioning, or are ten years old or older
- Place carbon monoxide detectors on every level, and both inside and outside each sleeping area
- Replace any carbon monoxide detectors that are seven years old or older
- Check electrical cords for damage, make sure they are not under rugs, and use only circuit-protected, multi-prong adapters for additional outlets
- Never use extension cords for extended periods of time, and plug appliances directly into the outlets when in use
- Keep matches and lighters away from children
- Move any furniture or other items at least three feet from any heating source
- Check your clothes dryer for lint and ensure your venting system is clean
- Make sure your kitchen hood is clean and venting properly
- Remove any items from the cooking area that could catch fire
- Never leave candles burning when you are not present, and do not allow kids or pets to be near candles if unattended.
- Only burn candles in fire-safe containers that will not tip over, and only set them on flat, solid surfaces
- Do not allow candles to burn near any flammable items
- If you are a smoker, never smoke indoors, and ensure they are fully extinguished when finished
- Have your furnace and/or chimney cleaned and inspected annually
- Do not overload outlets with too many plugs
- Replace, install, or check ground fault circuit interrupter outlets, especially those near water sources
- Use the correct wattage for bulbs in light fixtures
- Do not allow lamps & nightlights to touch, or be covered by anything, especially fabric
- If you own a fireplace, keep it clean, use a screen, burn only wood, and ensure it is completely extinguished before leaving the room
Home Escape Planning
By keeping the above in check, you can significantly reduce the chances of fire. However, you should always be fully prepared in the case it does occur.
- Make sure there are two methods, doors or windows, to exit every room
- Install egress windows in sleeping areas
- Keep all exits clean and free from clutter
- Have a designated plan or escape route from any area in your home
- Make a map of your home designating escape routes and make sure all who live there know it by memory
- If there is a fire, stay close to the ground and crawl to safety to avoid smoke inhalation, make sure all family members and children know this as well
- If there is a fire, once you have made it out of the house, do not go back in, and contact 911, or ask a neighbor to reach it for you as soon as possible after you are safely outside
- If there are pets or personal items in the home, do not risk your life to save them but inform the firefighters when they arrive
- Specify a meeting place for everyone who lives there to gather once outside, select a meeting place in front of your home that is a safe distance away to allow firefighters to see you are out safely
- Regularly practice your escape plan with all members of the family, and take the fire drill very seriously
Fire safety is something that everyone should know and understand. Taking the time to do these things now, could save the life of you or your loved ones. This Fire Safety Month, act and do all you can to reduce the opportunity for fire to occur, and to have a well-designed plan in case it does.
Progressive Builders Is Here For You!
Whatever your plans include, Progressive Builders is passionate about partnering with you every step of the process. With over 20 years of experience, we’ve built a reputation across the Twin Cities metro area and beyond, and we are committed to continuing that level of excellence for your new construction or move-in ready home project. We invite you to browse our current selection of move-in ready homes below and contact us today for more information.