While you may feel most secure in your own home, the fact is that accidental deaths still frequently occur in the average American home. The good news is that you can safeguard yourself by adopting precautionary measures. The more you practice safe behaviors, the easier it will become. It’s a good idea to review your home’s safety measures as you get ready for the new season and the start of the new school year. For your family’s security and peace of mind, remember the following:
Fire hydrants: Each level of your house, especially the one that contains the kitchen, should have a fire extinguisher. The pressure gauge should be checked once a month to ensure it is still in the green.
Keep in mind that an ABC-rated fire extinguisher is the gold standard for home use. The best extinguishers for wood, paper, and textile fires have an A rating. B-rated appliances extinguish fires involving flammable liquids, while C-rated appliances extinguish electrical fires. That should take care of most issues that come up at home.
The use of an extinguisher is mandatory; otherwise, it will be ineffective. Put them where everyone can reach them, and make sure the adults in the house know how to use them.
Never underestimate the importance of installing smoke alarms throughout your home. Every room and every floor (even the cellar) needs to be equipped with an alarm.
Smoke alarms that are linked to one another are highly recommended by the National Fire Protection Association. The sound of one triggers the others. There is an added cost, but it is well worth it.
The National Fire Protection Association suggests installing carbon monoxide detectors in the same locations as smoke alarms.
Fire alarms should be checked monthly. It’s recommended to replace the internal sensors after 10 years because their sensitivity degrades over time.
Cleaning and maintenance: Have your chimney swept once a year by a professional if you use your fireplace frequently. Checking and cleaning your chimney on a regular basis will keep it in top shape and remove any potential fire hazards from buildup.
Once a year, have a professional clean your dryer’s vents. If lint accumulates in the vents, it can start fires. Dryer performance will improve as a result of these repairs.
Chimney cleaning costs around $250 on average, while cleaning a dryer vent costs around $140.
Arranging an Exit: Construct a family escape route out of the house in case of an emergency. Get everyone in the family, including the little ones, used to following the plan in case of an emergency by practicing it regularly. Consider your pets’ needs as well when making preparations.
If you own an older home and want to make sure the electrical wiring and circuit breakers are safe and up to code, consider hiring a professional electrician to do an inspection. The use of ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets, which have their own internal circuit breakers that cut off power in the event of a surge, is highly recommended in wet environments like kitchens and bathrooms. These stipulations weren’t written into codes, however, until the ’70s and ’80s. Traditional houses may not meet modern standards.
Use #AskingAngi on Twitter to submit your home care questions, and we’ll do our best to address them in an upcoming article.
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