With the arrival of cooler temperatures, you’ll be spending more time indoors and beginning to use your heaters and vents again. Before you turn up the heat, it’s important to review your fall fire safety strategy to keep you and your family safe during the colder fall and winter months.
Replace Batteries in Smoke Detectors
Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors won’t do any good if they’re not working properly. Test them every year and replace the batteries while you’re changing the clocks for Daylight Savings Time. At the same time, check the fire extinguishers in your home to make sure they haven’t expired and are ready to be used if needed.
RELATED: Proper Use for Fire Extinguishers
Have Your Heating Equipment Inspected
Heating and cooling professionals recommend having your heating system inspected before turning it on for the season. By having your system tuned up, your service technician can spot any problems that could potentially cause a fire or electrical hazard in your home. Most inspections also test to the heating unit to endure it isn’t releasing excess carbon monoxide fumes into your home.
Space Heater Safety
If you’re using space heaters in your home, make sure there is a minimum of three feet of empty space in all directions around the heater. Don’t place the heater near furniture, drapes, beds or any combustible materials. Make sure to turn off the heater before going to bed or leaving your house.
Using Your Fireplace
Hire a professional to perform a thorough chimney inspection and cleaning before using your fireplace. Built-up debris isn’t always immediately visible and can be a serious fire hazard. Use a fireplace screen to stop sparks and embers from escaping the fireplace. Never start a fire with gasoline or other materials not intended for home burning. Make sure your fire is out before going to bed or leaving your home.
Fall Holiday Decorations
Fall holidays are just around the corner. Keep fall fire safety in mind while decorating your home. Never put candles in your carved pumpkins; instead use flameless candles or flashlights. Only use holiday lights and extension cords that are UL rated for outdoor use. When picking out Halloween costumes for your children, make sure that they are made with fire resistant material.
Preventing Outdoor Fires
Fall fire safety is just as important outdoors as it is indoors. Never burn leaves and other yard debris during burn bans or in unauthorized containers. Check with your city or county for burning regulations. If you have an outdoor fire pit, burn non-treated wood and other fire-safe materials. Never leave a fire pit unattended and keep a hose nearby for emergencies.