October is Fire Prevention Month
When we talk about prepping and survival, we often turn our attention to potential risks to our safety and well being, such as economic collapse, major severe weather events, or even pandemics.
Unfortunately, we have a tendency to overlook the more, shall we say, routine hazards that can crop up.
Fire prevention and related safety measures are important no matter what the economic climate is or whether martial law is on the horizon.
October is Fire Prevention Month, and this is as great a time as any to go through your home and ensure everything is up to snuff.
Fire Prevention Month Tip: Check Smoke Detectors
Start with your smoke detectors. You should have at least one on every level of your home. Personally, I like to have one in or very near the kitchen, another near the furnace area, and one near the bedrooms. Test each one to make sure the batteries are working. If you find one that isn’t operating correctly, replace the batteries or the unit as soon as possible.
Fire Prevention Month Tip: Don't Forget Fire Extinguishers
Every kitchen should have a fire extinguisher as well as baking soda in easily accessed locations. The baking soda is for tossing on small grease fires. Never use water to try and douse a grease fire as it will just cause the grease to splatter and spread the fire. Check the expiration date on the extinguisher and replace it if the date has passed.
Fire Prevention Month Tip: Replace Furnace Filters
Furnace filters should be replaced with clean ones every one to three months. Most filters are incredibly cheap and ridiculously easy to change out.
Fire Prevention Month Tip: Clean the Chimney
If you have a fireplace, the chimney should be swept and inspected every fall. If you’re not sure how to do it properly, spend the money on a professional. Chimney fires are not something you want to risk.
Fire Prevention Month Tip: Make an Evacuation Plan
Finally, this is a great time to review and practice your fire evacuation plan.
Everyone in the family should know how to get out of the house and where to go once outside.
Be sure to teach each family member to feel the inside of their door before exiting the room. If the door is hot to the touch, do not open it. Put a blanket or towel along the bottom to help keep out smoke and then exit through the window, if possible.
Pick a specific location outside where everyone is to meet, such as a certain tree in the neighbor’s yard.
Fire Prevention Month Tip: Take It Seriously
Proper fire prevention measures are also critical in the event of a major grid-down event. It's bad enough to have a fire during relatively normal times. But, if 911 isn’t an option, things could end up being far, far worse.