Cleveland Fall Fire Safety Tips
Believe it or not, as of writing this, fall is exactly one month away! We know that summer has flown by for us here at the Cobos Insurance Center. It's hard to believe that the hot summer days will be turning into cool autumn nights before we know it. We also know that historically, house fires tend to increase as people are spending more time inside. We wanted to take the time to give you some safety tips to better protect your home and your family this coming fall! Cleveland is beautiful in the fall, let's keep it safe as well...
One of the first things that you can do to protect your home and your family this fall in Cleveland is to have your furnace serviced by a local professional. It is important to understand your furnace and how it works, but beyond that, you should practice safety when interacting with your furnace unit and consult or hire a professional to annually or bi-annualy check and service your furnace. This will help to ensure that your furnace is up to Ohio code and ready for your family's use this fall.
The second thing you can do this fall to protect your Ohio home is to practice fireplace safety. What does it mean to practice fireplace safe you might be asking? Well, in short, it depends on what type of fireplace you have, whether it is a gas or wood burning fireplace. However, in both situations, you will want to first check your flue to make sure that everything is open and clean BEFORE igniting any fires this fall. You may also want to talk to your local HVAC or fireplace expert whether you live in Cleveland or anywhere in Ohio. You should have your fireplace serviced just like your furnace to ensure that everything is operating correctly. There is nothing better than coming home from a long day at work and cozying up to a warm fire, and if you've taken the proper precaution you can do so with a peace of mind!
Everyone loves the smell of a nice pumpkin spice candle burning in their home, it's one of the many perks of fall! While we love the smell of fall themed candles burning in our homes as well, we want to make sure that you practice the proper candle burning caution that will protect you and your family this fall! Anytime you are going to be leaving the room of a burning candle for an extended period of time, you should consider blowing the candle out before you leave. We know that sometimes this is not practical, but it really is a best practice. If you think that is going a little overboard, AT A MINIMUM, you should check your home before everyone leaves and before everyone goes to bed at night and blow out any candles that are burning, DO NOT just let the candle burn down on it's own. If you do this, you are leaving too many factors up to chance and you don't want to jeopardize your family's safety when you could have just blown the candle out. We love candles but we want to make sure everyone exercises caution this fall in Ohio when you burn them!
Have a Fire Escape Plan!
You’ve heard of stop, drop and roll. You know how to call 9-1-1. You change the batteries in your smoke alarm at least twice a year. But do you have a fire escape plan? According to the American Red Cross, only 26% of families have actually developed and practiced a home fire escape plan.The issue lies in the fact that many people believe that they have more time to get out if there’s a fire. But in fact, it may only be about two minutes. With 501,500 structure fires occurring in the U.S. during 2015, it’s critical that you and all of the members of your household take the time to find and practice your escape routes. Take a look at these tips and create your own home fire escape plan...
1. Do a walk through.
Gather the family and take a walk through your home. Be sure to examine all windows and doors, and note at least two ways out of each room.
2. Write it down.
Especially if you have children in your home, it’s important that you take the time to physically map out your escape routes. One great tool is NFPA’s Home Escape Plan. The coloring book-like chart can help get your kids involved and educated on the fire escape plan.
3. Think about escape ladders.
Consider purchasing escape ladders for rooms on upper-level floors. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and have everyone in your home practice using the ladders from first-story windows. Keep these escape ladders near the windows where they will be used.
4. Get others out.
While the most important thing is to get yourself out of the building quickly, if there are infants, older adults or family members who would need help escaping, assign a family member to assist them. Be sure to also designate a backup in case the assigned person isn’t at home during a fire.
5. Pick a meeting spot.
Come up with a place to meet after everyone has evacuated the house. The meeting spot should be a safe distance from your home. And instruct everyone to stay outside under all circumstances and call 9-1-1 once you are out of the house.
6. Practice makes perfect.
There’s no better way to be prepared than to practice your plan. Conduct a home fire drill and run through your escape routes at least twice a year.
Even with a perfectly practiced fire escape plan, sometimes smoke, heat or flames can block your way out. If this is the case, NFPA says to stay in the room with the door closed and call the fire department and report your exact location. Use towels or duct tape to seal door cracks and cover air vents. If possible, open your windows and wave a flashlight or light-colored cloth to let the fire department know exactly where you are located.
While an escape plan is a major part of home fire safety, there are other important ways to prepare for and prevent house fires. Inspect your home for fire hazards and check your smoke alarms regularly to minimize risk and ensure that your family stays safe. We want to thank our friends and partners from Grange Insurance for the information and tips on developing a fire escape plan.
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