Preventing Fires At Home

Installing smoke detectors in the rooms of your house is a leading way to keep your home from catching fire. Detectors have to be in good operating condition. Rather than simply removing batteries from smoke detectors that have started beeping,replace the batteries. A beeping smoke detector can be annoying. It’s also an indication that the device’s battery is running low.

More steps that can keep your home from catching fire take less than minute to complete. Stay close to the stove when grilling or frying food. Place food in pans that are deep enough to keep grease from dripping into the oven.

More Easy Ways To A Fire Safe Home

Before leaving the kitchen for an extended period, check to see that the stove and oven are completely turned off. Your iron, grill and table roaster should also be off. Don’t assume that these appliances are off, as they might only be”close” to off. Keep your home from catching fire by also:

  • Be careful with crock pots. They are slow cookers, but they still put out heat and are hooked to electric power. In a similar vein, avoid cooking while you’re sleepy. Before you know it, you could drift into sleep, leaving food in the oven or on the stove.
  • Put out all lit items. Examples of these items are cigarettes, cigars and incense. Rest cigarettes, cigars and incense in fire resistant holders while they are lit.
  • Smoke outside if you smoke. Also, consider ceasing your smoking habit.
  • Stack wood in a safe place.
  • Clean the fireplace. Place a safety gate in front of the fireplace and teach children and pets not to play around the fireplace.
  • Make sure that embers are all the way out in the fireplace.
  • Turn off stoves and ovens during storms. They could rekindle when electricity comes back on.
  • Blow out candles fully. Candles have remained lit for longer than 24 hours. A small ember could cause lots of trouble overnight.
  • Try to avoid space heaters. Make sure that they aren’t near anything that could catch fire if you do use them.
  • Don’t put aluminum foil in the microwave. It’s a quick way to start a fire.
  • Store matches, lighters and lighter fluid out of the reach of children. These items should also be in safe areas that are away from heat, smoke and fire.
  • Read your grill’s operating and maintenance instructions.
  • Place a fire extinguisher in the kitchen and in the garage. As with fire detectors, test fire extinguishers to ensure that they are operating effectively.

Should your home catch on fire, you and each member of your family need to know how to evacuate. It takes two minutes to conduct a home fire evacuation drill.

Protect valuables by storing them in a fire resistant safe. Keep a copy of important documents like your will, insurance policies and retirement account information in a separate locked area like a bank safe deposit box or a post office box. And as with any emergency, call 911. Also, let your family know that you experienced a fire at your home.

How to Work in Your Attic Safely

Working in your attic may not be a chore you perform frequently but it is one that must be done on occasion. Whether you use yours as a storage space or are performing an energy assessment in your home, safely accessing your attic should be a top priority. Below are some tips you can practice the next time you need to go up into the attic to ensure a safe working experience.

Before you begin working make sure you have dressed appropriately. Wear a long sleeve shirt tucked into pants and gloves to avoid materials sticking to your skin which can cause irritation. You will also want to wear a dust mask and protective eyewear to avoid inhaling airborne fibers or other harmful debris that could be airborne in your attic. Attics can house mold and mildew among other hazardous materials that can bring you harm and/or make you sick when not properly protected against them.

If your attic requires a fold-down ladder to access it check that the ladder is safe to support your weight. Look for any missing or loose screws that are intended to hold the ladder together and tighten/replace them before using it to get into your attic. You will be climbing up and down it as you work so you want to make sure that it will be safe to use. Adding a railing around the opening of your attic access will also add extra safety measures against falling.

If your attic is unfinished and/or has potentially unsupportive flooring consider installing a safer floor by laying plywood down. Add walk boards or temporary platforms to an unfinished attic that doesn’t require permanent flooring. Always be cautious of where you step to avoid stepping on wires, ductwork or areas lacking trusses and joists. This precaution will save you from accidentally breaking through the ceiling which will put you at risk of serious harm and some major repairs. You will also want to be aware of any roofing nails poking down or old faulty wiring that requires repair.

Be sure to check for signs of any animals that may have decided to move in over the winter months. If you do discover unwelcome tenants take the proper course of action by hiring a professional to rid your attic of them safely for both you and them. Some animals, like bats, may be protected by federal law so you will want to rid your house of them responsibly.

When you are finished working in the attic for the day be sure to change and wash your clothes to avoid spreading hazardous debris over the rest of your house. Before you begin working spread an old sheet under the hatch and vacuum the surrounding area afterward for easy clean up.

Attic safety practices are crucial to avoid harming yourself and preventing damage to your home. With some simple preparations and an active awareness, you can get chores done in your attic effectively and safely!