Every homeowner should understand fire safety and prevention even if they don’t have a chimney. Homes without chimneys burn just as readily as those without because the electrical system or appliances cause house fires as well. The best way to limit bodily injury during a house fire is to take preventative measures such as installing smoke alarms and making sure the batteries are good throughout the year. Here are several fire prevention and safety tips as outlined by the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA):
- Install smoke alarms inside and outside each bedroom and sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home. Install alarms in the basement.
- Large homes may need extra smoke alarms.
- It is best to use interconnected smoke alarms. When one smoke alarm sounds they all sound.
- Test all smoke alarms at least once a month. Press the test button to be sure the alarm is working.
- There are two kinds of alarms. Ionization smoke alarms are quicker to warn about flaming fires. Photoelectric alarms are quicker to warn about smoldering fires. It is best to use of both types of alarms in the home.
- A smoke alarm should be on the ceiling or high on a wall. Keep smoke alarms away from the kitchen to reduce false alarms. They should be at least 10 feet (3 meters) from the stove.
- People who are hard-of-hearing or deaf can use special alarms. These alarms have strobe lights and bed shakers.
- Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.
- Smoke alarms are an important part of a home fire escape plan.
The above information is continued on the NFPA website.
Smoke alarms are intended to give you plenty of time to get out of the home quickly in case of a fire. A smoke alarm with dead batteries will not function. Check your smoke alarm batteries once per month to make sure all alarms are in working order. Replace all batteries at least once per year.
Make sure all family members are familiar with the fire escape plan and practice it often. Children can learn fire safety in a fun web application or mobile app by visiting Sparky.org and playing educational games.
Take additional precautionary measures by having your chimney cleaned and inspected at least once per year. Your dryer vent hose is also a potential source of house fires. Lou Curley Chimney Services cleans both chimneys and dryer vent hoses as well. Call us for a consultation, inspection, or cleaning at 610-626-2439.