- Appoint a family member as household fire marshal to find and remedy potential hazards around the home.
- Don’t use open flames like candles; there are plenty of illumination options that don’t require open flames. If flames are used, never leave them unattended.
- Check extension cords for obvious damage and replace old cords.
- Keep lighters or matches locked up and secure if there are children in the home and don’t allow the opportunity for them to become tempted.
- At least one smoke alarm is recommended on every floor of the home and outside all sleeping areas. Test smoke alarm batteries monthly and change them at least once a year. It is also recommended by the National Fire Protection Association (nfpa.org) to have at least one fire extinguisher per floor. Keep them maintained and practice fire drills.
- Soot can build up in chimneys, cracks can appear on the inside and potentially provide a conduit for sparks to get to combustible materials. Birds and rodents can build flammable nests that pose fire hazards. Have the chimney professionally inspected and cleaned by a chimney sweep prior to using it.
- In new construction, add a residential fire sprinkler system to provide an opportunity to escape by containing, extinguishing or suppressing the fire before the fire department arrives.
- A fire can overtake a home very quickly, so it is important to create a fire escape plan, review it with the family, make sure fire extinguishers are accessible and all smoke alarms are working properly.
For home and real estate tips, contact Gillian Cunningham, of Gillian Cunningham Realty Group, at 469-269-2754 or GillianCunningham.com