Aug 6, 2015
Unlike hurricanes or earthquakes, fire is one threat that homeowners can significantly reduce through routine maintenance and good safety habits. There are several steps you can take inside and outside your home to reduce the chance of fire.
Many of the safety precautions inside the home are common sense, such as not leaving space heaters unattended and not overloading extension cords. In addition, remember to throw out worn extension cords and keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen in case your culinary masterpiece suddenly becomes an unexpected flambe'.
As you might expect, smoking in bed is a mistake. So is leaving newspapers and other flammables near the fireplace, stove or space heater. Of course, one of the best tips is to keep and maintain smoke detectors on every level of your home. Check the batteries often and replace them as needed; remember, a smoke detector with a dead battery won't do any good.
There are also many things you can do outside your home to reduce the chance of fire. Cap chimneys and stovepipes with spark-arresting screens. Keep dry grass cut short, and stack firewood as far away as possible from heated exterior walls. Clear vegetation and other flammable materials from beneath decks. Apply a fire retardant material to your roof, or consider replacing it with a nonflammable roof. And just in case the worst happens, make sure your address is clearly visible. The last thing you want if your bedroom or kitchen is on fire would be a fire truck speeding by, lost because he can't find your address.
One final important piece of advice-develop a plan in case of a fire does happen, and make sure all family members know how to escape the house and have a designated meeting place. You can always buy a new home or TV, but you can't replace a life.