Why Spring Cleaning Season Is the Perfect Time to Practice Fire Safety and Prevent Fire Damage
Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Crowley and South Johnson County, a Crowley, TX, fire damage restoration and property damage restoration company, reminds homeowners to remember fire safety precautions as they are making their list of things to do for spring cleaning.
SERVPRO of Crowley and South Johnson County provides property damage restoration services to homeowners and businesses that have suffered a fire, smoke, or water damage disaster. A house fire and the accompanying smoke and water damage can bring life to a standstill. The traumatic experience of being awakened in the middle of the night by the pungent smell of smoke or the shrill alarms of smoke detectors is not soon forgotten.
As winter draws to a close and spring blooms fresh, clean, and green, SERVPRO of Crowley and South Johnson County reminds homeowners to review fire safety precautions when making their list of things to do for spring cleaning.
Why Homeowners Should Review Fire Safety Precautions This Spring
When a fire erupts in a home or business, seconds count. If a stove top grease fire is not extinguished within a minute or less, the homeowner must seek to escape safely rather than put out the blaze. Knowing how to swiftly execute a fire safety plan can and does save lives. When creating a spring-cleaning list, include the fire safety precautions listed below.
- Test all smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms.
Annually testing all smoke and carbon monoxide detection devices and replacing old batteries with fresh, new batteries verifies that the alarms are operational. Knowing that all devices are in good working order instills confidence that the early warning devices will perform as expected if a fire breaks out. Do not wait until spring cleaning to change the batteries in a chirping smoke or CO detector. The distinctive, piercing chirp sends a message: “Change my batteries now!”
- Replace all smoke alarms that are over ten years old.
Most homeowners are not aware that smoke detectors have a limited lifespan. Ten years can slip by in a moment, and many homes have smoke detectors that have been in place for decades. Older devices and dated smoke detection technology have been replaced by improved devices that are more reliable and have additional functionalities.
- Replace all carbon monoxide alarms that are over seven years old.
These devices also have a limit to their functional lifespan. Be proactive, and change out these devices even if they are still operational. An alarm malfunction when the home is at dangerous levels for carbon monoxide can be fatal.
- Inspect the dryer vents and clean the clothes dryer housing, including the vents.
According to the US Fire Administration, failure to clean the clothes dryer accounts for 2,900 residential clothes dryer fires each year and causes an estimated five deaths, one hundred injuries, and $35 million in property damage. Clogged dryer vents account for a large percentage of these fires. The gradual buildup of lint inside the dryer, a kink in the exhaust tubing, or an obstruction at the outside vent can present a situation that makes the dryer and the exhaust system a serious fire hazard. Inspecting and cleaning the clothes dryer housing and venting system can help prevent clothes dryer house fires.
- Clean out the clutter in the home to avoid fire hazards and make entry and exit of the home easy and safe.
Piling clutter on extension cords or electronic devices, near heaters, or next to appliances creates a fire hazard. Clutter may make a hallway, bedroom, or stairway impossible to escape from in the middle of the night when the air is thick with smoke and the mind is foggy from being awakened from a deep sleep. Old magazines, newspapers, mail, books, and clothing provide tinder for sparks that may grow into a raging house fire.
- Remove any clutter outside the home that could be a fire hazard or that could be dangerous in a fire damage situation.
Flower and shrub beds laden with dry leaves, pine cones, and sticks are a tinderbox waiting to ignite. A spark from a fire pit, campfire, grill, or combustion engine could easily alight in the beds and cause a house fire. Debris and clutter in the yard could also impede escape from a burning home and result in injury from a trip-and-fall incident in the dark.
- Inspect electrical outlets and electronic devices for fire hazards.
Replace any electrical outlets or light switches that are malfunctioning or appear to be worn out. Repair or replace frayed, damaged, or cracked electrical cords.
- Practice the fire escape plan with the family, roommates, or other home occupants.
Having a comprehensive fire safety plan and being able to escape the structure in the event of a fire are crucial. Saving lives is more important than the material contents of the home or the home itself.
- Pre-qualify a reliable damage restoration company, such as SERVPRO of Crowley and South Johnson County, that will respond quickly to a fire damage disaster.
The time to choose a fire damage restoration company is before a fire damage disaster occurs. Ask about the company’s availability, response times, service areas, certifications, experience, equipment, and rating with the BBB.
For more information about Crowley, TX, fire damage restoration, call the SERVPRO of Crowley and South Johnson County office at (817) 297-8588 or email at office@SERVPROcrowley.com.