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If you live in the south, and in South Carolina (the Myrtle Beach area) like we do, you know how exciting the words ‘snow in the forecast’ are!
> Kids are coming home from school talking about snow, Snow, SNOW!
> Parents are making a new shopping list to include plenty of bread and milk and worrying about whether last year’s snow boots and ski pants still fit their fast-growing brood.
> Retirees are canceling appointment for ‘the day the snow will come’.
Along with the snow though, come cold and chilly nights.
In the south, we’re not made for this type of cold weather and we certainly don’t have the homes and winter clothes for extended cold periods.
However, if you own a home with a fireplace, you might be getting very exited to be able to finally use it this winter! Right?
The byproduct of enjoying a crackling flame is creosote buildup (the major cause of chimney fires) and soot, which can restrict air flow and damage the fireplace chimney. Even a gas fireplace chimney can become blocked by a bird’s nest or other debris. Prevent problems with an annual chimney inspection.
We can’t stress this enough – a failure to plan ahead is planning to fail! In order to prevent all sort of disasters, planning ahead is key!
You NEED to make sure you and your family are safe when you use your fire place and that does not just mean adding a safety screen in front of the grate (which you should have – to protect your children and your pets!). We also means making sure that your chimney is clean and cleared from debris!
Carbon Monoxide poisoning is silent. If your chimney is (partially) blocked, fumes form the fire will enter your home and could potentially be deadly. Instal carbon monoxide detectors and make sure the batteries work!
Don’t be a victim!
In the afore mentioned article we read about a ‘level two chimney inspection’
A level-two chimney inspection is vital if you’ve experienced an earthquake or a dramatic weather event, like a tornado or hurricane; if you’ve made a major change to your fireplace; or bought a house.
In October 2016 the Grand Strand was hit by Hurricane Matthew, therefore it it even more important to take action now!
If you have small kids and pets, a spouse, or even if you live alone, there are things to keep in mind when you stoke your indoor fire!
Here are 4 tips we feel are extremely important to remember when you light that fire place this weekend.
For additional fire place safety tips, read the full article by Healthy Children!
We all like to believe we know exactly what we would do if a fire were to occur in our home.
However, when panic sets in will you be as prepared as you once thought you were? Fires double in size every 60 seconds, so it is imperative to try to stay calm. Panic can lead to clouded judgement, which in turn can lead to chaos. The best way to keep from panicking is to be prepared.
This can be done by doing the following three things:
If you want to know more statistics on home fires, check out this source, 4052 civilian home fire fatalities reported by U.S. news media between January 1, 2014 and September 15, 2015.
We at Strand Security want to make sure the people of Myrtle Beach are safe and sound. The following will outline several tips on how to protect your family in case of a house fire.
Did you know:
Here are a few tips about smoke alarms:
● Keep your smoke alarm up to date. It is a good plan to replace all smoke alarm batteries once a year. To make it easy to remember, perhaps do them all at the same time. Also, did you know that smoke alarms have a shelf life and may not work as well over time, they lose sensitivity. It is a good idea to change your smoke alarms every 8 to 10 years but be sure to check them monthly.
● Smoke alarms need to be placed in every room on every level of the house.
● Having a smoke alarm system that is hard wired and monitored is your best protection in case of fire!
● Practice fire drills often. The more practice, the less panic.
● Do not only conduct fire drills during the day, but every once in a while conduct them at night while everyone is sleeping.
● Draw a floor plan.
● Practice your exit strategy from each room of the house. Escape ladders are important for second story homes.
● Sound your smoke alarm to begin the drill.
● Exit the house as fast as possible.
● Go to your meeting spot outside.
Other important things to remember:
● Plan two ways of escape from every room, the door or perhaps the window if necessary.
● Make sure all windows and doors are clear from obstructions and open properly.
● Stay low to the ground to avoid smoke. The smoke will be black and it will be hard for you to see.
● Always check closed doors for heat by touching the door handle before opening, if hot then place a towel under the door and use a window.
● Do not call 911 from inside the house, call outside or at a neighbor’s house. You may only have up to two minutes to get out of your house.
● Pick an outdoor meeting spot, make sure you let the fire department know everyone is out and safe.
● Once you are out, stay out. You may be lucky you got out the first time but not so lucky the second.
Knowledge and prevention!
Use caution when…
● Smoking: you can greatly reduce the risk of fire by smoking outside.
● Lighting Candles: never leave an open flame unattended, you may opt for battery operated candles instead.
● Cooking: do not leave the kitchen unattended while preparing a meal.
● Heating: space heaters need to be secured in an upright position. Make sure they can not be knocked over by pets or children.
● Electrical Malfunction: older, overused or faulty appliances may lead to a fire.
Related article: Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Practice, prevention and knowledge can go along way when it comes to your safety. With the above tools you are on your way to protecting yourself and your family from a house fire.