As the leaves turn from green to orange, the weather cools, and you start preparing for the cold season ahead. You’re excited for Halloween and can’t wait to start decorating your home. But have you thought about the fire safety risks that arise during the fall? Here are a few important fire safety tips to keep in mind:
Change smoke/carbon detector batteries and test the alarms. When Daylight Savings Time begins and ends, it’s a good idea to change your smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries. This ensures the alarms don’t fail when you turn the heat on in your home. Don’t forget to also test the smoke alarms after change the batteries. Check that all fire extinguishers are in working order when you adjust the clocks each season.
Fully check and service your heating devices before cranking up the heat:
Have your HVAC system inspected, cleaned, and serviced by a certified HVAC contractor. Check and replace furnace filters with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters.
If you use space heaters, ensure there’s at least three feet of space around them. Don’t place fabrics on space heaters to dry, and turn heaters off when going to bed.
If you’ve got a fireplace, hire a professional chimney sweep to inspect and clean your chimney. Keep flammable objects at least three feet away from the fireplace and install a mesh metal screen around it.
Halloween safety – Can’t wait to decorate your home and mastermind scary costumes for Halloween? Remember that Halloween safety comes first. Keep decorations away from open flames and other heat sources, and use battery-operated lights instead of candles in jack-o-lanterns. .
Outdoor fire risks – As leaves and other flammable debris build up around your home, make it a habit to remove them periodically. Prune trees and rake up leaves and twigs. Don’t store fuel in your home or garage. Keep your roof, gutters, and downspouts clear of debris and remove fuel from lawn mowers before storing them for winter.
Create a fire escape plan and practice it regularly. Say a fire breaks out at 2 AM and your smoke alarms wake you and your family up – what do you do? This is when the fire escape plan comes into play. Designate an escape route for each area of your home and establish a meeting place outside.
Follow these tips, and don’t let a fire ruin your fall.