October 9th-15th is Fire Prevention Week, and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has themed this year’s fire safety observance with the slogan, “Don’t Wait – Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years.”
According to NFPA statistics, half of all U.S. home fire deaths occur between the hours of 11pm and 7 am, when people are most likely to be sleeping.
Having a working smoke alarm cuts the risk of dying in a fire by half. And remember, of course, that merely installing detectors is not enough; it’s important to check them periodically to make sure they remain in working order, and to replace the batteries at regular intervals.
Along with maintaining your smoke detectors, there are a few other home improvement tasks you can do to ensure your family’s safety in the event of a fire:
Have An Evacuation Plan
The American Red Cross also reminds homeowners that it’s important for all members of your household to be aware of the quickest, safest way to exit in case of a fire, and to practice this escape so that it’s firm in everyone’s mind. Both a primary and a secondary escape route should be mapped, for added fire safety.
Keep An Eye On Flammable Materials
Remember to never to leave fireplaces, candles, space heaters or even running clothes dryers unattended. All have the capability of igniting a house fire. Keep curtains, fabrics and all objects away from space heaters. Never overload electrical outlets. Entryways need to be kept free of clutter and objects that might impede a hasty egress in case of emergency.
Senior Fire Safety Measures
Seniors and people with reduced mobility issues are at a particular risk; it’s important that they or their caregivers do a careful walk-through of their homes to make sure every step has been taken to ensure the ability to exit as quickly and directly as possible.
Fireproof New Additions To Your Home
When it comes to home repair, or building or buying a new home, it’s important to balance your desire for attractiveness with practicality and safety. Cedar siding, for example, is a popular choice, but it is also one of the more flammable surfaces. Take the time to consult with builders, carpenters and handymen to make sure all of the materials being used are designed for safety as well as for appeal.
If you are unsure about the best place to install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, or if you need assistance fireproofing your home—or addressing any other safety issues that come into play—Handyman Matters craftsmen are always available to assist with a walk-through or with any remodel or repair issues that will ensure you are living in a safe and comfortable environment.