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Home Safety

Home Fire Safety Advice from the Pros

Gene and Katie Hamilton
http://www.diyornot.com

Here’s advice from the insurance experts at Erie Insurance to protect your home and family and stay safe.

  1. CLEAN YOUR DRYER DUCTS

A survey from Erie Insurance conducted online by Harris Poll, shows one in five Americans (21 percent) admit they never clean their clothes dryer ducts, unless they have a problem. Laundry is part of life’s weekly grind. But did you know that dryers cause roughly 15,500 home structure fires, 29 deaths, 400 injuries and $192 million in direct property loss each year? The most common cause of dryer fires is failure to do a thorough cleaning. Because a lint trap is not a foolproof method for catching all the fuzzy stuff from clothes, lint can build up and catch fire in the heating element or exhaust duct.

  1. FIX UP YOUR FURNACE

In cold weather it’s important to get your furnace checked, not just to make sure you have heat when ppfrigid temps set in, but to make sure it’s in tip-top shape. From 2009-2013, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 56,000 structure fires per year in homes that involved heating equipment. These fires resulted in annual losses of 470 civilian deaths, 1,490 civilian injuries, and $1.0 billion in direct property damage. Thirty-six percent of homeowners have their furnaces inspected and serviced at least once a year.

  1. SWEEP YOUR CHIMNEY

Nearly half (46 percent) of people who own a home with a fireplace never have their chimney cleaned (swept), unless they have a problem. Unclean chimneys are a leading cause of structure fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association, which recommends an annual chimney inspection. The NFPA research shows the leading factor contributing to home heating fires (30 percent) was failure to clean, principally from solid-fueled heating equipment, primarily chimneys. In the 2009-2013 period chimneys resulted in $25 million in direct property damage each year. Improper cleaning can also lead to other serious issues including potential for carbon monoxide, fumes and possibly soot to enter the living spaces of your home.

  1. GRILL WITH CAUTION

Grill fires can start in a number of ways. To prevent a fire, clean the grill after each use. You should always keep it a safe distance from your building (at least 10 feet away) and away from trees. Place the grill on a solid surface that can’t burn, such as concrete or asphalt. And never walk away from the grill while cooking, as a spark or small flame can easily spread. Use long-handled spatulas, wear flame-resistant mitts and never wear loose-fitting clothes near an open flame.

  1. LIVE CHRISTMAS TREE ADVICE

Make sure your tree is properly hydrated and water it every day. One out of every three Christmas tree fires in a home is caused by electrical problems. Make sure to inspect the lights for damage, tossing out any that have loose connections, broken sockets or cracked wires. Don’t forget to check smoke detectors, too, so you can be alerted in the event of an emergency. Keep your Christmas tree at least three feet away from any heat sources, including fireplaces, furnaces or space heaters. Instead of using real candles this season, opt for battery-operated, flameless candles. And keep it hydrated every day by watering.

Visit www.diyornot.com for more articles and to compare the cost of hundreds of home repair and improvement jobs whether you do it yourself or hire a contractor.

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Christsmas Holiday lighting Home Safety

Santa’s Safety Advice for the Holidays

Msnowman
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, each year hospital emergency rooms treat nearly 12,800 people for injuries related to holiday decorating, including falls and electrical shocks. Every year candle safety is a top issue on the Home Safety Council’s list of holiday safety tips. Not surprisingly, home fires caused by candles peak during the holiday season, with the highest number of candle fires occurring on Christmas Day, followed by New Year’s Day and Christmas Eve, that’s from the National Fire Protection Agency. The alternative – you can eliminate the risk of an open candle flame by using battery-operated candles. If you can’t do without the natural glow of a candle use this safety advice.

•Make sure an adult is in the room and paying attention whenever you light a candle. Blow out all candles before going to sleep or leaving the room.

•Do not permit children to keep or use candles or incense in their rooms.

•Never use lighted candles on or near a Christmas tree or other evergreens.

•Keep candles at least three feet away from anything that can burn, including other decorations and wrapping paper.

•Always use stable, nonflammable candle holders with a hurricane glass to protect the open flame.

•Place candles where they will not be knocked down or blown over and out of reach of pets and young children. If you have children in your home, store candles, matches and lighters out of their sight and reach in a locked cabinet.

Visit us at www.diyornot.com to compare the DIY and contractor costs of hundreds of home improvement projects.

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Christmas Christmas ornaments holiday crafts Holiday Gifts Home Safety Uncategorized

“Home Safe Home” Gift Ideas and Holiday Decorations

Want to give a meaningful gift to someone this Christmas? Here’s our take on three safety-related items every homeowner should have.

A fire extinguisher should be in every kitchen since stove fires are a major source of home fires. I admit we don’t have one but we have the next best thing called Tundra, a fire extinguishing spray. It’s not big and cumbersome so it’s easy to handle. To use the fire extinguishing spray point and spray it at any type of fire. Keep one handy in the kitchen, workshop or anywhere a fire might occur to keep everyone safe in a family friendly home. You’ll find them sold at home centers for about $25.

A weather radio, with an efficient hand turbine, LED light, clock and cell phone charger via USB, is a must-have item for stormy weather conditions to keep you informed and cell phones operational. We like the Eton American Red Cross Axis AM/FM/NOAA Weather Radio that costs $70 at Brookstone.

The best defense against shock for a handy homeowner working on an electrical project is a Digital Multimeter, versatile device that allows you to safely determine if voltage is present while you’re doing any electrical repair or installation. The one we use is from Radio Shack and costs $36.

Here’s a link to more holidays at home articles and decorating projects Holiday Decorating Ideas

Categories
Home Safety

Gift Ideas for a Safe Home

Want to give a meaningful gift to someone this Christmas? Here’s our take on three safety-related items every homeowner should have.

A fire extinguisher should be in every kitchen since stove fires are a major source of home fires. I admit we don’t have one but we have the next best thing called Tundra, a fire extinguishing spray. It’s not big and cumbersome so it’s easy to handle. To use the fire extinguishing spray point and spray it at any type of fire. Keep one handy in the kitchen, workshop or anywhere a fire might occur to keep everyone safe in a family friendly home. You’ll find them sold at home centers for about $25.

A weather radio, with an efficient hand turbine, LED light, clock and cell phone charger via USB, is a must-have item for stormy weather conditions to keep you informed and cell phones operational. We like the Eton American Red Cross Axis AM/FM/NOAA Weather Radio that costs $70 at Brookstone.

The best defense against shock for a handy homeowner working on an electrical project is a Digital Multimeter, versatile device that allows you to safely determine if voltage is present while you’re doing any electrical repair or installation. The one we use is from Radio Shack and costs $36.

Here’s a link to more information about these products Safe Home Gift Ideas.