#MorseOfCourse’s Fire Prevention Tips with Chris Mills
Did you know that October is Fire Prevention Month? While you should always think about ways to make your home safe, especially when it comes to minimizing the risk of fire, fall is a great time to brush up on some fire safety tips before winter hits and we head into the holiday season!
We sat down with Easton firefighter and paramedic, Chris Mills, to go over some of the most important fire safety tips everyone should remember. Visit our Facebook page to watch our videos!
Here’s Chris’ best advice:
Stop — Drop — Cover — Roll
You probably grew up hearing ‘Stop — Drop — Roll’ everywhere from TV and movies to school fire drills. If you ever find yourself on fire, like if a piece of your clothing were to catch on fire, this is the process you should follow to smother the fire and keep it from spreading. In recent years, however, a new step has been added — cover. When we say cover, we mean cover your face as you roll to extinguish the fire. The most important thing here is to resist the urge to run and find water. When you run, you introduce more oxygen to the fire, making it larger and larger. Instead, cover your face and roll back and forth on the ground to smother the fire out.
You should have a smoke detector on every level of your home, if not one in every bedroom. But having smoke detectors isn’t enough — you also need to check that they’re working every month and replace the batteries every year. A good rule of thumb is to change the batteries on your smoke detectors whenever you change the clocks back for Daylight Saving Time. Think of smoke detectors as big noses on your ceiling constantly smelling for smoke and carbon monoxide. Nowadays, most smoke detectors are also carbon monoxide detectors, which is great because every habitable floor must have a carbon monoxide detector by law.
Two Ways Out
This is a big one. Everyone should have a fire escape plan that every member of your household understands. Lay out two ways to exit your home (remember — doors and windows can both be ways out), along with a meeting point outside of your home. This will help you make sure everyone is out of the house and will also help the fire department know if everyone is present and accounted for before they enter the home. Make sure to practice fire drills as well!
Fireplaces are one of the more dangerous items in your home. The first thing to do if you haven’t used it in a while is to have it inspected by licensed and insured professional. Make sure to get your fireplace cleaned once a year as well. It’s important to have a glass door or screen protector to keep embers from spreading. You should also keep any combustible items at least 20 inches away from your fireplace — this means don’t ever stack wood right next to your fireplace. One last tip: make sure your wood is seasoned. This will give off more heat and burn more efficiently.
Space Heater Tips
Space heaters are very common, especially as the price of fuel goes up. If you use them in your home or office, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. It’s also important to never use an extension cord because space heaters use a lot of electricity. Plugging them into an extension cord will cause the cord to heat up too much, which could lead to a melted cord and a fire. When you’re buying a space heater, make sure to purchase a model that has an anti-tip mechanism, which will turn it off if it gets knocked over or left on for a long time.
Do you have more questions about protecting your home? A #MorseOfCourse insurance agent is here to help! Stop by one of our offices, give us a call at 508-238-0056, or visit our website to learn more about our home insurance options: http://bit.ly/29urZG7