Following these simple tips could potentially save your life or the life of a loved one.  Pass this list on to your friends and family and make this fire prevention month count!

Smoke Alarms – Test your smoke alarms monthly. With October being ‘fire safety month, change the batteries in your smoke detectors

– Don’t overload circuits or extension cords.  Cords and wires should never be placed  under rugs or in high traffic areas.  Avoid loose electrical connections by checking the fit of the plug in the wall outlet.  If the plug loosely fits, inspect the outlet right away.  A poor connection between the plug and the outlet can cause overheating and can start a fire in minutes.

Prevent Electrical Fires– Follow the manufacturer’s safety precautions  and unplug all appliances when not in use. Don’t use frayed or damaged cords and make sure they are not ‘pinched’ by furniture or under rugs.

Alternate Heaters – Make sure there is ample space around any portable heating unit.  Anything that could catch fire should be at least three feet away.  Inspect your chimney annually and use fire screens to help keep any fires in the fireplace.

Fire Safety Sprinklers – When combined with working smoke alarms, home fire sprinklers greatly increase your chance of surviving a fire.  Sprinklers are affordable and they can increase property value and lower insurance rates.

Create An Escape Route – Create and practice your escape plan. Have a written and rehearsed route to an outside designated meeting place. Exit Drills In The Home (EDITH) are important for all homes, including apartment buildings and  high-rise structures.

Position Appliances Carefully – Try to keep TV sets, kitchen and other appliances away from windows with curtains.  If there is a wiring problem, curtains can spread a fire quickly.  Additionally, keeping your appliances away from water sources (like rain coming in from windows) can help prevent wiring damage which can lead to a fire.

Clean Dryer Vents – Clothes dryers often start fires in residential areas.  Clean the lint filter every time you start a load of clothes to dry or after the drying cycle is complete.  Make sure your exhaust duct is made of metal tubing and not plastic or foil.  Clean the exhaust duct with a good quality dryer vent brush to prevent blockage & check for lint build up behind the dryer at least twice a year.

Be Careful Around the Holidays – If you fill your home with lights during the holiday season, keep them away from anything that can easily catch fire.  Check all of your lights prior to stringing them up and dispose of anything with frayed or exposed wires.

Conduct Regular Inspections – Check all of your electronic equipment and wiring at least once a month.  Taking a little time to do this each month can really pay off.