Home Safety Tip of The Week: FIRE SAFETY IN THE HOME
According to the National Fire Protection Association, there were around 370,000 fires in homes in the United States in 2013 due to lack of fire safety measures. Some of these fires resulted in serious injury and even death to the homes’ occupants, and others caused costly property damage.
Some fires may have not been preventable, such as those caused by lightning that struck the home. Others may have been prevented, such as those caused by carelessness with burning candles, cigarettes and other related items.
Because fires can quickly rage out of control and cause serious injury or death, it is important for individuals to understand how to prevent fires in the home and to ensure that they are prepared to take action if a fire does occur.
Fire Prevention and Safety Features in the Home
All homes should have one or more functional smoke alarms. Smoke alarms are generally battery-operated devices that are placed on a ceiling or the upper section of the wall, and they emit a very loud sound when they detect smoke in the home. They notify the home’s occupants that a fire is in the home so that they can immediately evacuate and call emergency fire crews for assistance.
It is ideal to place a smoke alarm on every floor of the home, and for the maximum level of safety, these alarms should be placed in or near every bedroom in the home. This makes it more likely for those who are sleeping in the home to be awoken by the sound of the alarm. These alarms should be tested each month to ensure that the batteries are still active. Even if the batteries are effective, you should replace the batteries every six months as a safety precaution. When inspecting or replacing the batteries, take steps to remove the dust from the sensor on the fire alarm.
In addition, you should also have a fire extinguisher available in the home. Most commonly, a fire extinguisher is stored under the kitchen sink in a home because many fires commonly develop in the kitchen with food preparation activities. It may be wise to keep a fire extinguisher on every level of the home so that one is always easily accessible.
Keep in mind that you should also know how to use the fire extinguisher. The time to read usage instructions on the fire extinguisher’s label is before a fire breaks out rather than after. For example, you should aim the extinguisher at the base of the fire rather than at the top of the flames.
Identifying Potential Fire Risks
These steps can help you to prepare for the possibility of a fire breaking out in your home, but you can also take steps to prevent fires. Not every type of home fire is preventable, but many are.
Electrical issues are a common cause of home fires, and some of these fires can be prevented by simply unplugging appliances when they are not in use. In addition, you should inspect your electrical cords regularly for signs of damage. Damaged electrical cords should never be used until the damage has been repaired. In addition, electrical cords should not be placed under carpeting or furniture.
In addition to electrical fires, other fires develop through cooking practices. When cooking, avoid wearing loose-fitting clothing that could accidentally fall into an open flame. Kids and pets should be allowed to play next to an open flame on a stove.
Furthermore, you should take time to learn how to deal with a grease fire. For example, you should never pour water on a grease fire as this can actually fuel the flame. Instead, covering the fire with a pot lid may be a more effective way to put the flame out.
Dealing With Highly Flammable or High-Risk Substances
Electrical fires and cooking fires may be two of the most common sources of home fires, but there are other potential dangers in and around a typical home as well. For example, some substances that are highly flammable may be stored on-site. These substances include oil-soaked rags, paint and even gas that is used for a lawn mower or other lawn maintenance equipment.
These items should be stored in a manner specified on the safety label. If a safety label is not provided on packaging, be aware that these types of substances generally must be kept far away from an open flame and stored in a cooler area of the home. They should be kept away from sources of heat as well as from items that may easily catch on fire, such as paper and towels.
Candles are another high-risk item in the home. Care should be taken to use candles according to the manufacturer’s label and in an area where they cannot easily be knocked over by kids or pets. They should never be left unattended, and they should not be used near curtains or other flammable objects.
Cigarettes are another common cause of household fires. Ideally, smoking should be done outdoors. When smoking indoors, a lit cigarette should always be carefully monitored, and hot ashes should only be placed in an ashtray on a stable surface. Lighters and matches should always be kept out of reach of children.
Ensuring Heating Safety
As cold season sets in, it’s once again time to light up the heater. After such an extended period without use, it becomes important to ensure the unit is working properly and able to be used once again without posing any dangers. As a homeowner, it’s up to you to ensure heating safety before you kick back and enjoy the comfort of your temperature-controlled home during winter.
Every year, around $893 million in direct property damage and a tragic 400 civilian deaths are directly attributed to home structure fires resulting from heating equipment malfunctions. We like to think it can’t happen to us, but when you fail to prepare, you put yourself at risk of falling victim to these alarming statistics. It doesn’t take long to prepare for the long winter ahead, and following these tips gives you both the comfort and peace-of-mind you deserve.
Whether you acquired new furniture over the summer or re-arranged the layout of a room, it’s crucial that you go through and check to ensure none of the vents are covered. Not only can this cause a spike in your heating bill, but it could also pose serious fire hazards.
A fireplace can add a warm and rustic aura to any room in the winter, but they also pose unique dangers. If you have a fireplace, ensure it has a sturdy screen to keep sparks from flying onto the carpet or furniture. Furthermore, keep ashes in a container that’s kept away from the home. Every year, you should also have the chimney inspected by a professional.
While these are all good tips to follow, there are isolated circumstances that a can pose specific dangers. Unless you have training and experience in HVAC technology, it can be easy to miss these problems. Whether it’s been awhile since you had a professional inspection or just want that added security for the upcoming season, investing in experienced help is well worth it.
