At PLC Insurance, we want everyone to be safe – especially from the common dangers that are easily avoidable. This fire safety checklist is to help you and your family fire-proof your home and get prepared, just in case.
- Heaters: Baseboard and portable heaters kept away from anything combustible; furniture, curtains, mattress, papers, clothing, etc.
- Fireplace: Fireplace equipped with sturdy metal screen.
- Chimney: The chimney is checked before each heating season, and cleaned annually. Repairs are made as necessary.
- Outlets: Extension cords and multi-plug adapters are used as little as possible. Extension cords are not tacked to walls, under rugs or through doorways.
- Cooking: Food is never left unattended while on the stove or in the oven. If you have to leave the kitchen for a short time while cooking, set a timer or take something with you to remind you that the stove or oven is on.
- Cooking Equipment: Stove and oven are grease-free and clean. If there is a stove-top fire, the best response is to put a lid over the flames. Do NOT throw water, as grease fires will splatter and spread the fire.
- Children: Matches, lighters and other smoking / fire materials are kept out of the reach of children, preferably in a locked cabinet.
- Candles: Always place candles in non-tip candle holders before you light them. Keep them out of the reach of children. Extinguish candles before you leave a room or go to bed.
- Smoking: Ideally, no smoking in the home. At minimum, “no smoking in bed” should be a rule. Drowsy or medicated people may forget lit materials and start a fire.
- Dryers: Improper dryer vents and venting, can lead to a dryer fire, as can not cleaning out the lint trap, or leaving the lint above, below, or near the dryer. Place dryer lint and used dryer sheets in a proper waste receptacle.
- Flammable Materials: Many home products (especially in the garage) are flammable. Be careful of where you place any flammable materials (fuels, oils, etc.), and how you store them. Don’t place them next to a possible source of heat or fire, as they can rapidly turn a bad situation into a disaster. The simplest rule is to keep them properly contained and away from the home to the greatest extent possible.
- Christmas Trees: If you don’t keep your tree well-watered and then proceed to wrap it with electrical cords (I mean… Christmas lights, of course), it can result in a fire that spreads frighteningly fast. Water your tree often, make sure your lights, cords, and plugs are in good condition, and leave the lights off if you are going to be away from home.
- Smoke Alarms: Smoke alarms installed on a ceiling or high on a wall outside of the bedroom(s) on each level of your home. Once a year you install new batteries in your smoke alarms. Test them once each month.
- Fire Ladder: If the bedrooms in your home are on the 2nd or 3rd floor, it may be worthwhile to invest in a fire ladder, just in case the worst should happen.
- Fire Escape Plan & Drill: Be sure your family knows what to do if there is a fire. Prepare a Fire Escape Plan and have a Home Fire Drill so your family can practice their escape.
Discussing how to respond to an emergency can help reduce fear. It is critical that everyone recognizes the sound of the smoke alarms and knows two safe ways out of each room. When the smoke alarm sounds and a fire is burning, every second counts.
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