As we move into the summer season, it’s important to understand fire hazards and to make sure your house is ready, should there be a fire near you. This seems like a scary thought but in Colorado, we have to be ready for anything. Luckily, there are some basic ways you can prepare, should you encounter a fire near your home.
- Make sure your smoke detectors are working. Be sure to test your smoke detector and replace the batteries if needed. It is recommended by The National Fire Protection Association that every house has an alarm in each bedroom and outside each sleeping area, as well as one each level of the home. For example, a two-story home with two bedrooms would need a minimum of four smoke detectors (one in each bedroom, one in the hallway outside the bedrooms, and one downstairs). This may seem excessive, but it’s the best way to keep your family safe.
- Keep easily accessible water. We recommend keeping your hoses attached at all times during fire season, and ensuring they’re long enough to reach all parts of your home. If there is an active fire near your home, we also recommend keeping tubs, trash cans, or other large containers full of water so they are available should a fire reach your home.
- Clear away debris. Fires love nothing more than piles of dry wood, old branches, and other piles of highly flammable materials. Be sure that any branches you’ve cut or debris you need to dispose of has been taken away. It is also important to keep your gutters and roof cleared. Dry leaves and twigs in gutters or on the roof will cause a fire to spread much faster.
- Review your homeowner’s insurance. It’s important to make sure you know what your insurance will or will not cover if a fire were to damage your home. You should also keep a full inventory of any valuables within the home that you would want to claim on your insurance. Knowing what you have will save you a lot of time and guesswork if you need to make a claim.
- Have a plan. You don’t want to be scrambling to get gear together if you wake up to smoke. Have an evacuation plan and make sure everyone in your family knows where they should go and what they should do. What do they do if they can’t get downstairs? Once they’re out of the home, where should you meet? You should also keep an emergency pack. Include flashlights, batteries, some cash, a first aid kit, an emergency cell phone and a portable radio.