October is Fire Safety Month, which is the perfect time to get your home ready for one of the most hazardous times of the year. There are many ways that you can keep your home safe without costing you a fortune, which will allow you to easily feel more confident about the state of your home while also allowing you to know that everyone in the household knows exactly what to do in case of an emergency. These tips are crucial for any household, no matter where you live.
1. Change Fire Alarm Batteries
One of the cheapest and most important things you can do for your home is to change the batteries in your smoke alarm. Even if you don’t think they need to be changed, it can be wise to get in the habit of swapping them out frequently, so you won’t have to worry about the device malfunctioning if there is a fire or gas leak in your home. If you want to save money, then try using rechargeable batteries. This will allow you to swap them out every six months at very little cost to you. When you change out your batteries, make sure you test the alarm too, so you know the device is still in good condition. By practicing this you might be able to save lives, if not your home if a fire does happen.
2. Invest in Fire Extinguishers
Although seeing fire extinguishers in public places is common when you’re out and about, a lot of people don’t think about having them in their own homes. If you don’t live in an apartment that legally has to supply these extinguishers, then you might consider purchasing one at the minimum. The best place for this to be stored is in your kitchen, but if you can afford to have more extinguishers in the home then it won’t hurt to have one in every corner of the house. This can help put out a fire in a hurry before it becomes a disaster, which will definitely save lives and money. Fire extinguishers can be purchased for relatively cheap, just make sure you keep them up to date and replace them when necessary.
3. Test the Heater
When things get cold, you don’t want to be without your heater. However, just turning the heater on and hoping for the best isn’t going to be the wisest thing to do. This is especially true if you have an older heater. So, before the cold snaps arrive, you might want to hire someone to do an inspection on your heater. This usually doesn’t cost much and shouldn’t take a lot of time. If you don’t want to pay for the service and you feel confident in your abilities, then there are a number of steps you can take to help you inspect your own heater. There are even tutorials online that will walk you through it. Of course, your heater’s manual can also do a world of good here.
4. Sweep Chimney
The fireplace is a wonderful thing when it comes to keeping the home warm while adding a bit of atmosphere to your space. However, you don’t want to just light a log and hope that your home will be safe. Before you begin placing logs in the fireplace, you might want to sweep the chimney first. There are lots of guides to help you with this if you’ve never done it before, or you can simply hire someone to do it for you. Once you have your chimney swept and you are certain it’s safe, you can use special cleaning logs to make sure you don’t have to worry about it for the duration of winter. There are many other supplies you can use to keep your chimney clean and working properly.
5. Remove Leaves
Autumn is stunningly beautiful and playing in the fallen leaves is a lot of fun. However, all of those leaves can be a fire hazard for your home. All it takes is one person disposing of a cigarette out the window of a car on a dry day and the leaves on your lawn will ignite and cause you a lot of problems. Leaves, especially next to the home are never a good idea anyway as they can bring other problems like mold. So, as soon as the leaves begin to fall, rake them up and get them out of your space as you never know what accidents or bad forms of weather will come along to cause problems.
6. Fire Lock Box
We can’t always protect our homes and belongings. However, what we can do is prepare for the worst and hope for the best. One of the easiest ways to prepare for the worst is to invest in a fireproof lock box. These boxes are designed to withstand heat, so anything inside will survive a fire, in most cases. These lockboxes can be found in many different stores and online. They are also very affordable. When you have your fire lockbox, make sure you put items like your deed, home insurance info, birth certificates, Social Security cards, and everything else you will need if your home is destroyed. You can also keep photos, jewelry, and so much more in the box. Some of the safes are even large enough for the storage of guns, which will also provide you plenty of room for other valuables.
7. Make a Plan
When it comes to Fire Safety Month, making a plan for your family’s safety is a wise move. You should map out different ways to escape the home if there is a fire so that everyone is aware of their options. You should also come up with a plan for a meeting place if the entire family can not get out of the home in the same manner. Of course, you should go further than just mapping out escape routes. Plans to practice these routes should be worked out as well, so your family isn’t scrambling to remember plans if there is an emergency. Younger children should also be taught what to do in an emergency, such as how to call 9-1-1, and how to stop, drop, and roll if they have a fire on their clothing. You should also come up with plans if there is a fire at work or school.
8. Go Over Safety Measures
Making escape plans and knowing what to do in case of an emergency is important, but you should also go over some safety measures for the home. For instance, everyone should understand that you don’t put water on a grease fire. Everyone should be instructed on how to use a fire extinguisher if they are old enough. The entire family should also know how to alert emergency services. This will ensure everyone is able to handle a fire on their own if possible and if not, they will be able to get assistance as quickly as possible.
9. Understand First Aid
Knowing first aid can be one of the most useful skills in life. One of the most important skills you can have, regarding fire safety is how to safely handle a burn. There are so many old wives tales out there about burns that if you don’t know the actual rules of first aid then you might find yourself causing someone a lot of bodily harm. So, read up on how to handle every day burns as well as how to deal with burns that will need medical help. The way you treat a burn can actually help with the healing process. You should also learn how to deal with blisters, as these commonly happen when a burn is bad enough.
10. Visit a Fire House
If you have children in the home, then one way to help them learn about fire safety is to visit a firehouse. Usually, if you call a firehouse ahead of time, you can set up a schedule for a tour. Many firefighters are more than happy to bring in visitors, but you might want to bring some snacks or something to show your gratitude. While at the firehouse, children can see fires trucks, learn how firefighters put out fires, and pick up safety tips to ensure they won’t panic if a fire does occur. This will actually help to make the community feel closer.
Creating a home that follows fire safety procedures can offer a layer of protection that can give you peace of mind. These ten ideas can help to bring your home fire safety awareness while ensuring you’ve taken the precautions necessary to make your home a safer place.