Take spring-cleaning one step further by clearing your home and property of fire-related hazards. Here, the fire victim advocates at Azrael Franz explain how to protect your family and possessions from the dangers of house fires.
When it comes to house fires, prevention is key. As most fires are preventable, it is important to create a safe environment for you and your family. Below, the fire victim advocates at AFSL have provided important fire safety considerations.
The best first step is removing fire hazards. Frayed cords or wiring should be replaced immediately, as should damaged fuses. Be sure not to run wires or cords under rugs or other flammable material; fixing them to baseboards is the safer option. Keep electrical appliances unplugged when not in use, and be sure to check around electrical appliances for water leaks: often, snowy and icy winters lead to leaks in older homes come spring. Additionally, the lint trap and exhaust duct in the clothes dryer should be cleaned out regularly to prevent excess lint from overheating and catching flame.
It is also important to take extra safety precautions outside of the home. Remove dead leaves and other flammable debris from around the foundation of your home, and get rid of any clutter under decks, porches, and stairs. Recycling should be put in the proper receptacles, not piled in the garage or stairwell. Outdoor work areas, such as garages and tool sheds should be kept neat and organized, and flammable materials should be stored in fire-safe containers out of the reach of children. It may even be advisable to keep flammable liquids and chemicals under lock and key, to further prevent child exposure.
Checking fire protection and safety equipment is another essential step to ensuring your families’ safety. Fire alarm, smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector batteries should be tested routinely. If one of these devices is more than ten years old, it should be replaced. Place a fire extinguisher on each floor of your house, and teach your family how to properly use it if a small fire should occur. Additionally, ensure the entire family knows your fire escape plan, and decide on a meeting point if a fire should occur. All doors and windows in the home should be openable for easy escape, and ideally there should be at least two ways to exit each room in your home.
Another vital component of fire safety is practicing responsible smoking habits. If you are a smoker, prevent smoking-related fires—the most common in the United States—by always smoking outside, and using a deep, sturdy ashtray filled with sand or water to ensure your cigarette is snuffed out completely. Plastic cups, paper towels, and other common objects are never suitable as an ashtray. Do not smoke in a place where you may be susceptible to fall asleep. Many incidences of smoking-related fires occur when an individual falls asleep while a cigarette is lit.
You are your family’s first line of defense when it comes to fire safety. By following smart, easily completed fire safety tips, you will ensure a safer, happier spring for everyone. If you or a loved one have been the victim of fire-related injuries or property damage, contact the AFSL fire damage and burn victim attorneys of at www.azraelfranz.com.