Recently, there have been some very tragic home fires in the news. Unfortunately, most residential fires are preventable. As a realtor, I have
been to more than quite a few home inspections where fire hazards were visible
and reported to the homeowner. Often, just a simple fix could make the home much safer. Here are a few simple things you can do for you and your family.
- The first and most obvious is smoke detectors. You would be surprised how
many homes I have visited that do not have them. A smoke detector with working batteries should be in each bedroom and again on each level of the house.
- Have your fireplace professionally cleaned once a year. Creosote (soot) can build up and cause a chimney fire. A chimney fire can result in a flash of fire in your home through the fireplace.
- Check cords on appliances for fraying or exposed wires.
- Clear space around space heaters. No curtains, furniture, papers or bed linens nearby. Do not use space heaters unattended.
- Clean any grease spills and keep kitchen linens and curtains away from the stove top. Kitchen fires are the most common type of home fires. Many are caused by spilled grease on the stove or in the oven.
- Candles should never be left burning unattended.
- Dryer vents need to be cleaned out once a year. Lint can heat up and catch on fire. Also, the safest material for a dryer vent is rigid aluminum. Flexible plastic is banned, but still around in some older homes. Flexible plastic and flexible foil can trap lint more easily causing a build-up of lint. Another suggestion is to never leave your dryer running when you leave your home or go to sleep. Dryer fires are much more common than you would think.