Beat the Heat: Fire Prevention Tips

| October/November 2007

Just because the temperatures are falling outside doesn't mean your home can't get dangerously hot ? according to the National Fire Protection Association, December and January are the peak months for home fires. Follow these easy steps to stay safe.

Smoke Alarms
The single most important fire safety tool is the smoke alarm. Make sure yours are functioning and located in or close to sleeping areas around the house. Also:

  • There are two types of smoke alarms: ionization, which quickly detects fast-moving, flaming fire, and photoelectric, which quickly detects slow-burning, smoky fires. The U.S. Fire Administration recommends purchasing a combination alarm for best protection.

  • Pick a specific holiday or use your birthday as a reminder to replace the batteries in your smoke alarms every year.

In the Kitchen
Cooking mishaps are the leading cause of residential fires. Here's how to prevent them:

  • Never leave cooking unattended.

  • Wear short sleeves or roll up long sleeves when you're cooking.

  • Keep pot holders, curtains and towels away from the stove and other heating devices.

Home Heating/Fireplace
You'll want to heat up this winter, but not too much! Take extra care with space heaters and woodstoves. Also:

  • Keep all fireplaces and woodstoves clean, inside and out.

  • Never start a fire indoors with flammable liquid.

  • After the fire has been put out, never leave hot ashes in the home. Soak them in water and leave them in a metal bucket outside of and away from the house.

  • If you have a kerosene heater, check it to make sure it's in good working condition. Look for carbon buildup on exhaust parts of the machine.

  • Make sure that your furnace controls and emergency shut-offs are working properly, and keep trash and other combustibles away from the furnace.

For Rural Homesteaders

  • Mark the entrance to your property clearly, and know which local emergency services are available to you.

  • Thin trees and brush within 30 feet of your home.

  • Landscape your property with fire-resistant plants to stop fire from spreading quickly.

  • Follow local burning laws when burning leaves or debris.

Escape Planning
It's imperative to have a pre-determined plan in case of emergency. Route possible exits from every room of the house, and designate a family meeting point outside.

Tom Duchesneau_1
12/4/2007 12:00:00 AM

Another thing to be careful of, especially in the case of working in the basement because of the cold weather, is oily, greasy, solvent or gasoline soaked rags.Never ball them up and throw them in a trash can.They will heat up and start a fire through spontaneous combustion.Take them outside and spread them on a clothesline or tree branch to let them dry out.I suppose, afterwards, you may launder them if you want to use them again.Recommended is storing them in a metal canister (special, usually painted red) with a spring or gravity loaded cover, to seal out air-oxygen.Happy Holidays!

Tom Duchesneau_1
12/4/2007 12:00:00 AM

Oh, I almost forgot. Get your house heater, whether it be gas, oil or nuclear, (he he) cleaned and serviced>before it stops working.It will cost less than having a cold failure, freezing pipes, plumber's costs, asphyxiation from flue problems (CO), or fire repair costs to your house. Not to mention the expense of living elsewhere during the repairs.Not a good thing!

Gerald Abshire
11/9/2007 12:00:00 AM

The National Fire Protection Assocation recomends an annual inspection of all wood and gas burning appliances, To make sure that they are vented properly and that there are no obstructions. Every yearnumerous lives are lost needlessly because of unsafe venting systems. That is not counting thhundreds of thousands of dollars in home damage. So,I would advise that you spend a little money and have your venting system inspected. Besides, isn't your family worth it?


Fermentation Frenzy!

September 12-13, 2019
Seven Springs, Pa

Fermentation Frenzy! is produced by Fermentation magazine in conjunction with the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR. This one-and-a-half day event is jam-packed with fun and informative hands-on sessions.


Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

Money-Saving Tips in Every Issue!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters

click me