Fire Hazards In Your Home

October 26, 2016

It is important to follow proper maintenance and operation procedures when using items that can be fire hazards in your home. Below is a list of things you should consider to promote safety in your home. 

Wood-burning Fireplaces  

  • Have the chimney inspected annually to ensure it is clear of obstructions and creosote.  
  • Install a cap and/or spark arrestor at the top of the chimney to prevent debris or animals from blocking the chimney. 
  • Make sure the indoor area around the fireplace is clear of furniture, books, papers or other flammable material.  (2 feet is a good rule)
  • Use a fire screen to prevent embers from jumping out. 
  • Burn dry hardwoods to prevent excess creosote build-up.
  • Don’t close the damper until the fire is completely out.  
  • Never empty the ashes into a container immediately after a fire is extinguished.  

Gas Fireplaces

  • Have a specialist perform routine maintenance and service as necessary.
  • Adjust the millivolt output.
  • Clean and adjust the glowing embers and logs. 
  • Clean the fan and related air circulation passages. 
  • Ensure the vents are unobstructed and able to do their job. 
  • Install a carbon monoxide detector if you don’t have one. 

Power Strips

  • Do not plug in additional power strips to the first one (known as “daisy chaining”).
  • Use UL-or ELT-listed surge protectors and power strips. 
  • Only plug one strip into a duplex (two outlet) wall outlet. 
  • Unplug the strip with the appliance it powers when not in use. 
  • Do not use a power strip to plug in equipment with heating elements, such as a hotplate, hot glue gun, coffee pot, or toaster. 

Clothes Dryer

  • Keep lint trap and ducts clean! An indicator of lint and dust blockage can include clothes that are still damp or hotter than usual after a cycle is done. Another sign that something is wrong is if clothes are taking longer than usual to dry. 
  • Depending on use, recommended cleaning is every 6 to 12 months. Many heating and air conditioning contractors will provide this service. 
  • Improper dryer ventilation set up or installation can lead to carbon monoxide poisonings. Install a carbon monoxide detector if you don’t already have one.