Keep Your Family Safe with These Fire Safety Tips
While most folks feel safest when at home, there is a real hidden danger that catches most people by surprise when it occurs – a house fire. In fact, house fires are more common than many homeowners realize. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), a house fire occurs nearly every 90 seconds in the United States. Moreover, there is a home fire fatality every three and a half hours. At Felgemacher Masonry & Chimney, your safety is our number one priority. Please follow these fire safety tips to keep your Buffalo area home and family safe:
Test Smoke and CO Detectors Monthly
Smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors are affordable and widely available as a single device for homes with wood or gas heating appliances. Smoke/CO detectors should be installed on every house level. Newer models even include voice alerts, can connect to WiFi, have a ten-year battery life, and are easy to install. Whether your smoke and CO detectors are battery operated or hard-wired, they should be tested monthly. So, if you don’t have a working smoke/CO detector in your home, put it on your shopping list today.
Create A Fire Escape Plan
Creating a fire escape plan and practicing it with your family will help everyone safely exit the home in case of a fire or emergency. Family members should know two ways to evacuate in case one way out is blocked. First, if there is smoke, stay low to the ground and crawl to the nearest exit. Second, remember that a fire may occur at night when it will be difficult to see. Third, establish a safe meeting place such as at the end of the driveway where family members will go after evacuating. Practice with a fire drill every six months, keeping track of how long it takes for everyone to get out of the house. Everyone must be able to exit the house and get to the safe meeting place in under two minutes. You can download a fire escape plan template at https://www.ready.gov/home-fire-escape-plan.
Never Leave Kids Alone Near an Open Flame
Kids are curious and can accidentally get burned and cause a fire when left alone near a heat source like a cooking stove, fireplace, outdoor grill, or space heater. If they accidentally bump into an open flame or a hot object, the heat can cause their clothing to catch fire. If this should occur, avoid running as it increases the flame’s intensity. Instead, remember the stop, drop, and roll technique to extinguish the fire. Then apply cold water for up to 15 minutes to reduce burn injury.
Inspect and Clean Heating Appliances and Vents Annually
If you have a wood or gas-burning fireplace or heating stove, an annual chimney inspection and professional cleaning by a Certified Chimney Professional® is highly recommended by national fire safety experts. It will ensure your chimney, vents, and heating appliances are free of flammable creosote, do not restrict airflow, and are structurally sound. It will also help prevent a chimney fire, keeping your home and family safe.
Extinguish Wood-Burning Flames before Leaving or Retiring
A wood-burning fire can quickly get out of control when a responsible adult is not around to tender the flames. Whether you have a wood-burning fireplace, stove, or firepit, always safely extinguish the fire before leaving the living area or going to bed for the evening. Also, keep combustible materials, flammable liquids, electrical wires, and pets at least three feet away from heat sources.
Invest in a Home Fire Extinguisher
A cooking, heating appliance, or an electric fire can occur at any time in the home. Unfortunately, most homes lack the firefighting equipment to douse a small fire safely. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends homeowners have at least one Class A-B-C fire extinguisher in the kitchen since that is where most fires typically occur. An A-B-C extinguisher will put out fires caused by combustible materials, flammable liquids, and electrical. Having additional fire extinguishers in the garage and main living area of the home is also recommended.
Keep your home and family safe with an annual chimney inspection and sweeping by the certified professionals at Felgemacher Masonry & Chimney. Call (585) 308-4914 to schedule an appointment today! Or contact us online . We serve homeowners in Greater Buffalo, Rochester, and surrounding towns in
Western New York.