You love your home; it’s a haven of comfort and rest. But is it as safe as it could be? Every year people spend money to update their homes, add new appliances, buy beautiful furniture. But we often overlook the simplest way to keep our homes safe: buying CO alarms, having a working fire extinguisher readily available, and making sure that all family members are aware of an escape plan in case of a fire.
According to National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), “carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas created when fuels (such as gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, propane, oil, and methane) burn incompletely. In the home, heating and cooking equipment that burn fuel are potential sources of carbon monoxide.” Fireplaces and chimneys that are properly maintained and inspected each year are less likely to give off dangerous levels of carbon monoxide; however, according to the streetdirectory website, homes that have a fireplace should have at least one carbon monoxide detector well situated near bedrooms or in a hallway to warn people if carbon monoxide levels get too high. Ideally, carbon monoxide detectors should be installed on each floor of a multi-level home. And don’t just install detectors and forget about them! It is recommended that you check your carbon monoxide detector monthly, and change the batteries on an annual basis whether they need it or not!
In the case of a home fire, one of the most effective defenses is a fire extinguisher. Although more is better, InsuranceHotline.com recommends that you have one in your kitchen and one in your garage, which are the two most likely spots that a fire will break out. If a fire does break out, you may have only minutes in which to get it under control. Educate yourself and other family members on how to use a fire extinguisher, and also check them on a regular basis to be sure they are in working condition. Different fire extinguishers should be used on different types of fire, so make sure you have the right type of extinguisher for the area of your home in which it is located.
Even if you do everything right, disasters can happen. That’s why it is important to have an emergency escape plan in case a fire does occur. Consider drawing up escape routes, making sure that the drawing is simple enough for the younger members of your household to understand. If there are members of the household that have mobility issues (elderly or young children, for example), have someone designated to assist that person if a fire occurs. Once you have a plan in place, practice several times a year so that each member of the household can respond quickly if a fire emergency occurs.
Although it isn’t possible to completely eliminate the possibility of a fire in your home, one way to help your mind rest easier is to be sure that your fireplace and chimney are properly inspected and cleaned on a yearly basis by the experts at Michael’s Chimney Service. They can take care of your gas or oil furnace, boiler, or water heater as well! Trust them with all your maintenance, inspection, and repair needs.