Protect your home from the dangers of a house fire

By: Denise Koslowsky

It’s fire prevention month and we are continuing our quest to educate each client we serve by offering our best tips for preventing a fire in your home.

In our last blog we talked about becoming your family’s hero and taking steps to prevent a devastating home fire.  We addressed two of the most important things you can do to help protect your family:

  • Installing A Central Station Burglar & Fire Alarm – Relying on a smoke detector does not offer enough protection.  We cannot state strongly enough that the most important precaution you can take is to have a Central Station Fire Alarm installed in your home.
  • Planning An Escape Route – In the event of a house fire, your family has only an average of 3 to 4 minutes to escape.  Every family should be prepared which means coming up with a plan that includes two ways out of every room in your home.

See below for a few more tips:

  • Smoke Detectors – If you do not yet have a Central Station Fire Alarm installed in your home, you will want to be sure you have smoke detectors on every floor of your home and in each bedroom. Be sure that you change the batteries every six months and test them each and every month.
  • Be Sure You Have Fire Extinguishers On Hand – We recommend having at least one per floor.  Places recommended to keep fire extinguishers on hand include the kitchen, the laundry room, the garage, and in your back yard near your outdoor kitchen.
  • Close & Contain – We encourage you to Close & Contain.  If there is a fire, as you make your way out to escape, be sure to close the door behind you as you leave to stop the fire from spreading.  Never run out of a burning room and leave the door opened.   Closing the door saves lives. Also, when you go to sleep at night, be sure to close your door to prevent the spread of any fire that breaks out in the middle of the night.  The reason this works is that a closed door limits the fire’s oxygen supply and can help to contain the fire. The closed door slows down or stops the spread of flames, reduces the temperature and reduces the emission of deadly Carbon Monoxide.
  • Make Good Use Of Your Fireplace Screen – Do not light a fire without a safety screen or glass doors installed. If you have glass doors, it is a good idea to keep them open to allow air through, but it is important to keep the screen closed to prevent sparks.
  • Use Caution When You Discard Ash – Fireplace coals can remain hot enough to start a fire for up to three days, so always wait at least that long before removing the ashes. Never dump ash before it is cold and the fire has been fully extinguished and never put ash in a bag, garbage container or on your front porch.  The safest way to dispose of ash is with a metal shovel into a metal bucket.
  • Be Safe With Candles – Do not leave candles burning unattended and never go to sleep when a candle is burning.
  • Don’t Overload Electrical Outlets – With the holiday season on the horizon, be sure you follow all safety precautions when it comes to decorating your home with Christmas lights.
  • Make a Home Video Inventory – Having to create an inventory of all your possessions in the aftermath of a fire is very difficult, and will only add to your stress.  Instead, we recommend that all of our clients take the time now to create a Home Video Inventory using your smartphone.

House fires are a tragedy and we want to do all we can to help you protect yourself and your family.  If you need any help with the fire prevention tips listed above, get in touch with us at 914-723-7100.  We would be happy to take the time to talk with you about it.

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