Fire safety tips to help protect your home during summer travel

(BPT) – Fire prevention tips often focus on reducing the risks of a fire occurring when you’re home; after all, everyone wants to protect their family. Home fires also cause significant property damage – $ 11.7 billion in 2011, according to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) – and greater damage can occur when no one is there to quickly report a fire.

With summer’s arrival, many families spend more time out of the house on vacation, running errands and enjoying time outdoors. But an unoccupied home doesn’t mean it should be unprotected. This summer, you can take steps – including using technology – to help protect your home from the risk of fire, even when you’re away.

Here are four effective ways to protect your home:

1. Stay vigilant.

Summer is synonymous with taking it easy, but you can’t afford to slack off on fire safety. Make sure your home is equipped with working smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms. Practice basic cooking safety, such as never leaving food cooking unattended on a stove.

In addition, practice outdoor-cooking safety. Maintain a 3-foot radius of open space around grills, and never leave a grill burning unattended. Check gas grill connections before lighting it for the first time each season, and always light the grill with the lid open. If you use a charcoal grill, always allow the coals to cool completely before disposing of them in a metal trash can with a lid that closes tightly.

2. Use technology to stay on top of fire safety.

While the primary purpose of smoke and CO alarms is to alert the home’s occupants of a problem – and give them time to escape – technology is now making it possible for you to monitor these alarms even when you’re not home. Smoke alarm manufacturer Kidde has introduced the RemoteLync Monitor. The device plugs into a single outlet and listens for the specific sound of a smoke or CO alarm while filtering out background noise. When it detects an alarm, the monitor uses your home’s Wi-Fi to notify you via an app on your smartphone or tablet and it can also send you and a designated contact an email or text message.

The free app gives you the option to notify someone in your network, call 911 directly or temporarily silence the warning. The device works with UL-listed smoke or CO alarms manufactured in the last 15 years, and doesn’t require any additional products or monthly subscriptions. Visit www.remotelync.kidde.com to learn more.

3. Unplug.

Appliances and electrical malfunctions are responsible for nearly one in 10 home fires, according to the USFA. If you know you’ll be away from home for a time – such as when going on vacation – unplug unnecessary appliances like computers, window air-conditioners and TVs. Not only can this help reduce fire risks associated with electrical problems, it can help reduce your home’s energy use because many of these items draw power even if they’re not turned on.

4. Make your home look occupied.

Although 95 percent of home fires are accidental in nature, suspicious fires peak in spring and summer. The USFA reports suspicious fires are the leading cause of summer fires, accounting for nearly a quarter of such incidents. Vandals may think twice about approaching a home that looks occupied, so take steps to make it seem like you’re home when you’re not. If you take a summer vacation, be sure to have your mail and newspaper deliveries suspended until you return. Put inside lights on a timer so they turn on at night, making it look like someone’s home.

Home fire safety is important, even when no one’s home. Taking these steps to help protect your home while you’re away can help ensure you’ll have a safe, secure home when you return.


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Posted by on Sep 18 2015. Filed under How To. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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