By Samuetta Hill Drew
October is Fire Prevention Month nationally. The U.S. Administration reports that fires kill more than 4,000 Americans each year and injuries 20,000 more. U.S. fire departments respond to approximately 2 MILLION fires each year with the vast majority of them being home fires.
Residents spend a great deal of time, money and resources on the aesthesis for their home but, often don’t use their time, money and resources protecting it adequately with regards to safety matters. All of us usually feel very safe, as we should, when we’re at home enjoying good food, watching television, relaxing or entertaining friends and family. To assist you with maintaining these feelings of home safety, comfort and security, several safety tips will be shared with you over the next two safety articles about fire prevention.
Fire Prevention Safety Tips:
- Smoke Alarms – These continue to be considered one of the best safety protection measures for your homes. They are inexpensive and can be easily found at any home improvement store, Wal-Mart, Target, etc. Install one on every level of your home including your basement. If possible, try to make sure your alarm alerts the fire department when there is a fire. Test and clean your smokes alarms monthly and replace the batteries at least once a year.
- Carbon Monoxide Detector – Install a working one in the common areas like your bedroom. Use the same safety maintenance measures previously listed for smoke alarms.
- Prevent Electrical Fires – Don’t overload your circuits or extension cords. Remember never to place cords or wires (even during the Christmas holidays) underneath rugs or high traffic areas. Avoid loose electrical connections by checking the fit of the plug and the outlet. Note a poor connection between the plug and the outlet can cause overheating and could possible start a fire in minutes.
- Keep Plugs Safe – Unplug all appliances when they are not in use. Follow the manufacture’s safety precautions and use your senses to detect danger. If your plug is overheating, smelling strange, shorts out or sparks, make sure you unplug them immediately and replace them or have them properly repaired.
- Alternate Portable Space Heaters – This is the time of year many people use portable heating devices. Make sure there is ample space around the heating unit and furniture, curtains, or anything that could catch fire. Your heating unit should be at least three feet away from these aforementioned items. Have your chimneys inspected and make sure you use a fire screen to help maintain the fire in the fireplace.
Let’s always practice good fire prevention by Keeping an Eye on Safety!