You just bought a beautiful new house in Grand Rapids. You signed on the paperwork, moved everything in, and are ready to kick back and enjoy your new life… but before you lay down just yet just remember what your mother used to say, “safety first”. One of the most common mistakes we see first time home buyers make is not fire-proofing their home. In this article we give 5 easy tips on how to reduce the risk of fire in your new home.
- Make sure you have smoke alarms! Make sure each bedroom has one and then each floor has a main smoke alarm. Make a recurring event in your calendar to change the batteries in your alarms once a year.
- Keep a fire extinguisher in your house and learn how to use it! Having them “just in case” is a great idea, but it’s even better if you know what you are doing before you have the emergency. Read the manual that comes with it! If you already have one in your home that you “inherited” from the past owner assume that it is expired, and go buy a new one.
- Draft a fire escape plan. Make a plan and share it with your family.
- Turn off those space heaters! Whether you are going to bed, or leaving the house, make sure those space heaters get turned off! When you have them on, make sure there is nothing within 3 feet. While we are at it, those $30 Yankee Candles smell great but don’t get so hooked on the smell that you leave them on when you are not home. Even little flames can cause big fires.
- Cook safely. Keep those kitchen towels and pot holders off of that stove! Use a timer when you are cooking if you might get busy with something else and forget that you have it on.
If you are a First Time Home Buyer, our list is a good place to start. The Red Cross also offers a full checklist with more detailed ideas on fire safety. While you are there you can actually take a look at other lists that you might need to be more aware about. If you just moved in check out our article for first time home buyers on the top 8 appliances/furniture that you will need as soon as you move in.