Buying a new home is exciting, but also comes with a lot of responsibility. When making decisions about things like landscaping and paint colors, fire safety might be the last thing on your mind. Unfortunately, with home fires reported to the authorities every 86 seconds or so in the United States, you can't afford to ignore this important aspect of home ownership. Here are four fire safety tips that will help ensure you don't become a statistic:
Buy an Extinguisher
A fire extinguisher is one of those things you will hopefully never have to use, but that as a responsible homeowner you must have on hand. When you purchase your new fire extinguisher, like those from Universal Fire Equipment, be sure to carefully read the instructions, as you don't ever want to be in the position of figuring out how to use it when it's too late. Many local fire stations even offer hands-on practice and training with fire extinguishers, which can be more effective than only reading the instructions.
Check Smoke Detectors
If your new home passed an inspection, it already has working smoke detectors. Your job as a homeowner is to check that they're still working once a month or so (a recurring calendar alert is a good idea for this kind of task). Change the batteries twice a year no matter what, as well as any time you perform a monthly check and find the detector isn't working. Some homeowners change smoke alarm batteries whenever daylight savings time happens along with changing their clocks, as an easy way to remember.
Discuss a Fire Escape Plan
You and your family should know exactly how you would exit your home if there was a fire. It's a good idea to have two exits in mind, in case one is in the room where a fire occurs. If you have kids, it's a good idea to have practice fire drills from time to time, to practice getting out of the house quickly and efficiently.
Use Care When Cooking
The kitchen is an especially vulnerable part of the home when it comes to fires. Never leave food cooking on the stovetop unattended. When using the oven, check on your food periodically and never leave home with food in the oven. Keep flammable items like dish towels away from the stove when cooking.
By following these tips, you can rest easy knowing you're protecting your new home, as well as your family and valuables.