In Seattle we have typically mild weather with consistent rainfall year-round, but fall is in the air! It is time to fire up the stove or fireplace, and you don’t want to do that until you’re sure it’s ready to go. October is the first real month that fires are burning for warmth, it’s the start of the busy season for chimney sweeps, and National Fire Prevention Week is October 8-14!
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has a campaign every October dedicated to bringing down the number of fires in the US. According to the US Fire Administration there was nearly 1.3 million reported fires in 2014, resulting in 3,275 deaths, 16,000 injuries, and $11.6 billion in property loss. These numbers are still too high, despite decreasing each year. It’s our hope at Pristine Sweeps, that we can help families to be safer from fires each and every winter.
You can help prevent fires in your home by maintaining your chimney system properly. Always hire a professional to install, repair, or service components to your system. Keep your chimney system clean and functional by scheduling routine chimney sweeps. Catch problems before they start by having a certified chimney sweep complete a CSIA inspection annually, and have your dryer vent cleaned annually to prevent dryer vent fires.
Other things you can do to prevent fire or injury due to fire is:
- Install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in your home, and make sure to check batteries monthly.
- Practice fire safety and teach your children that the fire is dangerous.
- Never leave a fire unattended.
- Never cook with a stove-top or oven, burn a fire, or run the dryer overnight.
- Make a fire escape plan that includes two ways out of every room if possible.
- Never close the damper while the fire is burning.
- Only burn properly seasoned wood in your fireplace, stove, or insert. Burning other items can result in fire and excess creosote and smoke.
- Only purchase quality products that adhere to federal and local regulations for safety.
Some Fires Are Not Preventable
There can be faulty wires that homeowners aren’t aware of. Also, there can be malfunctions in appliances, and wildfires can even ignite your home. There are many disasters that can result in fires, but you can be prepared for the worst. Join us during National Fire Prevention Week and tell your family, your neighbors, and your friends about the dangers of fire. Share the resources at www.firepreventionweek.org, and make it a family affair! You may not be able to prevent fires completely, but you can prevent further injury and even death by being prepared.