A little regular maintenance around the house can go a long way toward decreasing the odds of a fire, and, should a fire break out, increasing the odds of you and your family escaping harm. Take a few minutes to review these household hints.
- Grease fires ignite and spread very fast. Prevent grease build-up in your kitchen by cleaning regularly and thoroughly, for example removing and washing your stove's burner grates, drip pans, etc. on a regular basis.
- Dryer lint is highly flammable – prevent its build-up (which inhibits airflow) by cleaning the filter screen after each load, regularly vacuuming the motor area, and cleaning the vents leading outside twice a year.
- If you have a fireplace, have its chimney regularly cleaned to rid the inside walls of creosote. A natural byproduct of burning wood, creosote is highly combustible.
- Routinely inspect your electrical system and appliances. Check for damaged cords; flickering lights; outlets or switches that are discolored, feel hot, or make crackling or buzzing noises; overloaded outlets, electrical panels, or extension cords; frayed or exposed wires.
- Test your smoke alarms monthly, replacing batteries as needed (even in hard-wired smoke alarms). Dirt such as dust and cobwebs can hinder their sensors, so clean your smoke alarms regularly, and replace them every few years as a precaution.
- Have a working fire extinguisher in the kitchen. Check it monthly to ensure pressure is at recommended levels, it's not past its expiry date, and that all parts are free of damage or obstructions and clean of corrosive chemicals.