We typically focus on fire safety and preventing chimney fires during the burn season, but the reality is that fires can occur at any time of the year! Make sure you’re staying vigilant about fire safety practices and educating your friends and family. See below for some basic fire safety tips to practice year-round:
- Close while you doze! Keep bedroom doors closed while you and your loved ones are asleep. This helps minimize the spread of dangerous house fires and can give you more time to escape in the case of an emergency.
- Always keep working smoke alarms on every floor of the house. Test batteries regularly and make sure that everyone in the home can hear the alarms. If possible, use smoke alarms both inside and outside of every bedroom.
- Unplug electronics when they’re not in use! Not only does this save you money and help the environment, it also reduces the chance of cords or appliances catching fire.
- Never leave the house with the stove or oven on. Any time you are cooking, you should be in the kitchen and paying close attention!
- Clean out dryer lint before every load! Lint is highly flammable and can lead to dangerous dryer fires. Clean out the lint trap before every dryer load.
- Use candles wisely. When burning candles, keep them at least one foot from anything flammable. Blow out candles fully before leaving the room or going to sleep.
- Pay attention to maximum wattage requirements for light fixtures! Only use light bulbs that match the recommended wattage for each light fixture. This is usually labeled clearly with a sticker on the fixture.
- Schedule an annual chimney inspection. Make sure your chimney is inspected by a CSIA chimney professional at least once a year. Never start a fire in a chimney if you do not know its inspection status (this is especially important for people who recently moved into a new home). During the burn season, be sure to use RUTLAND Creosote & Soot Removers to prevent dangerous buildups in your chimney. More tips for chimney safety.
- Have a fire escape plan in place. Make sure every family member knows what to do in the case of a fire. Practice your plan 2x/year. Due to the high percentage of synthetic materials used in modern furniture and other household items, the amount of time to escape safely once the fire alarm sounds is only about 2 minutes.
- Install residential fire sprinklers if possible. If you’re building or remodeling your home, consider adding residential fire sprinklers to help contain or extinguish fires.
- Have a fire extinguisher and know how to use it! Keep a fire extinguisher in an easily accessible place and learn how to use it properly. Remember the acronym PASS (Pull the pin, Aim low, Squeeze the lever slowly, Sweep from side to side)
- Avoid using lighter fluid, which can flare up or spill easily, creating hazardous conditions. Instead, opt for fire starters that allow for more control, such as RUTLAND Safe Lite® Fire Starter Squares or RUTLAND One Match® Fire Starter Gel.
- In case of a fire, get out, stay out, and call for help! Never return inside for anything until the fire department has arrived and says that it is safe to do so.
Unfortunately, there are no guarantees that a fire will never occur, but there are many ways to reduce the likelihood of one occurring. Remember to always stay educated about fire safety and ensure that all members of your household are practicing fire safety!