October is a busy month for most people: time to clean up the garden, put firewood away, and get ready for colder times. October is also when fire departments celebrate Fire Prevention Week and host several activities, primarily around the schools. We expect our school visit will be very different this year. The pandemic has altered many yearly traditions and activities.
Fire prevention programs are too important for life safety to put off for a year. We will figure out something for the school soon, but for now I would like to take a little of your time and talk about fire prevention for your home.
First, plan an audit of your home for fire prevention. The audit should be focused on items that aid in starting or spreading a fire. This does not need to be difficult or complicated.
It is best not to correct items as you audit, unless the correction can be done very quickly. Make a list of clutter, very old appliances, heating items that need service, chimneys that need cleaning or attention; every home is different.
Audits are best conducted by two people or more. Write down all that you find, no matter how large or small. Don’t get bogged down in details — write down the item and move on.
Now take your list and break it down into projects. The easiest task goes on top of the page, with the most difficult or most expensive task last. You would fix any immediate fire threat right away. The best thing about lists is that you get to complete items and check them off.
Some items may take longer planning and budgeting to correct. However if your audit has discovered that the item must be corrected to make your home safe, it is best to make the repairs.
The result of all this auditing and planning is a safer home for your family. Fire Prevention Week is a reminder of safety in what is a crazy time to remember anything.
This would also be a good time to talk with your family about escape routes from every room. Conduct a fire drill and above all, practice meeting in a safe meeting place outside your home. Help us help you! Leave your home, gather your loved ones, and call 911.
Hopefully I haven’t suggested too much work in what is a very busy month. October is a very beautiful month. Enjoy!