This year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign theme is “Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere.” The National Fire Protection Association aims to raise awareness of these three basic but essential steps to take to reduce the likelihood of having a fire. We are going to focus on the first step – LOOK for possible fire hazards in your home and eliminate them. Take a good look around your home, identify potential fire hazards, and address them.
- As the weather cools down, what are your plans for heating your home? To prevent fires, have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected each year. Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from all heating equipment. This includes furnaces, fireplaces, wood stoves and portable space heaters. Always use a fire screen or fireplace doors to contain sparks from your fire place. Never leave fires (or candles) burning, or heating appliances plugged in, while asleep or when you leave your home.
- Cut down on your risk of electrical fires. Did you know all major appliances should be plugged directly into a wall receptacle outlet and not an extension cord? This includes refrigerators, dryers, washers, stoves, air conditioners, microwave ovens, and other large appliances. You can also add more receptacle outlets in your home to reduce the use of extension cords in general. Make sure all electrical cords are in good condition and not broken or cut. Be on the look out for dimming or flickering lights; outlets or switches that are hot to the touch or emit an acrid odor; discolored cords, outlets, and switch plates; or repeated blown fuses or tripped circuit breakers. These could indicate an existing electrical problem that needs to be addressed.
- Be mindful of storage areas. Avoid storing clutter or debris near your furnace or heater. If you store gasoline or other flammable liquids at home, keep them tightly sealed in metal containers and make sure they’re far away from heat sources.
- Surprisingly, cooking is the leading cause of U.S. home fires. Did you know unattended cooking is involved in almost two-thirds of reported cooking fires? The best way to prevent these fires is to closely supervise your cooking. Also, remove clutter from your cooking area and keep anything that can burn at least 3 ft away from the stove top area.
It is important to remember that a fire can easily occur in your home, regardless of your home’s age, location, or condition. It is critical to reduce and eliminate as many fire hazards as possible. Fire Prevention Week is a good time to complete this home task. The team at Northside Tool Rental is here to help, let us know if you have questions we can answer.