Fire Safety and
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it comes to ensuring the protection and security of your entire family
as well as the structural integrity of your home against emergency
situations such as fires, the old adage "better safe than sorry" goes a
long way for your peace of mind. Responsible homeowners looking to
effectively minimize the risk and effects of fires know that it takes a
lot more than having proper evacuation plans and physical fire safety
systems i.e. fire alarms/detectors on every floor and a portable fire
extinguisher in the kitchen.
preventing and preparing for house fires takes a comprehensive and
deftly planned fire safety effort that encompasses correct evaluation
of potential fire hazards starting from the basement all the way to the
attic, along with the development of the right escape strategies
involving each member of the family as well as every room of the home.
an adequate and inter-connected fire safety management plan in place
can literally save the lives of your
family members and protect your investment, while preventing or
minimizing bodily injuries and property damage in the event of a fire
arising within the perimeter of your home.
is Key - Fire Safety and Prevention Checklist
pays to establish proper fire safety management systems well in
advance, which is why this detailed fire safety checklist aims at
effectively improving your preparedness in the event of a home fire.
Here are some general fire safety tips for the protection of your
family and home.
- Have installed both carbon monoxide alarms
and fire/smoke alarms on every floor of your home and in each bedroom.
- Be sure to check monthly if each alarm is
functioning properly by pushing the test button.
- Call a specialist in case any of the
alarms are not working as they should and be sure to replace the
batteries once a year.
- If the fire alarm makes a chirping sound,
then this it indicates that the battery needs to be replaced.
- Carefully remove any fire hazards in your
- Practice regularly (preferably twice a
year, at various times of the day) a carefully prepared fire escape
plan and stick to it in the event of a fire in your home.
- If a fire occurs anywhere in your home,
crawl low under smoke, get out and call 911.
- Never disable carbon monoxide or smoke
alarms and never use a camp stove, grill, generator or other natural
gas, charcoal, propane or gasoline devices inside your home, basement,
garage, outdoor sleeping area, crawlspace or other enclosed area.
- Ensure all family members know two ways of
escaping from every room of your home, one of which should not rely on
a staircase as well as the outside meeting point in case of a fire
occurring in your home.
- Make sure there should be easy access to
any windows used for escape.
- When evaluating the adequacy of the means
of escape, you need to consider the size/construction/layout/contents
of your home, the number of people in the household and their ability
to escape without any assistance.
- Use a fire extinguisher only if the room
is not filled with smoke, the fire is localized to a small area and you
have been previously trained to use one.
- Be sure to keep your escape route to your
back when you pull the pin, aim low, at the base of the fire and keep a
distance of minimum 6 feet from the flames to avoid air-blasting the
fire across the enclosure.
Fire Safety Checklist
the time to perform a thorough inspection of your basement or better
yet, rely on the expertise of a professional to expertly undertake the
fire risk assessment of your basement in a timely and efficient manner,
in order to ensure the following:
- The burner access panels (typically
located on the front of the boilers) are fully closed in order to
prevent potential flame roll-out.
- The breaker wires are perfectly tight, as
opposed to loose and the circuit breaker panel functions in optimum
- If your home is older, it is likely that
arc fault circuit interrupters ensure protection against potential
electrical wiring errors; be sure to secure the specialized services of
an electrician to have these properly fixed.
- The areas around various heat-generating
equipment (i.e. water heater, furnace, stove etc) are clear of any
hazardous and easily flammable materials, substances ( liquids,
aerosols) and debris/trash. Place the oily rags in air-tight containers
and as far as possible from open flame.
- There should be no frayed wire on light
bulbs and the wire insulators must show no visible signs of decay or
- Avoid smoking next to open flame in the
water heater and be sure to have at least three fire safety devices in
the basement: a fire alarm, a carbon monoxide alarm and a sprinkler
Fire Safety Checklist
order to prevent the occurrence of fires in the garage, ensure the
- Your garage is free from any combustible
materials or easily flammable junk. Gasoline should be stored in
approved safety containers and away from any heat source, especially
where there is an open flame; the same goes for oily rags.
- The door that leads from the garage to the
main house should be sturdy and incorporate both a fire-resisting
threshold and adequate weather stripping that can prevent carbon
monoxide fumes from entering the house.
- Ensure all fire safety devices are
properly installed and working optimally in your garage.
Room Fire Safety Checklist
to the National Fire Protection Association, more than 10,000 home
fires arise from the laundry room. Ensure you regularly conduct these
preventative laundry room safety checks:
- Properly clean the lint trap ( located
near/in the door of the dryer) between each load of laundry. There
should be no accumulated lint inside the dryer, the exhaust duct or the
area behind the dryer.
- Check regularly the ducting at the back of
the dryer for any signs of lint collected there and call a professional
to replace flexible plastic or foil ducting material with rigid metal
- Check the end point of the dryer vent
outside your home and ensure the dryer vent is neither clogged with
lint and it properly opens to let the air out when your dryer is
- Do not store combustible material near the
dryer and if the furnace is located near the laundry room, avoid
dropping lint or hanging clothing near it.
Floor Fire Safety Checklist
conduct these simple yet effective first floor fire safety checks
related to fire prevention:
- Ensure the first floor has a properly
working fire alarm and carbon monoxide detector.
- The outlets should not be overloaded and
the extension cords should not be damaged or covered; do not use
extension cords as a substitute for permanent wires
- Neither incandescent lights nor closet
lights should be exposed and be sure to keep all electrical cords clear
of stairs and walkways.
- Keep all bedroom doors properly closed
while your family sleeps; in the event of a home fire, the closed doors
will keep fire/smoke out for a longer period of time and thus improve
your chances to proceed safely along the pre-planned escape route.
- Ensure there is a minimum 3-inch gap
between the lighting fixtures and fiberglass insulation in the attic
and call a professional roofer to fix any gaps that may be in/around
- Keep all appliances in the bathroom away
from water sources and adjust the water heater to a safe
temperature that should not exceed 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Ensure there are no lit candles near the
towel rack and all heating devices in the bathroom have a minimum 3
feet of clearance from any potentially combustible materials/items.
and Attic Fire Safety Checklist
- Ensure each bedroom as well as hallway has
a working carbon monoxide and smoke detector.
- Each bedroom should be equipped with an
- Keep portable heaters at least 3 feet away
from beds, curtains and other flammable materials.
- Use UL-approved electric blankets.