Sunday, April 15, 2012

Fire Safety Tips For Homeowners

It is time for us to touch on some more safety tips, after the brush fires that we have been having over the passed 2 weeks I want to take the time to not only speak on fire safety but some important things for first time home-buyers to look out for.  Most people know that when you buy your first home that you want to make sure that your smoke alarms, and carbon monoxide detectors are working properly but there are more precautions you can take to ensure your family is safe.  

This is often over-looked by many homeowners but you should try to be sure that all the doors in your home are solid doors rather than hollow.  This is Fire Safety 101, a solid wood door will keep the fire out of a room !  If you can not have them in all rooms your bedroom doors should be the first ones you change ! 

Now if you are purchasing a home with a fire place there are many different kinds but the safest fireplace be in my opinion is a coal fire place.  This is because when the coal burns it turns into ash, and will not have any embers to fly out while you are keeping warm and cozy! Many coal fireplaces will also have a "burn setting" that allows you to safely use this fireplace to heat your home, throughout the winter.  

You will also want to know if your fireplace is "Radiant Heat" or "Convection Heat".  Radiant heat is where the heat radiates out from the fireplace and will warm all things close to the fire.  This will often cause the fireplace itself to get very hot, the hearth, even walls or surrounding furniture.  To be safe you will want to make sure that this fireplace has a proper screen and you have surrounding furniture a safe distance.  Convection heat is the common kind of heat you will get from a coal fire-place it takes longer to heat a room this way but it is much safer if you will be using it as a main source of heat.  This kind of heat will cause the air itself to get warm, and pulls the cooler air closer to the heat source - this allows it to heat the entire space while avoiding specifics areas becoming dangerously hot as it may with radiant heat.  

When you have your home inspection done, they will always check the fireplace but it is also important that you have it checked annually once you have moved into your new home.   A chimney could have build up causing improper ventilation, a build up of a flammable substance called creosote, or a loose chimney cap could allow animals, rains or leaf build up in your chimney.  

Now this is usually some debate for people, because how do you keep a garage safe when it is used to store all those things that you don't want to risk having in your home (ex: spray-paint, propane, sealers, gas).  If you do not have a shed to put these items in you want to make sure that you set aside a specific area to store these items, be sure that they are in a secured non-flammable cabinet.  You can find these kinds of "lockers" and your most Home Depot or Loews stores.  You should also always keep a fire extinguisher handy anywhere you are storing these kinds of items! 

If you are buying a home with a garage that was added-on or newly constructed you can ask them if they had fire-grade Sheetrock installed, many garages are constructed with full brick wall  to ensure the attached home is protected if a garage fire were to happen.  I would always recommend if you do not have a shed, and you have the fund to purchase one to do so, that is the best way to protect your home from any mishaps !

If you will be using your outdoor shed to store all of those things that could potentially ignite or fuel a fire the most important thing is the location of where you will be putting the structure.  You want to be sure that it is built on a cement slab, and not in close proximity to the home.  The safest place to put your shed is in one of the back corners of your yard, with enough room that it is not right on top of your fence, be sure to check your towns zoning to see how large of a shed your allowed, and what restrictions they have on placement.  

Whether you are storing these items in your shed or garage you should make sure everything is properly marked, and clean out the area annually.  

Outdoor fire pits are also becoming a big back yard amenity that many people like to have.  There are some very important things you should remember before using your fire-pit.  First is to make sure that it is a level surface ideally you want this on a patio to ensure any embers that fly out of the fire are on a solid safe surface.  You want to also make sure that it is at least 10 feet away from any flammable structure such as your home, swing sets, or sheds.   Most important is when you are lighting a fire in this you do not want to use any additional igniters such as gas or lighter fluid, you can pick up easy start logs that have small igniters to make getting your fire going very easy! 

You should also be sure that your outdoor water lines are hooked up properly.  Ideally you want to make sure that you have a hose in not only the front of your home, but the back as well.  Whether the fire is small or large always call your local fire department, even though you may think a fire is out it is best for them to come and be sure.  

There are a few other precautions you should take in your home to be sure your family is protected to find out more you can check with your local library or fire-stations they often have classes or seminars to help keep you informed.  

85 East 5th Street, Deer Park

This Beautiful 5 bedroom, 2 bath Colonial is an example of a homeowner educated on fire-prevention. 
  • All Solid Wood Doors 
  • Metal Fire Door in Garage.  
  • Fire-grade Sheetrock In Garage . 
  • Pea-Coal Convection Fire Place 
  • Accessible Water Lines In Front/Back Home 
  • Fire Pit A Safe Distance From Objects & Properly Placed On Level Surface 
  • Shed For "Flammable Chemicals" At A Safe Distance From Home 

This home is currently on the market, for additional pictures of the inside of the home please check my Current Listings!  

I am currently working on holding a Fire Prevention Seminar to go over some other safety tips for all homeowners.  
If you would like to attend please contact me directly for additional information ! 

1 comment:

  1. These are the few points every homeowner should remember. Thanks for sharing this.
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