Safety Source - April 28, 2017
Plan for fire safety at seasonal homes
Spring is when many people decide to open up their seasonal houses, cabins, and cottages. An important part of the preparation is gearing up for fire safety. Just like permanent housing, vacation homes are vulnerable to unsafe conditions.
By the time vacationers arrive at their seasonal homes, the smoke alarms and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms may no longer work and chimneys could be blocked.
Here are some safety tips:
- Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room, outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of the home.
- Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button.
- Install CO alarms outside each separate sleeping area, on every level of the home, and in other locations as required by laws, codes, or standards.
- Test CO alarms at least once a month.
- Pack extra batteries for smoke alarms and CO alarms in case they need replacing.
- Make a home escape plan. Practice the plan with everyone in the household, including visitors.
- Know the telephone number of the local fire department and the address and phone number of the vacation home.
- Chimneys and vents need to be cleaned and inspected by a qualified professional at least once a year.
- If you smoke, smoke outside. Use deep, sturdy ashtrays.
- If you are renting, contact the property manager, landlord, or fire department to be sure that smoke alarms and CO alarms are installed and properly working.
NFPA's tip sheets on smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, heating safety, smoking safety and escape planning provide further information on how to be safe while at your “home away from home.”
Important Notice: Any opinion expressed in this column (blog, article) is the opinion of the author and does not necessarily represent the official position of NFPA or its Technical Committees. In addition, this piece is neither intended, nor should it be relied upon, to provide professional consultation or services.