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Fire Protection

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Fire Protection

According to the National Fire Prevention Association, a home fire is reported in America every 83 seconds. A fire can be a devastating experience for you and your family. Implementing a DIY fire prevention program to keep your home and family safe is now easier than ever with a few easy steps and the many high-quality products available to consumers. Whether you’re a regular handyman or a newbie DIY-er, some simple tools and know-how are all you need to get started.

Smoke Detectors

Smoke detectors play a vital role in protecting against fire-related death and injury. Most people are probably already familiar with how smoke detectors work, but proper installation is important in order for them to work correctly. Some DIY tips for installing smoke detectors are:

  • Install smoke detectors on every level of your home, including the basement.
  • Install a smoke detector near every sleeping area in your home. If you sleep with bedroom doors closed, a smoke alarm should be placed in each bedroom.
  • Mount smoke detectors on ceilings or high on the walls. Ceiling-mounted alarms should be 4 inches away from the wall; wall-mounted alarms should be installed 12 inches below the ceiling.
  • Never install a smoke detector near doors, windows, ceiling fans, or vents, where drafts can circulate smoke without detection.

Installing smoke detectors is the first step in a good DIY fire prevention plan. But a smoke detector that doesn’t work won’t be of any use during an actual fire. Be sure to test your smoke detectors once a month and replace batteries once a year. Do you hear that chirping sound? That means the batteries are low and need to be replaced. Consider investing in long-life smoke detectors with batteries that can last for more than 10 years.

Fire Extinguishers

A fire extinguisher can be handy for containing small fires or controlling a fire until help arrives. A multi-purpose extinguisher is ideal for home use, and is available at your local home improvement or discount store. The National Fire Protection Association suggests choosing an extinguisher that carries the label of an independent testing laboratory. Place the extinguisher near an exit in an easily-accessible place, like a closet or cabinet. Read the manufacturer’s instructions and make sure that everyone in your family can locate and properly use the extinguisher.

Escape Planning

Your DIY fire prevention program should include an escape plan with at least two different exits from each room and a meeting point outside the home. Remove any obstructions from doors and windows. Take special consideration for anyone in your home who may have limited mobility or a disability, like children and elderly people. Practice your escape plan with your kids twice a year.

Identifying Weak Points

A good DIY-er should constantly keep a watchful eye out for any potential fire risks. Fire hazards can be avoided by:

  • Repairing or replacing loose and frayed electrical cords.
  • Being watchful of large home appliances –even dryers and washing machines can start fires. Never leave an appliance on when you are not home.
  • Never leaving food unattended on a stovetop. According to the National Fire Prevention Agency, cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires, so take care to keep your cooking area free of combustible substances and flammable materials.
  • Storing gasoline in approved metal or plastic containers away from any sources of possible ignition, like heaters.
  • Keeping heaters, space heaters, and fireplaces free of any obstructions or flammable materials.


Remember those “Stop, Drop, and Roll” drills? Teaching your children at an early age about the dangers of playing with fire and emergency procedures for escaping a fire can help keep them safe. Likewise, try to educate yourself about fire prevention and any new fire prevention products and procedures.

Fire is an important part of our daily lives, from cooking our food to heating our homes. With the right tips, tools, and caution, a DIY fire prevention plan can keep your family and home safe from fires.

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