As many of you know, October is Fire Prevention Month. The weather is getting cooler; we will be turning on our furnaces soon and thinking of the approaching holidays. But have you ever stopped and asked yourself if your home is safe? Let’s start with the basics.

Do you have working smoke detectors on every level of your home? Yes? Do you know that for sure? Are you assuming because they are hard-wired that they work? Don’t assume! You need to be testing your smoke detectors every single month. And burning dinner doesn’t count as a test! You need to be physically pressing the button and waiting for the beep. If they are hard-wired, they should all start beeping. But you need to walk around and test every single one. Did you know that smoke detectors need new batteries AT LEAST once a year?

Don’t wait to hear them chirp, because you know it only happens at 3AM! Those little white detectors, as annoying as they can be, will save your life!

How about carbon monoxide detectors? Did you know that Illinois law requires it? Every home needs at least one, although we would prefer one on every level. If you only have one, it should be placed outside of where you sleep, within 15 feet of every sleeping area. If you don’t have a plug in the hallway, place it right inside your bedroom. As with smoke detectors, test once a month and batteries once a year.

Next, I want you to go find your furnace and hot water heater. I want you to inspect this area and make sure that there is nothing within 3 feet all the way around the two appliances. I am referring to anything combustible (i.e. clothes, boxes, storage bins, decorations, paint, cleaning supplies, etc.) If you find anything, please take the time to move it elsewhere. You should also get your furnace inspected yearly.

If your household is in need of anything fire prevention related, you will find fantastic sales this month at all of our local stores. Happy Shopping!