By: Advocate Brokerage
Fire Safety Month is here, and there’s no better place to prioritize safety than at home. Today’s tips can help you protect your property and, more importantly, those you love.
One of the best and most important things you can do to keep your home and family safe is to maintain a central station fire alarm service. A monitored system alerts a waiting team of professionals who can notify local authorities if an alarm goes off. This means you can focus on getting yourself and your loved ones to safety.
Smoke detectors are an important part of your fire safety strategy. These should be placed in every bedroom and in the common areas on each level of your home. Changing the batteries with the turn of each season is also a smart idea.
A fire extinguisher is invaluable in suppressing small blazes, such as a kitchen fire. Keep one in your kitchen, laundry room, and garage. If you have an outdoor kitchen, keep a fire extinguisher there as well.
Flammable materials, such as curtains, clothing, and papers, should be stored well away from candles, the oven, and other heat sources. Further, you should never leave a candle, outdoor fire, or active stovetop unattended.
October brings the cool winter winds, and with them, our desire to cozy up by the fire. But before you get comfortable, call in a chimney sweep to ensure your fireplace and flue are clear of soot and debris. Repair any damage before the fire season, and only use your fireplace with the safety screen closed.
Always treat your fireplace waste as though it’s still hot enough to catch flammable materials ablaze. Remove and discard ashes using the proper tools – a shovel and metal bucket – and wet them down until they are no longer smoldering.
Whether frying, brazing, or broiling, keep watch on the stovetop and oven when in use. When baking, set reminders to check the oven often. It’s also diligent to keep a large pan or cookie sheet out when using the stovetop to smother small grease fires before they get out of control. The same goes for the microwave. Keep an eye on it and cut the power, close the door, and call in an appliance repair professional in case of a microwave fire.
Scarves, long sleeves, and even unbound hair all pose risks when cooking. Ensure that your clothes are well-fitted and pull your hair back before you approach the stove, oven, or grill.
Consider having your home inspected by a qualified electrician on a yearly basis. This can help to identify any potential hazards before they can harm your property.
Gasoline, paint thinner, and other flammable liquids should be placed away from a heat source in an appropriate container. Ideally, these chemicals can be kept in an outbuilding or garage.
Talk to your entire family about fire safety. Have a plan of escape; remember, you only have three or four minutes to get out once you smell smoke. Practice the close and contain rule, which is to close doors as you leave each room to reduce the spread of fire.
In case of an emergency, get yourself and your family out quickly. Never reenter a burning building, even to recover important items, such as your cell phone, wallet, or family heirlooms.
While we encourage families to discuss fire safety during October, the above tips, from installing a monitored alarm to staying out once you’ve made it to safety, can help keep your home safe and sound all throughout the year. Advocate Brokerage is here to keep you confident, carefree, and covered. Give us a call at 914.723.7100 about your home insurance.