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2X4: Four Ways to Master Fire Safety

Nobody wants to think about their house catching on fire, but as a homeowner, it’s important to be prepared for the worst. Put fire-safety stress on the back burner by taking these simple precautions:

  

Photo 1: Fire Design

Purchase Fire Extinguishers. How many fire extinguishers should you have in your house? If you’re not sure, don’t worry – that’s what we’re here for! We recommend you keep at least one extinguisher in your kitchen and one in your garage. Ideally, you should also have one on every level of your home. If you bought one back in the 90s but haven’t inspected it in a while, it’s probably time to dump it! You can purchase a new one for about $15. If you want your fire extinguisher to have a little personality, check out this funky collection by Fire Design.

Inspect Your Fireplace. You’re one of the fortunate few – the fireplace owners. It’s always great to spend a lazy Sunday in front of the crackle and pop of your roaring flames, but if you don’t take a few precautions, your fireplace may actually be a danger zone! Before you start depleting your woodpile, make sure your fireplace is ready for action by clearing soot and ash, checking for chimney obstructions and cleaning your fireplace walls. For detailed instructions, read: Inspect and Prepare Your Wood-Burning Fireplace.

  

Photo 4: Chick-a-Dee

Check Your Cords. Electronics make your life easier. Fact. Come on, do you even remember life before DVRs hit the scene? But electronics can also be dangerous. In fact, home electronics problems account for 28,600 fires and 1.1 billion in property losses each year. Ouch! To prevent your house from becoming a statistic, give your much-loved appliances a onceover to remove hazards like frayed wires, trampled cords and incorrect bulb wattage. For a few more safety tips, read: Electrical Safety Audit.

Test Smoke Detectors. You probably don’t spend a lot of your waking hours thinking about them, but they’re there. Hovering above your head. Keeping you safe. Actually, scratch that. Smoke detectors are only keeping you safe if their batteries are working. When was the last time you checked them? If it’s been awhile, take five minutes to test your smoke detector batteries and replace them if necessary. If you don’t have smoke detectors in your house, change that immediately! If you want a smoke detector upgrade, consider the Chick-a-Dee by designer Louise van der Veld. It chirps! 

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