Every time I watch the news and I see a house that burned down to the ground, I think to myself, they must have made a silly mistake for their home to catch fire. But then I talked to a friend of mine who is a first responder, and he said that a lot of times those fires are caused by simple things a lot of us forget about every day, it just happens to be a freak accident that it turns into a full-blown fire. So here are the top three fire safety tips we might not always think about to keep our homes as safe as possible.
1. Replace batteries every year
Me of all people HATE to spend money on batteries, and that still happens a lot since I have young children with lots of battery-operated toys. But this is one area that I am not cheap with my cash. I replace the batteries in our smoke alarms every single year. I put a reminder on my phone at the first of the year so I never forget to change them out. Not many things are more annoying than your smoke detector beeping at you at 2:00 in the morning and in a half-asleep daze trying to find which one it is that the battery is running low, right?!
2. Clean your fireplace
This is definitely a major cause of house fires every winter. Every time you burn a fire in your fireplace, creosote builds up in your chimney space. This is a very easy fix – we buy a CSL (creosote sweeping log) and burn it just like we do a log in our fire at the beginning of every winter. This cleans the creosote from our chimney and helps keep it clean. You can even have a chimney sweeping company come and check your fireplace every year as well to give yourself that added peace of mind.
3. Have auto-shutoff small appliances with heating elements.
Most small appliances have auto-shutoff now. From space heaters to coffee makers, it is best if you always set it on the auto-shutoff setting so you reduce the risk of the heating elements starting a fire in your home.
4. Take advantage of technology
Technology is amazing. We decided to take full advantage of it recently when we upgraded our Cedar Park home security system with a Smart Home system. With this new system, we had our smoke detectors wired to our alarm monitoring system so that if our smoke detectors went off and we were or were not home, it would immediately call our local fire department to send firetrucks our way. And it even goes above and beyond that! When the smoke detector goes off, it also sends a signal to our heating or a/c unit to turn off right away. Why does that matter? That will help keep the fire contained by not feeding extra oxygen from the ducts in the house while the air is blowing. So all around, the technology offered from our advanced alarm system was well worth the upgrade to take fire protection to the next level.
Thank you so much for reading these fire safety tips, and please comment below with any additional fire safety tips (there are so many I definitely could not list them all in this article). You can also look for fire protection online.