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Fire Safety

Fire Pit Safety During the Winter Season

This is a guest post by Karen Ho Fatt. If you would like to Guest Post, check out the Guidelines here.

Not everyone hunkers down and hibernates during the winter. In fact, with backyard fire pit usage growing in popularity, more and more people are enjoying crisp winter evenings outdoors, in the comfort of their patio paradise. Along with this trend is the need for an increased awareness of residential fire safety in addition to the common sense steps taken when having a wintertime fire. Let’s take a moment to review fire pit safety during the winter season.

As with any outdoor fire, whether at a campground or in your backyard, careful attention should be paid to the surrounding foliage. During autumn, dried leaves and plant material can accumulate around the fire pit, providing quick burning fuel for a stray ember to ignite. Clear any dead vegetation to at least 10 feet from around the fire pit. This way, if you burn soft woods to create that wonderful crackle we all love, the popping embers won’t have anything to start a fire with.

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How to Prepare Your Home in Case of Fire

This is a guest post by Sally Davidson. If you would like to Guest Post, check out the Guidelines here.

If your home fire alarm woke you up in the middle of the night, would you know what to do? If not, here are some steps you can take to create a home fire escape plan.

1. Make an Escape Plan – Work together with your family to draw a map of your home – graph paper makes this easy. Mark the location of all doors and windows as well. Then designate two ways to escape from every room, giving special consideration to the bedrooms.

2. Discuss Responsibilities – Another important part of your escape plan should take into account any family members who might need help escaping, such as the very young or those with disabilities. Give each family member specific responsibilities. For example, siblings who sleep in the same room can wake each other up. Emphasize that you will work as a team.

3. Choose Meeting Places – You should choose two meeting places. The first should be an obvious place outside your home. The second should be further away, such as at the end of the street, in case it isn’t safe to be so close to the house. Mark these places on the escape plan.

4. Emergency Contacts – Post emergency numbers next to every phone in your house and program them into your cell phone. Designate a friend or relative who lives nearby as your emergency contact person. Make sure your children have this number memorized, along with your own address and number.

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