Here at AFI Insurance, we find that warmer weather offers us a good chance to do some spring cleaning and a spring safety check of our homes. A good place to start would be your various alarms and fire extinguishers. If you use them correctly, devices such as smoke alarms, CO monitors, and fire extinguishers can save lives. Learn more about the simple steps that you can take to keep both your family and property safer.
Keeping Your Family Safer at Home
These important devices will protect your home and family from common threats:
The National Fire Protection Association has a handy tip sheet about smoke alarms that you can download at any time. This organization suggests having a smoke alarm in every bedroom, at least one outside the sleeping area, and one in the basement.
If it’s time to replace smoke alarms, the NFPA also suggests getting an interconnected system, so that if one alarm detects smoke, all of the alarms will sound. You can buy interconnected smoke alarms that communicate wirelessly, so they are easy to install.
To maintain household smoke alarms, you should:
- Test the batteries of your smoke alarm at least once a month.
- Replace batteries every year.
- Replace smoke alarms at least once every decade.
In case you bought one of the approximately 450,000 Kiddie dual-sensor smoke alarms sold, you should know that they are under a recall notice for a factory defect.
These helpful resources can help you select the right fire extinguishers for your home and learn how to react to fires appropriately:
- You can download a chart from OSHA that explains the different types of fire extinguishers that can put out various kinds of fires. For example, a Class A fire extinguisher extinguishes ordinary fires from ignited materials like wood or cloth; however, you need a Class B for oil and other flammable liquids. You can purchase multi-purpose fire extinguishers as well.
- OSHA has also published instructions on the proper way to react to a fire, when to use a fire extinguisher, and even how to use one. For instance, they advise people to make sure they have an evacuation route in mind before attempting to extinguish flames. You can find life-saving information on this page for your home or business.
Note: If you own a Kiddie fire extinguisher, check here for recall notices.
The CDC has published a public warning about the dangers of carbon monoxide, or CO. This colorless, odorless, and often toxic gas comes from the fumes of engines, fireplaces, and some gas appliances. Some smoke detectors also come with the added ability to detect CO. You could also purchase stand-alone CO detectors that you should place outside of sleeping areas in your house. The CDC suggests checking the batteries at least twice a year, perhaps when you reset your clocks every spring and fall.
Why Invest in Home Safety Devices?
The faster you can react to a home emergency, the better your chance of minimizing harm. Your best defense includes rapid alerts of fire or gas leaks, a proper response plan, and tools to extinguish the problem. AFI insurance can tell you about possible discounts you can earn on your homeowners insurance just for taking the right steps to protect your family.