May 2012 is Building Safety Awareness Month!
As a code certified building inspector I’d like to remind you to stay focused on what it takes to create and sustain safe/sustainable structures. The campaign reinforces the need for adoption of modern, model building codes, a strong and efficient system of code enforcement and a well-trained, professional workforce to maintain the system. The awareness program is presented by the 50,000 strong International Code Council and in partnership of professional associations like ASHI, the American Society of Home Inspectors.
Here are 10 Fire Safety and Awareness Tips to help keep your home safe.
- Install smoke alarms in each bedroom, outside of sleeping areas and rooms and on each level of your home.
- Practice an escape plan from every room in the house. Caution everyone to stay low to the floor when escaping from fire and never to open doors that are hot. Select a location where everyone can meet after escaping the house. Get out then call for help.
- When home fire sprinklers are used with working smoke alarms, your chances of surviving a fire are greatly increased. Sprinklers are affordable – they can increase property value and lower insurance rates.
- Test your smoke alarm each month and change the batteries at least once a year.
- Portable heaters need their space. Keep anything combustible at least three feet away.
- Install noncombustible 1/4 inch or smaller mesh screening on attic/soffit vents and around elevated wood decks to keep out embers. Install approved or listed spark arrestors on chimneys of solid fuel or liquid fuel burning appliances.
- Consider installing protective shutters or heavy fire-resistant drapes.
- Have a garden hose that is long enough to reach any area of the home and other structures on the property.
- Maintain a “defensible” space around your home by clearing all flammable vegetation a minimum of 30 feet around all structures. Clear dead leaves and branches to leave widely spaced ornamental shrubbery and trees.
- Plant fire prone trees and shrubs away from your home and far enough apart so they won’t ignite one another.
Learn more here!