There are a few things you know you need to do every year to keep (attempt to keep) your home safe from fires. October has been dedicated as Fire Prevention Safety Month. There are a couple of things that you can easily do to protect your home or apartment. 

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Yes, those 'simple things' include having a working smoke detector and a carbon monoxide detector in your home and by working, we mean that you need to check those batteries twice a year to make sure that they work. It is always good to check them before they start randomly beeping at 3 am and wake you up.

But what else should you do?

  1. Have a fire extinguisher on hand and know how to use it. Seems like another easy thing to do, but do you know how to use it? Take a few minutes and familiarize yourself with it, so you will be able to properly use it when you need it. The guideline for fire extinguishers is one for every level and one each for the garage and kitchen.
  2. If you need to use a space heater, use one that is the correct size for the room, and plug it directly into a wall outlet, do not use an extension cord.
  3. Stay with your food or in the kitchen when you are cooking. Have you ever stepped out of the kitchen to return and find your frying pan on fire? Hopefully not, but that is where having an extinguisher in the kitchen will come into play.
  4. Do not put carpets or anything else over your extension cord long term. This is one that I instantly knew I was guilty of. I have been known to push the extension cord just under the carpet to keep from tripping on it. Not realizing that the carpet can actually cause friction with the cord and lessen the integrity of the cord, possibly allowing for sparks.
  5. Lastly, make sure that your family has an escape plan. Super important that you don't have just one, do you have pets? Make sure to include who looks for which pet in the plan as well.

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