Now that Columbus weather is finally beginning to warm up, many of you will be following an annual ritual of "Spring Cleaning". With this thorough cleaning of house, garage, yard, please spend a little extra time making certain your home is a safe as possible.
The better your general housekeeping, the less likely your home will suffer a fire. In the event of a fire, good housekeeping also makes your exit easier - increasing your family's chances of survival.
- If you haven't used something in quite a while, perhaps it's time to donate it to charity, auction it on Ebay, or cart it off to a storage facility.
- Check all exits for a clear path.
- Make certain all windows and doors are functioning properly so that every exit may be useful in a fire or emergency.
Remove Fire Hazards
- Excess papers and magazines are significant fuel loads - recycle don't store these items.
- Check appliances for frayed electric cords / wiring. Fix any leaks that may wet electric wiring and cause fire and electrocution hazards.
- Heating appliances should have adequate clearance around them to prevent fires, malfunctions, and to provide working access.
- Check and replace air filters on furnaces and other appliances as necessary. You should already be doing this on a regular basis - if you need help remembering, do an internet search for a "free reminder service" that can send you reminders.
- Make certain flammable liquids are stored safely in approved containers and away from children, pets, exits, and sources of ignition. Oily rags can spontaneously combust and should be stored in approved containers until disposal.
- Other household / lawn / garden chemicals should be stored in dry locations safely away from children and pets. If you have old household chemicals that you are no longer using, dispose of them at a hazardous waste drop off.
Check Fire Safety Devices
- Now's a good time to do your monthly smoke detector checks - you already changed batteries when the time changed, didn't you?
- Make certain CO detectors (if you have any) are functioning. Test per manufacturer's instructions and replace batteries regularly when you change your smoke detector batteries.
- Is your home address easily readable from the street? In all weather conditions? If not, get it marked! A highly visible street address on your home can save precious time if you call us in an emergency.
- Check your home fire extinguisher. Depending on the type, check its charge and whether it is labeled with recommended service or an expiration date. If you have any question that the extinguisher will function properly have it serviced or replace it.
- You should have flashlights and a battery powered radio available in case of emergencies or bad weather. Check that these items are where you think they are, have fresh batteries, and are in good working condition.
- Our Department offers free home fire safety inspections.