Fire Safety At Home

Losing your home and belongings to a fire is a traumatic experience. Even recovering from a small fire can create financial and emotional problems. Practicing fire prevention and educating your family members will save lives and property.

Common errors based on years of experience in the fire service:

General housekeeping practices
In the fire service this is not referred to as sweeping the carpet or mopping the floor, but how we maintain the materials we store and use in our homes. Storage is always a problem. We all have too many things and too little space to store them. A good general rule of thumb is to keep items neat and orderly. Do not place any materials close to heat-producing devices, such as hot water tanks, dryers, stoves, fireplaces, or furnaces.

The clear distance for combustibles should be at least thirty-six inches. Don’t place items in front of electrical panel boxes or other equipment, which you might need to get to in an emergency. Limit the amount of combustible boxes used to store items. Metal garbage containers, see-through plastic storage boxes, and other containers keep items neat and orderly much easier.

Never place anything on stairs, even for a brief moment.

Keeping appliances clean and in good working order is also referred to as good housekeeping.

Fire safety instructors encourage everyone to never leave home with the clothes dryer still running. Clean your clothes dryer often. Vacuum out the filter and duct to remove all trapped lint. Most dryer fires are caused by excessive lint; however, other parts can add to the chance of fire. Make sure your automatic timer is shutting off properly. Be careful when using softener sheets for dryers, they sometimes can interfere with the automatic shut off.

If you have other automatic appliances such as coffee makers, we urge you to keep checking the consumer recall lists. Hundreds of items are recalled for safety defects, but few individuals ever receive the warning. Smoke detectors have been subject to major recalls over the past few years. You can’t control the oxygen but you can control fuel supplies and sources of ignition.

Smoke detectors do save lives. They must be placed correctly and maintained. NFPA recommends that they be discarded after 8-10 years and replaced. Smoke detectors should be tested with the button to make sure the battery is working, but also with smoke to assure the detector itself is operating properly. Ceilings are usually the best place to mount the detector. At the top of stairs, outside of sleeping rooms, basement, garage, if attached, and rooms that have fireplaces. If you need any assistance, please contact us at 330 972-6866.