With colder temperatures settling into place, fall and winter are prime times when fire risk often increases. The spark of a small fire can quickly spiral into an out-of-control blaze if left unnoticed, putting families and homes in danger. Kuester Management Group has released a statement to the press highlighting ways homeowners can be more proactive when it comes to fire safety this fall.
“Having working smoke detectors in your home is critical for safety,” says Bryan Kuester, President of Kuester Management Group. “They can save lives. Check batteries every fall and spring when setting the clocks back or ahead. But don’t forget to actually inspect your smoke detector too – many people are unaware that the actual device should be replaced every 10 years. If you’re unsure how old your smoke detector is, look on the back for the manufacture date.”
Kuester also encourages homeowners to schedule regular service checks for heating and air conditioning systems. This can ensure that they are working correctly, have clean filters, and are properly vented. Faulty wiring, old systems, and clogged vents or filters can pose fire risks. Homeowners should also be mindful of regularly cleaning out dryer vents as well to prevent lint buildup.
“If you’re using space heaters to help stay warm, make sure they are placed in a safe area away from curtains, blankets, furniture, or any other flammable objects,” says Kuester. “There should be at least three feet of space on all sides. Also, never leave a space heater on while you sleep on when you’re not home. Don’t forget to blow out any candles you may have burning as well.”
Another common source of heating is fire places. They should be thoroughly cleaned and inspected before the first use each season, as well as periodically throughout the fall and winter to identify potential problems or buildup. Use a fireplace screen to prevent sparks from igniting carpet, rugs, blankets, or any other objects within the vicinity of the fireplace. Never leave fires unattended either or dispose of ashes before they have completely cooled.
Fall is also a time for decorating, notes Kuester. Make sure that holiday décor is kept away from any open flames or heat sources, especially if it is potentially flammable. Avoid overloading outlets or surge protectors as well when trying to accommodate a variety of plugs. Any lights or extension cords should also meet safety standards and not be used if they are damaged in any way.
“It’s also a good idea to have a family evacuation plan in place just in case there is a fire in your home,” says Kuester. “Teach children how to call 911 and provide their address, as well as how to safely maneuver out of the home and meet in a safe place. Talk with your kids about fire safety regularly and how they can be proactive too.”
HOAs can support fire safety by providing helpful tips and reminders to homeowners or scheduling a fire safety event with the local fire department. It’s essential that everyone works together. Property managers like those at Kuester can help with scheduling regular maintenance and inspection of HOA assets, as well as distributing communications to homeowners.
Kuester Management Group assists HOAs with a wide range of services and serves as a trusted resource for communities. For more information, contact Kuester today at www.kuester.com.
Kuester Management Group, a division of Kuester Companies, works to protect property values and enhance the quality of life in each of its managed communities. Providing a full range of association management services, Kuester Management Group has worked to foster strong, resilient, and unified communities across North and South Carolina. The company is proud to offer on-site property managers, all zealous for building strong communities meant to stand the test of time.
More information is available at www.kuester.com or @KuesterCompany.