Houston Home Health: Enjoy a Fire-Safe Halloween With These 5 Tips
October marks the beginning of a season of celebrations starting with Halloween. The spooky decorations are out, and the candy is stocked up for all the ninjas and princesses that will be knocking at your door. However, October also marks the beginning of another event: Fire Prevention Week. Running from October 9th-15th, the theme of 2016’s fire prevention campaign is Don’t Wait –Check the Date to help remind everyone to replace their smoke alarms every 10 years.
We care about your safety, especially when it comes fire. As Houston’s most recognized name in smoke, water, and fire damage restoration, we’ve seen first-hand the devastation to home and family that fires leave behind.
To help make this season a more enjoyable one, we’ve gathered these fire-safety tips for the home.
Keep open flames away from décor, walkways, and doorways. Candles are a spooky touch for Halloween. However, they can also be dangerous. When using open flames, make sure to place them where they will not be knocked over and away from anything flammable. Children wearing flowing or bulky costumes can easily trip or catch fire. To be safe, replace the candlelit Jack-O-Lanterns with battery operated lights that mimic candles.
Do not overload electrical outlets. Lights, goblins, and smoke machines all good fun, but they can also require a lot of power. Be careful not to overload your outlets as this can cause overheating and start a blaze. You may also need to use extension cords in your haunted house. Make sure that they are all in good repair and that you unplug them when not in use.
Clean the fireplace and space heaters. After a season of sitting around, last years soot and dust make the fireplace and the chimney a fire hazard. Space heaters also collect dust or can fall into disrepair with frayed wiring. Before using your fireplace or space heater for the first time this season, give it a thorough cleaning and inspection. The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) has reported that many house fires start from home heating sources.
Have An Emergency Escape Plan. The NFPA statistics show that only about one-quarter of American households have an emergency fire escape plan. People often over-estimate the time they have to escape from a house fire. Most think they have about 6-minutes and enough time to save belongings from fire damage, but in reality, it’s closer to 2-minutes. For your sake and the sake of your family, develop an evacuation plan and practice it.
Check your smoke alarms. Smoke alarms save lives, but only when they are in working order. Check your alarms once a month by pushing the test button. Most smoke alarm failures are the result of dead or missing batteries or being unplugged from the power source. And remember to replace smoke alarms after 10 years of use.
Your locally owned Houston SERVPRO wants you to enjoy your Halloween with peace of mind. For more information about fire safety and prevention, visit NFPA.org. To learn more about advanced fire, water, or smoke damage restoration for home and business, contact us at (281) 403-2256. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer your call.