Top tips for fire-proofing your home

(NC)-It is always important to employ fire safety procedures in the house, but it is especially important as warmer temperatures return.

"Your home is a major investment, both financially and emotionally," says Royal LePage broker Steve Gray. "That's why it's crucial that you take measures to fireproof it."

Gray recommends the following five tips for ensuring the safety of your family and material possessions:

1. Avoid plugging too many electrical appliances into one outlet. Overloaded outlets can cause house fires. In fact, in the United States, an estimated 5,300 residential fires annually are caused by overloaded outlets.

2. Sleep with bedroom doors closed. A bedroom window can serve as a fire escape route. As such, keeping the doors closed to sleeping areas to isolate smoke and heat will provide more time to escape.

3. Routinely check electrical appliances for irregularities. Be sure to replace or repair any malfunctioning appliances. Whether gas or electric, appliances need a careful watch.

4. Use a chimney sweep service at least once per year. In doing so, you remove soot, blockages and any accumulating creosote, thereby reducing the potential for a chimney fire. Creosote is a highly flammable substance that builds up inside your chimney over time.

5. Remove combustible and flammable materials from your attic. During the summer, your attic can be warmer than the rest of your home. The heat can easily increase the temperature of items stored there. Relocate these items to a cooler place. If you take some simple fire safety measures around the home, you can sleep soundly, knowing you've done your due diligence.

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