Developing a Fire Emergency Escape Plan
By following these safety tips, you can drastically reduce the risk of a house fire developing on your property. Furthermore, by knowing how to handle grease fires and how to put out smaller fires with a fire extinguisher, you can take steps to decrease the likelihood that a minor fire may rage out of control in your home and cause injury or death.
However, even when these steps are followed, there is always a risk that a fire may develop in the home. Because this risk cannot be entirely eliminated even when the best preventive actions are taken, it is imperative that individuals and families take time to develop a fire emergency escape plan.
Pause and consider each possible scenario, such as if a fire develops when one of your teenagers is home alone, when the entire family is asleep or if everyone is upstairs or downstairs. Consider each scenario and how you and your family will get out of the home quickly. Discuss with your children the importance of getting out of the home quickly, not trying to rescue a family pet and more.
In addition, if you have a multi-story home, it is important to invest in fire safety ladders and other types of safety equipment to ensure that all members of the family can escape through a window of their bedroom if they cannot get out of their bedroom door safely. All members of the family should be instructed how to use this equipment as well as where to meet when they are outside the home.
the Surrounding Areas
Maintenance Plan! It’s the NICEST way to gain comfort.
Customers With a NICE Experience
Customers With a NICE Experience
“Service was outstanding from the time of arrival which you could track arrival time live on a website link they send you so you know when they will arrive. Technical knowledge was very high, quick and efficient Kyle and his partner both handled the install of a Sensi Predict as if it was a walk in the park. I highly recommend Kyle from Nice Heating & Air for all HVAC issues and for new installs, him and his team are an amazing company and will think of them first if any issues arise in the future for sure....”
“Professional and polite. Excellent communication throughout the maintenance visit. Definitely recommend.”
“Rolando Medrano was very professional and followed the CDC protocol of 6 feet social distance and had a mask and put disposable shoe covers before entering the house. He made sure to address all of our issues and provided answers for all our questions. He came on time and called before he came to update on timing and his status! He was a great help!”
“Highly recommend Nice Home Services for your HVAC needs. Have been member of their annual maintenance plan for three years now and been extremely pleased with their approach to business. They are professional, knowledgeable, and relatable. The service specialists take their time to fully diagnose the issue and explain the situation in a way that is easy to understand. Never had an instance where they try to push product and instead look for ways to recommend how to save you money. Need anything done on your home's HVAC, call the folks at Nice Home Services and know you're making the right choice.”
“Love , Love the NICE Heating & Air company for their kind & trustworthy technicians, their unbeatable price & overall knowledge they’ve amazed me every time with their fabulous job on my house, I’ll recommend them without hesitations, try this company you won’t regret for sure.”
“Dionte and his helper (Josh) did a superb job with the installation. The result is both functional and as cosmetically pleasing as the ideal water heater installation can be. They were VERY careful moving the old one out and the new one in so as to assure no damage was initiated neither to the heater nor to our dwelling. He explained his intended design prior to execution and executed it flawlessly. This was followed by a comprehensive explanation of the functional options available through the control panel and Ipad app. Cleanup at conclusion of the install was appropriate and comprehensive. This team represented both Nice Heating and Rheem VERY positively!”
“I had the pleasure of meeting another NICE Heating and Air Service Technician today, Mr. Jeremy Castellon. Jeremy, thank you again for addressing my questions and concerns regarding my gas fireplace. I appreciate your patience and knowledgeability about gas fireplaces. Jeremy was very professional and competent.”
“The technician was very professional and took his time to explain the issue and how he will about to fix it. He also offered means to save by signing on their maintenance program. He was polite, careful to keep the carpet clean. I will recommend this company to friends and family.”
“Loves me some NICE Home Services! I’ve been part of their maintenance plan for almost 9 years now & they're great. Reliable, professional, & friendly; they take care of all my HVAC & gas fireplace needs m, including a spring & fall tuneup. Highly recommend!”
“I purchased my HVAC unit a year ago along with a Cozy Club maintenance plan. It's been running great and the customer service team is always quick to respond to questions. Today Rolando M. came by for the maintenance check and, as usual, he was neat, professional and maintained the COVID rules. He was also very nice, living up to the company name. I'm very happy with my experience with Nice.”
“I can't speak highly enough of this company. I requested an appointment, and it was scheduled for the next day. The technician was polite, honest, and a pure delight to work with. He didn't try to overcharge or tell me to replace something I didn't need to. He made service recommendations that were in line with industry standard prices so I could make an informed decision as he went about his service visit. Would recommend and will be using them again in the future. ”
“My technician arrived promptly at our appointed hour. He repaired a dirty and non-working gas fireplace. In addition, he found a small gas leak on our furnace line. Overall, exceptional service and quality work. I highly recommend their HVAC service.”
“Very impressive company! Nice responded to my call for a heating issue on very short notice. My tech, was right on time, extremely polite, and very hardworking. Customer service and satisfaction are clearly a priority.”
“They treat customers like a valuable asset, not like a number. Business the old-fashioned way, that will never go out of style.”
“Superb customer service. Before a service appointment, you receive a text message notification with photo of the tech that will be at your residence followed by a phone call. During a service appointment you'll updated and educated. If there is a concern, management will contact you promptly and follow up until issue resolved. Awesome and attentive team!!”