Here is a very sobering statistic: according to the American Red Cross, seven people die every day in the United States due to a home fire and most of the victims are children or the elderly. In addition, more than $7 billion of property damage is caused every year by home fires in the U.S.
These are devastating numbers and are especially noteworthy during Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 6-12. Sponsored by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) since 1922, the campaign aims to educate adults and their children on how to prevent home fires and how to stay safe in the event of a fire.
With that in mind, Masters Heating & Cooling, the go-to HVAC and plumbing experts in the Fort Wayne, Decatur, Angola, Indianapolis, Greenwood, Mishawaka, IN areas, want to make sure our customers, friends and neighbors know there are many preventative measures they can take to guard against home fires. While some home fires are caused by forces beyond our control (lightning) or that we can’t see (faulty wiring hidden inside walls), others are caused by factors that can be prevented or detected before they turn into fire risks.
Here are some tips you can follow to help prevent home fires with fire safety and also to be prepared in the event your family is threatened by one:
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home and especially near bedrooms. Test them monthly and replace batteries every 2-3 months.
- Refrain from smoking in bed and leaving candles burning at night
- Keep fireplaces and heaters cleaned and well-guarded. Make sure portable heaters are positioned away from furniture and window coverings and where they cannot be knocked over.
- Don’t leave cooking food items with fat unattended. Don’t throw water on grease fires; use a foam or powder extinguisher.
- Plan an escape route in the event of a fire. Practice it with your family and NEVER go back into a burning home for any reason.
ELECTRICAL & APPLIANCE SAFETY
Electrical issues can pose significant fire risks. Here are some tips for electrical and appliance safety in your home:
- Has your home’s wiring checked by a licensed electrician once each year?
- If an outlet feels warm or you see a spark when plugging/unplugging, do not use it and call an electrician.
- Do not use appliances such as dryers and stoves that have worn or frayed flexible connectors. Check all appliance wiring/power cords regularly.
- Make sure that if your water heater springs a leak, that water can’t reach electrical wiring or outlets.
- Never operate your clothes dryer without a lint filter. Inspect and clean lint filters and exhaust vents regularly.
- Has poor-performing HVAC equipment checked out to ensure proper electrical connections?
Fire Prevention Week is a good time to remember that keeping your family and property safe from fire is a year-round job. For more information or to speak to our HVAC professionals, give Masters a call today! And please follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.