Home Fire Prevention Tips
Bitterly cold air or a polar vortex is again settling southward from the Arctic into a large part of the Eastern states. Unlike the the below-normal cold from early January, this cold has more staying power.
The polar vortex is a commonly used term among the meteorological community to describe an intense storm with frigid air and strong winds that spends much of its time above the Arctic Circle.
Fire protection is an important part of your family’s safety. Fire is one of the leading causes of accidental death in the home, most often affecting children and the elderly. In addition, fires account for over $2 billion in damage to homes each year. Take the following preventive measures to keep your home and family safe from fire.
Fire prevention tactics
Fires can begin anywhere, but two areas in your home pose the biggest fire threat – the kitchen and the garage. You can reduce your risk of fire in these vulnerable places with the following precautions:
- Use only UL-listed (Underwriter’s Laboratory) or FM (Factory Mutual) approved appliances and tools.
- Check regularly for frayed or worn power cords or plugs, and replace them immediately.
- Don’t operate appliances, switches or outlets with wet hands.
- Never plug in more appliances than a socket is designed to handle.
- Don’t store flammable items over the stove.
- Turn pot handles inward so children can’t pull them down.
- Keep a fire extinguisher on a wall nearby the stove.
- Keep areas around stoves, refrigerators and dishwashers clean to prevent dust particles from igniting.
- Keep trash and other items away from the furnace or water heater, preferably stored in sealed containers.
- Check heating equipment annually.
- Store gasoline and other flammables in tight metal containers, away from the house – never near heating equipment or a pilot light.