You probably don’t think about fire safety when you buy a new home.

The fun part of moving into a new home is figuring out where to put your furniture, which bedroom everyone will use, and where to hang that painting you love. But in the middle of all that nesting, it’s important to take some time to make a plan for fire safety for you and your family.

Here are some ways to keep your new home safe from fire.

Take note of all smoke alarms and check the batteries regularly.

  • After you move in, make sure you know where the smoke and fire alarms are and check the batteries. You should have an alarm on each floor of your home, in each bedroom, and outside any sleeping areas.
  • If you need more, get them set up as soon as you can. You should also check the batteries in each alarm once a month to make sure they are still working. If the batteries need to be changed, you should do so right away.

Create a Fire Escape Plan

  • The American Red Cross says that if your house is on fire, you may have less than two minutes to get to safety. That’s why it’s important for everyone in your family to know how to get out of the house if there’s a fire.
  • You can use this graph to make a floor plan of your home and plan out how to get out of it. Every member of your family should know two ways out of every room in your house. Twice a year, go over your escape plan.

Designate an Outdoor Meeting Spot

In case of a fire, everyone in your family will need to meet in a safe place outside. The spot could be at a neighbor’s house, at the curb by your mailbox, or anywhere else that is a safe distance from your house. When you go over your fire escape plan, practice meeting at the spot outside.

Get Serious About Fire Prevention

  • Assuming that your new home was inspected before you bought it, you should know about any structural fire risks, like old wiring, broken appliances, or loose insulation in the attic. If you have any of these problems, you may want to hire a contractor or find a good handyman, depending on the problem.
  • But that doesn’t mean you can’t be careful about smaller fire risks that happen every day, like putting flammable things too close to a stove, space heater, or radiator, or blowing a fuse by plugging too much into an electrical outlet.
  • If you have kids, it’s important to talk to them about how to stay safe in case of a fire. Talk to them about how to use matches, candles, appliances, and fireplaces properly. Tell them that these things can start fires and that, if they are very young, they shouldn’t touch or use any of them without an adult there.
  • Fire safety and fire prevention are very important if you want to keep your family safe, especially after you move into a new home. By taking the time to make a fire safety plan, pick a place to meet outside, and take other steps to prevent fires, you’ll keep your family and that new home safe.

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