Safeguard Against Fire Risks September 30, 2019 October is National Fire Prevention Month, and with 350,000 residential fires occurring each year nationwide, it’s important to know how to protect the structure that’s most important to you. Your home serves as a place of refuge for you and your family, and protecting it from a fire can be simple when you take the necessary preventative steps. Check out this list of tips to help keep your family and home safe from fire damage: Do’s and Don’ts of smoke alarms A smoke alarm is your first line of defense, and we want to reward you for having one. With our fire alarm discount, you may be eligible for a policy discount based on the type of alarm you have installed. Contact an OKFB agent to learn more and see if you qualify. It’s important to not only have the proper amount of smoke alarms installed, but also to make sure you test them regularly. The National Fire Protection Association recommends installing smoke alarms inside each bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home. Don’t install smoke alarms near windows, doors or ducts where drafts may have an effect on them operating properly. Never paint, decorate or put stickers on the alarms, as this could interfere with them working. Test your smoke alarms at least once a month by using the test button. Make sure you follow care instructions that come with the alarm, including cleaning best practices and how often you should replace the battery. The general recommendation is to replace the battery once a year and replace the smoke alarm every 10 years. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby Install a fire extinguisher on every level of the home and learn how to use it. If the time comes when you need to extinguish a fire around the house, you’ll be able to act quickly. Check appliances and cords Take the time to regularly check your appliances’ cords to ensure they are not old, worn or damaged. Frayed or damaged cords around the house can spark, easily leading to a fire. Try to avoid running cords through high-traffic areas in your home where they may more quickly get worn out or damaged. Also, make sure you’re not overloading outlets or extension cords. Have an electrician install more outlets if you feel you don’t have enough. Make safety plans for the family One of the simplest ways to help prevent a house fire is by making sure everyone in the home understands the safety precautions. Talk to your children about fire safety and set rules for the household to keep best practices in place. Keep lighters and matches out of reach of children, teach them the importance of blowing out candles when leaving a room and how to identify the sound of smoke alarms. Lastly, create a fire escape plan so everyone is prepared and knows where to go if a fire occurs. OKFB understands the importance of your home and the role it plays for your family. Protect your dwelling with Home Insurance. Talk to an agent today!