You have smoke detectors in your kitchen and living areas, but do you know if your home is really prepared for a fire? According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), there are 346,800 house fires every year on average in the United States. Unsurprisingly, fires started by cooking and heating equipment cause the most fires.
October is National Fire Safety Month, and Howard Hanna wants to help you keep your home safe. We’ve compiled a list of fire safety tips and guidelines to help you prevent house fires and safeguard your home.
Step Up Your Fire Safety Equipment
The smoke detectors that came with your home are great, but there’s so much more you can do to keep your property fire-safe. Consider stepping up your preparedness with:
- A smart smoke alarm: Smart alarms like the Google Nest Protect are sensitive to both slow-burning and fast-burning fires. They can also send alerts to your phone in case you’re not home.
- A fire extinguisher: Put out small kitchen fires fast with an at-home fire extinguisher.
- A two-story emergency escape ladder: Make sure you have a safe exit from second floor bedrooms and living spaces in the event of a fire.
- A fireproof safe: Safeguard important documents like passports, birth certificates and medical records so they’re not lost after a disaster.
Avoid Fire Hazards While Cooking
Cooking causes 50% of residential fires every year, with unattended cooking being the leading cause. Here are some guidelines to reduce your risk while cooking:
- Always cook with a lid beside your pan. If you have a fire, put the lid on the pan and turn the burner off immediately.
- Always stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling or broiling.
- Always stay at home when simmering, baking, roasting or boiling, and set a timer to remind you that you’re cooking.
- Never pour water on a grease fire!
Reduce the Risk of an Electrical Fire
Heating equipment and electrical malfunctions and the second and third leading causes of house fires according to NFPA. You can help keep your home safer by:
- Making sure that all heating sources are in clean and working order.
- Checking your electrical wiring for damage and repairing it if necessary. Replace frayed extension cords, exposed wires and loose plugs.
- Clearing all high-traffic areas of any wiring. Do not keep any wiring under rugs.
- Ensuring all outlets have cover plates.
- Storing any combustible materials in open areas away from heat sources.
- Never using a stove range or oven to heat your home.
This content was provided by the National Association of REALTORS® as part of NAR’s REALTOR® Safety Program. NAR is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.5 million+ members, including NAR’s institutes, societies and councils, involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries. As a member of NAR, Howard Hanna Real Estate Services may reprint NAR’s content and promote their resources. To learn more about NAR, visit https://www.nar.realtor/. To learn more about NAR’s REALTOR® Safety Program, visit https://www.nar.realtor/safety.