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Cooler weather ushers in the excitement of fall and winter sports, holidays, and more time spent at home with family and friends. The season change is also a good time to re-evaluate your fire safety plan. A good plan has many fire prevention details to it to keep your family and home safe. You don’t want to have to evaluate it during an emergency. The National Fire Prevention Association helps to keep us up-to-date with fire safety tips.

Here are a few.

  • Keep clearance around fireplace — Furniture, decorations, and other items should not be so close as to feel warm. If they do take on heat, move them back or relocate them to another part of the room or home. While this is a year-round concern, it increases during the holiday season when people put up Christmas trees and crowd presents around it
  • Extension cords — It’s tempting to overload extension cords during cooler weather and the holidays. Space heaters and Christmas lights are two common items that often get plugged into extensions. Read and heed the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Vacuum behind large appliances — Think of it as part of fall housecleaning. Pull large appliances away from the wall to vacuum behind them and clear away dust that is accumulating on the grates that block fans and vents.
  • Keep dryer vents clean and free from blockage — Don’t forget to clean the lint tray after each drying, but also check that the venting is clear and clean. Some appliances vent through the wall and some through the chimney. Old Dominion Chimneys offers venting services, so you can call us to take care of it
  • Check fire extinguisher — Fire extinguishers lose their charge after a while and when that happens, they won’t be any good to you when you need them. If you are unsure if your fire extinguisher needs to be recharged, contact your local fire department for guidance.
  • Test and replace batteries in fire detectors — It’s a good idea to regularly test your fire detector to make sure it’s working properly and replace the batteries in spring and fall.
  • Install or test and replace batteries in carbon monoxide detectors — If you don’t have a carbon monoxide detector, get one. Carbon monoxide is a deadly, odorless, colorless gas.
  • Family evacuation plan — How will you evacuate your home in the event of a fire? If you have disabled persons or the elderly in your home, either residing or visiting, how can you get them out quickly and safely? What considerations do you have for gathering your pets and getting them outside? If you become separated from your family members, what is the designated meeting place?
  • Chimney sweeping — Don’t forget your annual chimney sweeping. It’s one of the best ways to eliminate a fire hazard.

Your friends at Old Dominion Chimneys care about your safety. Contact us for your chimney and fireplace needs.