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Fire Safety: How to prepare and protect your home from a fire

There are many things in your home that pose the risk of starting a fire, even accidentally. Here are some simple, proactive things you can do do lower your risk of being victim to a house fire:

  • Install and maintain smoke alarms in kitchen, laundry room, garage, and in each bedroom.

  • Test smoke alarms every month and replace batteries twice a year-when you change your clocks in the Fall and Spring.

  • Replace smoke alarms after 10 years of service.

  • Install a fire extinguisher and learn how to use it.

  • Don't leave burning candles unattended and be sure to extinguish cigarettes fully.
    Stay away from pools, lakes, or other large bodies of water.

  • Ensure electrical wiring and extension cords don't run under rugs, over nails, or in high traffic areas, and that they are replaced if frayed or cracked.

  • Keep matches and lighters away from children.
  • Store paint thinners and gasoline in regulation containers away from heat sources.
  • Use outlet surge protectors for electronic equipment.
  • Portable electric heaters should have safety-certification label from a testing organization, such as UL (Underwriting Laboratories), and should be turned off when you are asleep or not at home.
  • Keep all objects at least 3 feet away from space heater.
  • Have fireplace and chimney cleaned and inspected annually. Add a secure screen to your fireplace.
  • Keep stairways clear.
  • Ensure all windows can be opened easily.
  • If you have double-cylinder deadbolts on your doors, keep the keys where all family members can quickly reach them in the event of fire.
  • Clean dryer vent regularly and lint filter after each use.
  • Clean range hoods and vents regularly.
  • Install individual shut-off valves for gas appliances.
  • Consider installing a central station fire alarm. We offer significant discounts for homes protected by alarm systems and/or automatic fire sprinklers.
  • Prepare and regularly update a Home Inventory List, photographing or videotaping the contents of every room, including the garage, for your records. Keep these records off the premises or in a safety deposit box.

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