October is Fire Prevention Month. As homeowners prepare to settle into the upcoming winter months, this makes sense. Furnaces and heaters will soon be turned on and most people spend more time indoors. Now is the time to make sure that your home is ready. That means time for some fall maintenance!

Fire Prevention 101

There are plenty of ways we can be safe at home, but prevention is the first step in any fire safety plan. Tackle these tasks to keep your home safer.

  • test your smoke detectors & carbon monoxide detectors and replace batteries
  • check expiration dates for smoke detectors & carbon monoxide detectors and replace anything older than 10 years or past expiry date
  • change your furnace filter
  • inspect and clean dryer vent
  • have your ducts cleaned (should be done every 2-3 years)
  • inspect and clean your chimney
  • check your fire extinguisher and replace as necessary

General Safety Tips

Once you have the big things ticked off your list, think about other ways to keep your home safe. Never leave a burning candle or cigarette unattended. Stay focused and in the kitchen while cooking. Keep your stove and oven clean to prevent accidental fires. These are simple things that are common sense in fire prevention.

Look around your home for other potential fire hazards. What shape are your electrical cords in? Are they frayed or get hot to the touch? Consider moving them from under carpets or replacing them if they show signs of wear. How about your curtains? Are they close to heating sources? And what about hazardous items like household cleaners, and combustible beauty products (think hairspray and shaving products). If exposed to heat, they pose a risk too. Think fire safety everywhere and secure all items as necessary.

Even the amount of items in a home can be problematic. A cluttered home creates trip hazards, which could lead to accidents. In the event that emergency services need to enter your home, clutter also impedes their ability to get to you safely. Don’t make it harder for them to help you. Purge the clutter to reduce risk for all.

If you have looked around your home and have some fire prevention work to do, time to get to it. If some of that work includes purging items that pose a risk, give Load of Rubbish a call. Give your junk the boot and be on top of your fire safety this October.