(NAPS)—House fires are more common than many people think. No matter the season, it’s important to ensure homes and families are well protected. Therefore, there’s no time like the present to evaluate the different fire-safety measures in place around your house. If you happen to be remodeling, it’s an ideal time to bolster your home’s fire safety.
Be sure you have working smoke detectors on all floors of your home and outside sleeping areas. Check them once a month, clean them every six months and change the batteries at least once a year. Better yet, opt for newer units that come with a 10-year, no-maintenance battery.
Select appliances with an automatic shutoff.
Never overload electrical outlets or use extension cords to replace additional outlets. When remodeling or undertaking repairs, make sure you engage a licensed electrician for all electrical work.
Install ground fault circuit interrupters and arc fault circuit interrupters in kitchens, bathrooms, outdoor areas, unfinished basements and crawl spaces, garages, boathouses, laundry areas, and within 6 feet of sinks, bathtubs and shower stalls. These devices have helped save thousands of lives from fire or shock since being introduced.
Check your residential fire extinguisher and ensure it is stored in an easy-to-access location in case of emergency.
Create a fire escape plan for your home and practice it twice a year with all family members.
Opt for noncombustible building materials, whenever possible. Insulation is especially important. A stone wool insulation, such as Rockwool Safe ’n’ Sound, is the preferred choice of many professional builders. Because of its ability to resist fire up to 1,177˚F—higher than the temperature of a typical house fire—it stays in place to protect escape routes and buys occupants precious extra time to escape. Made from stone, its inorganic composition means it will not produce toxic smoke or harmful gases when exposed to fire. That’s a key feature, because smoke, not flames, is the leading cause of fire-related fatalities.
Homes today burn faster than in years past because they’re loaded with more synthetic materials. In the event of a fire, occupants typically have just a few minutes to get themselves to safety. Careful selection of building materials and implementing both fire prevention devices and measures can make all the difference when every second counts.