Steps for preventing a fire in your home!

By | October 6, 2014

October 5-11 is National Fire Prevention Week!

As the weather gets colder the risks of fire in the home increases, creating the need to make sure that both the house and the people living there are prepared and have taken all of the necessary precautions!

Here are some of the cold hard facts about fire in the home and the need for prevention:

In only a matter of minutes, a small house fire can rage out of 
control. Heat temperatures from the building fire can reach up to 
1,500°F. The flames emit carbon monoxide gas, which is odorless, 
colorless and tasteless – and can cause immediate unconsciousness, 
followed by death.

Every family should have and practice a home escape plan to follow in the 
event of a fire. The plan should include drawing a diagram of your home, 
marking the locations of windows and doors; planning two escape routes 
out of every room of your home; setting up a meeting place outside of the 
home for everyone to go following an escape; and practicing the escape 
plan once a month. Every member of the family and frequent visitors to the 
home should know and practice the escape route. The Federal 
Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) stresses that even children as 
young as 3 years old can understand an escape plan.

Some simple steps for preventing fires include:

  • Have properly working smoke alarms
  • Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors monthly and change the batteries at least once a year
  • Place smoke alarms on each floor of your home and in each bedroom
  • Plan a family escape route and practice it once a month
  • Install a home sprinkler system if three or more stories
  • Place fire extinguishers throughout your home and make sure everyone in the house knows how to use them

From the National Safety Council, this is a checklist to complete to ensure that your home is free of hazards!

Is your home free of hazards?

 Check electrical appliances for loose or frayed cords. Do not place wires under
 Check for outlets overloaded with plugs; including TV, computer, stereo, and
 Install GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) outlets in your home; especially near
sources of water like your bathroom, kitchen and laundry room.
 Use the correct bulb wattage for home light fixtures.
 If any appliances spark, smell unusual or overheat, replace or get repaired by a
 Lamps and nightlights should not touch any fabrics (bedspreads, drapes).
 Electrical blankets are unplugged when not in use. Check for frayed or loose
cords and any odd smell. If a problem is detected, replace.
 Supervise children around the stove and microwave.
 Candles should be out of reach of children and pets, curtains and furniture. Never
leave candles unattended.
 Annual inspection of furnace or heating system
 Space heaters:
o Keep out of walking paths.
o Keep away from children and pets.
o Placed away from beds.
o Newspapers, magazines, and any fabrics, including curtains, sheets,
tablecloths, are a not within 3 feet of a space heater.
o Unplug when not in use.
 In the kitchen
o Keep an eye on appliances when in use.
o Make sure appliances are turned off and unplugged when not in use.
o When using pots and pans, use the rear burners and turn the handles
o Do not wear loose clothing while cooking.
 Fireplaces
o Keep the fire place clean.
o Cover your fireplace with a screen.
o Only burn wood. Papers and other materials can escape while burning
and ignite something nearby.
o The fire should be completely extinguished before leaving the room.
o Have your chimney cleaned professionally once a year.


Written by Michael Haltman, President of Hallmark Abstract Service, New York.

HAS is a provider of title insurance in New York State for residential and commercial real estate transactions specializing in the areas of New York City, Long Island and Westchester.

Remember that you have the right to choose your own title company (click here to learn more)!

If you have any questions you can reach Michael by email at

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