Home Fire Safety and Prevention Tips
At Chimney Saver Solutions, our number one priority is to ensure that our customers can safely enjoy the use of their fireplaces, stoves, and chimneys. Here in Richmond VA and the surrounding area, homeowners are gearing up to use their heating appliances for fall and winter. This is the perfect time to review home fire safety, and some information and tips from experts follow.
How Important is Fire Safety?
- You may have as little as 2 minutes to escape, if a fire starts in your home.
- The vast majority of the nearly 64,000 disasters the Red Cross responds to annually are home fires.
- Every day in the U.S., 7 people die from a home fire. Children and the elderly are the age groups most affected.
- As a result of home fires, 36 people are injured every day.
- Home fires account for more than $7 billion in property damage annually.
Make Plans and Be Prepared
No one thinks they are the ones who will experience a fire, but dangerous house fires happen each and every day. It is essential to prepare, in case there is a fire in your home. The following are some important steps to be prepared in the event of a fire:
- Work with the entire family on an emergency escape plan. If possible, include two ways to escape from each room. Designate a meeting place outside the home, to gather after evacuating the house in a fire.
- Make sure everyone understands that if a fire occurs in the home, get out, stay out, and call for help. Never go back inside for anyone or anything.
- Supply upstairs bedrooms with retractable ladders. Show everyone how to use the ladders and let everyone practice.
- Practice crawling under smoke and covering mouths and noses with towels or shirts, to avoid breathing in smoke. Also, teach children the “Stop, Drop, and Roll” technique to put out fires in their hair or on their clothes.
- Make sure children recognize the sound of smoke and fire alarms.
- Keep operational fire extinguishers in the kitchen, garage, and basement. Review how to use them. Remember P.A.S.S., which stands for pull the pin, aim the nozzle, squeeze the handle, and sweep from side to side, to put out flames.
Install Smoke Detectors and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
The first line of defense in the event of a fire or carbon monoxide leak is having working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms. After being installed, batteries should be checked every six months and replaced as needed. Many people use daylight savings times as reminders that it’s time to check the smoke alarms.
Smoke alarms should be installed on each level of the home, inside each bedroom, and in hallways adjacent to bedrooms.
Because carbon monoxide is heavier than air, install carbon monoxide detectors lower to the floor than regular smoke alarms.
Practice Fireplace Safety
It’s wonderful to have a fireplace for warmth in winter, but maintenance is essential. Wood fires cause highly flammable materials called “creosote” to be deposited in the chimney lining. Annual inspection and cleaning are recommended, to help prevent dangerous chimney fires caused by a buildup of creosote.
Burn only natural wood in a wood-burning fireplace. Fires should never be left unattended, under any circumstances.
For chimney cleaning and inspections, contact Chimney Saver Solutions. All of our technicians are trained and certified. Stay safe this winter as you enjoy your heating appliances.