At this time of year it seems that every morn­ing the news reports are about a fire and dev­as­tat­ing injuries, and loss.  Here are some tips and rec­om­men­da­tions on fire pre­ven­tion and what to do if one starts.

Check to see if your Heat­ing sys­tem is func­tion­ing prop­er­ly, free of leaks, and have it ser­viced annu­al­ly.  Use cau­tion with space heaters, adhere to man­u­fac­tur­er rec­om­men­da­tions and avoid using exten­sion cords.  If you are using a wood burn­ing fire place or stove, have the chim­neys cleaned and inspect­ed reg­u­lar­ly, use only sea­soned hard­woods, install a pro­tec­tive mesh grate or glass shield that pre­vent sparks and logs from enter­ing into the room. An unsu­per­vised fire is dan­ger­ous.

Be care­ful around your elec­tri­cal sys­tem. Avoid over­load­ing cir­cuits, and long exten­sion cords,  dis­card dam­aged exten­sion cords and appli­ances.  Insure that appli­ances have ample air cir­cu­la­tion space to pre­vent over­heat­ing. Reg­u­lar­ly clean your clothes dry­er lint trap and vent­ing. Lint build up is a fire wait­ing to hap­pen.

In the kitchen avoid deep fry­ing when­ev­er pos­si­ble, keep the Stove Vent Hood free of grease build up. Your Stove vent should be met­al and exhaust out­side your home, not into your attic. Every kitchen, base­ment and garage should have ful­ly charged fire extin­guish­ers read­i­ly avail­able, insur­ing they are designed for mul­ti­ple fire types.  Nev­er use water on an elec­tri­cal or oil fire! Use an appro­pri­ate fire extin­guish­er, designed for organ­ic, elec­tri­cal and oil fires.

In many juris­dic­tions it’s the Law to have a work­ing smoke detec­tor on every lev­el of your home. It’s also com­mon sense. Even bet­ter is to have a Mon­i­tored smoke detec­tor that can call for help in your absence.  Make it a habit to change your smoke detec­tor bat­ter­ies twice a year, on the day you change to or from Day­light sav­ings time. If in doubt about the age of smoke detec­tor batteries…change them.  The rec­om­mend­ed max­i­mum lifes­pan of a smoke detec­tor is 10 years. Young chil­dren sleep sound­ly, so smoke detec­tors should be locat­ed in sleep­ing areas. The best smoke detec­tors are inter­con­nect­ed when one detects smoke all detec­tors are acti­vat­ed. The bot­tom line is that work­ing smoke detec­tors save lives.

Pre­pare your fam­i­ly for the worst case sce­nario of a home fire.  Have a fire escape plan, a des­ig­nat­ed meet­ing place out­side of the home, and instruct chil­dren on how to call for help once out­side of the home.

For increased Fire Pro­tec­tion talk to your Alarm Com­pa­ny about ulti­mate life safe­ty solu­tions.

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Allan Baum
Security Industry veteran with over 30+ years in the industry. Founded family owned and operated Protection Plus in 1994 with his wife and has overseen its growth since. In addition to working with his wife and son, Allan has assigned the role of Chief Canine Officer to his trusted dog Waub, who joins him at the office every day.