October is a special month for many reasons. It is dedicated to Halloween, fall preparations and fire prevention! Yes, October is National Fire Prevention Month, which is dedicated to educating homeowners about handling and preventing fires in their homes. The pros at OnTime Service believe that our customers’ safety is the top priority. That is why this week, we’re going to give you some helpful fire safety tips for National Fire Prevention Month!

1. Check for Smoke Alarms

According to the National Fire Protection Association, fire is more likely to spread in today’s furnishings than in the past when more natural materials were used. Installing smoke alarms around your home can make a big difference and can even save your life. Make sure you have installed smoke alarms in every level of your home including inside bedrooms as well as outside sleeping areas. Most likely, your home already has smoke detectors installed, but you might have to replace them. It’s important to replace smoke detectors or smoke alarms every 10 years or so. In addition, make sure your smoke alarms are working well by testing them every month using the test button.

2. Have a Fire Extinguisher

This might seem a little obvious but consider keeping a fire extinguisher nearby, especially if you’re worried about things getting a little dicey in the kitchen. Be sure to install fire extinguishers on a wall, away from heat sources and near an exit. Make sure that the extinguisher is rated “A-B-C” as this rating signifies that the extinguisher can be used for home use.  Pro tip: Use the fire extinguisher with your back to the exit. If you happen to use the extinguisher on a fire and it does not die down, leave the extinguisher and get out—most portable fire extinguishers finish up in about 8 seconds.

3. Have an Evacuation Plan

We know it’s not easy to think about a potential hazard wrecking your home, but it is incredibly important to be prepared. One of the ways you can be prepared is by having an evacuation plan in place. Here are some things to keep in mind:

Make sure everyone knows how to dial 911 in case of an emergency.
Teach everyone (especially kids) how a smoke detector or alarm should sound in case of a fire.
Be sure to draw a floor plan of your home and mark the doors and windows that can be opened. Try to have two escape routes for each room.
Teach your kids the “Stop, Drop and Roll” and to crawl on their fours if they see smoke. In addition, they should know that if a doorknob is hot, they should NOT open the door

4. Common Sense in the Kitchen

When you’re cooking something in your kitchen, don’t leave while you have multiple items on your stove—especially if you have a child or pet who can reach it. Any items such as dishtowels, paper towels or rags should be kept away from the stove. In addition, keep a fire extinguisher handy in the kitchen.

5. Practice Plug Safety

Fire can be caused by malfunctions in electronics, plugs and outlets. Make sure all your outlets (especially in bathrooms, kitchens and garages) are GFCI protected. GFCIs shut off electrical circuits before it becomes a shock hazard. Make sure to test these GFCI’s every month. In addition, only plug in one heat producing appliance into a receptacle at a time.

Practice Fire Safety with OnTime Service

We hope these fire safety tips are helpful. For more safety or prevention tips, get in touch with the pros at OnTime Service. Call us today at 251-272-3595 or fill out a service request form on our website!