Disaster Planning & Prevention Tips
A few things you can do to help yourself and your home:
- Roofing systems should be maintained based on their life expectancy.
- If you have plants growing out of your gutters it’s a pretty good indication that they need to be cleaned.
- It’s not expensive to replace washer hoses on an annual basis, like when you change the batteries in your smoke detector.
- Don’t leave small children unattended while running the bath but this is no guarantee that the adults will watch the sink filling up.
- HVAC systems should be maintained on an annual basis and most contractors offer a maintenance agreement for a reasonable fee.
- Keep all space heating units at least 3 feet away from furniture and drapes. Turn them OFF when leaving the room or going to bed.
- If you’re going to smoke, stay awake.
- If you must use candles, DO NOT LEAVE THE ROOM! They can also produce very fine soot which can be very difficult to eliminate.
- If you have a pan of grease on the stove, you don’t have time to make a quick trip to the bathroom.
- Be careful when using extension cords and excessive loading to your electrical system. This is especially true for older homes.
- Change your indoor air filters regularly. Investigate duct cleaning options on an annual basis.
- Have your fireplace, chimney, wood stoves and furnace inspected annually. Clean them when necessary.
- Keep gasoline in special safety containers and store outdoors and away from your home. Vapors can explode with the smallest spark.
- Did you know that a small pan fire can be extinguished by sliding a lid over the flames? Protect your hands and face while doing this!
- Every home should have a fire extinguisher. Be sure to learn when and how to use it.
- Think about having a home fire sprinkler system installed.
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home. Place them in every bedroom. Replace the batteries annually and test monthly.
- Post emergency telephone numbers by your phones and make sure your children know how and when to call 911.
- Check your insurance coverage – flood damage or rising ground water is not usually covered by homeowners insurance.
- Stock emergency supplies and a disaster supply kit.
- Use a NOAA weather radio. Replace the battery annually when you replace batteries for your smoke detector.
- Take First Aid, CPR and disaster preparedness classes.
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