7 of the Best Fire Prevention and Safety Tips

Another October and by now you should know it is Fire Safety Month or Fire Prevention Month. House fires are a scary thing to live through, I should know, I lived through one back in 2000. One morning I wake up go on with my normal routine and get ready to cut the grass. Next thing I know a neighbor runs over and tells me they called the Police because the house is on fire.

To be honest I don’t spend too much time looking at the house and since the fire started in the attic no one on the inside knew about it. My brother and I ran in grabbed my Mom and ran back outside. What I did next was absolutely stupid, I ran back in to try to put the fire out with one of those small kitchen fire extinguishers. Needless to say that didn’t work and the flames had engulfed the bedroom and it was so hot the glass on the 55 gallon fish tank was shattered (RIP little fishes).

This experience taught me that everything you own is flammable and covered by more importantly should be covered by insurance. Most advice during fire safety month revolves around the obvious tests and checks necessary to provide for an early warning. What I propose are the 7 most important things to do right now to prevent and to survive the aftermath of a house fire:

  1. Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide. If you don’t have one get one. After you install it change the battery every 6 months. At the very least if the thing beeps and annoys you please change the battery don’t disconnect it. Do I need to say anymore?

  2. Fire extinguishers. They aren’t very pretty but you should have one on every floor of the home. I suggest keeping one in the bathroom and in the kitchen. Keep in mind this should be used on small fires to help get you out of the home safely. Do not do what I did, believe me you are not well equipped to handle a house fire. Get out and then call 911.

  3. Important papers. Not something we think about during a fire but if you have physical documents (and you should, even if you live in the Cloud) make sure they are at least in a fire proof safe or lock box in the basement or garage.

  4. Update your home owners (renters) insurance policy. Call your insurance agent ask them to review your coverage for everything and maybe you can get a discount. Being over insured sounds expensive but ask them for different coverage amounts and you will see how the premiums are affected. Ask the agent what is required of you to file a claim (take pictures of your personal property and keep it in a safe place).

  5. Routine maintenance. If you have a clothes dryer make sure you clean the lint trap and while you are at it check the vent duct for blockage. If you cant then hire someone to do it for you. Duct fires are common and preventable if you maintain your property.

  6. Electricity. You don’t need to be an expert but you do need to be aware. The secret to preventing electric fires is if the light doesn’t work or it flickers or maybe it makes a crackling sound or if it makes any sound whatsoever, call an electrician and have it looked into.

  7. Overloading circuits. We are all guilty of plugging in our TV, DVD, game console, cable box etc. into the same outlet. Don’t do it! Either have another outlet installed or plug it in somewhere else. If you have to, at the very least use a surge protector power strip.

Let’s take a moment and thank all the first responders for their dedication and self less acts of bravery and courage in keeping our communities safe. If you agree with or have implemented some of the advice above help me and make a donation to or bake a cake for your local Police, Fire and Emergency squads they will always be there for you in your time of need.

Posted in Tips.

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