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By: New Jersey Home Inspector Michael Del Greco

Submitted by: Michael Del Greco, New Jersey Home Inspector Lic GI 0121, President of Accurate Inspections, Inc, a New Jersey home inspection company

Information provided by Michael Del Greco, President of Accurate Inspections, Inc. a New Jersey Home Inspection company. Click here for a New Jersey Home Inspector.

The only thing more devastating than the loss of all your possessions in a house fire is

the loss of life. A fire in the home can bring about both tragedies quickly, especially if

a family is not prepared. The following guide, designed to assist homeowners in

determining the degree of fire safety within their homes, offers a number of ways to

develop a sensible approach to everyday fire prevention. A little prevention can save a

lot of heartache.

1) Discuss the subject of fire and its prevention with all members of the family.

Develop a sound fire prevention program for your home, along with an escape/action

plan in case of fire. Schedule periodic family drills.

2) Record the telephone number of the closest fire department (also police and rescue

squad, if any) at all telephone locations. Call and inquire if an official fire prevention

inspection is available.

3) Be sure upper floor bedrooms have easy escape routes via windows with adequate

openings. Do not block key windows with air conditioners or security devices. Provide

inexpensive rope ladders if upper floors are more than a reasonable jump for children.

4) Provide solid-core doors for bedrooms (and close at night). A solid door will serve

as a fire shield far longer than hollow or louvered doors. Close openings around pipes

and ducts that run between floors so they won\'t act as flues in case of fire. Also, if

ceiling or attic ventilating equipment is installed, make certain it can be shut tightly

when not in use, thereby preventing fire-drawing drafts.

5) Install heat- and/or smoke-sensitive fire alarms in strategic areas (hallways, kitchen,

basement, etc.).

6) Discard partially filled cans of little-used, combustible products. Store necessary

cans and bottles in a cool, ventilated location out of reach of children.

7) Replace small and unsteady ashtrays with heavier, larger-based ones with wide-

angled rims. Also, keep matches in a central metal container and out of reach of


8) Check all household appliance cords and their plugs regularly and replace or repair

those that have become frayed, loose or broken. Never use undersized extension cords

for high-wattage appliances or tools. Also, do not overload circuits.

9) Place portable fire extinguishers at strategic locations in home (hallways, kitchen,

basement, etc.) and instruct family on proper use. Check the charge on each unit semi-

annually. Be sure extinguishers are of type appropriate for most-probable types of fire

(electrical, grease, etc.).

10) Ground outdoor TV antennas securely to prevent them from conducting lightning

into your home. Install a lightning rod to divert power to ground.

11) Call local utility company at first major sign of trouble (gas odors or fumes,

downed electrical lines, etc.).

Be sure to dedicate time to implement these fire prevention and preparation strategies.

It may be one of the most important things you do this year.

Information provided by Michael Del Greco, New Jersey Home Inspector Lic. GI 0121, American Society of Home Inspectors Member 102273, Pesident of Accurate Inspections, Inc. A West Paterson New Jersey Home Inspection firm.

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