MAKE YOUR HOME FIRE-SAFE THIS OCTOBER October 1, 2021 | Home Maintenance , Safety , DIY , Cleaning Tips , Holiday | fall , kitchen , bedroom , living room , laundry , foundation , electrical , first-time homeowner , new homeowner , kids , pets October is here! While this autumnal month is most commonly associated with tricks and treats, it’s also recognized in both the United States and Canada as Fire Prevention Month. The first week of October has also been designated Fire Prevention Week in both countries. Close to 360,000 home fires occur annually, with many of them being preventable. To make your home fire-safe this year, here’s what you need to know. Have multiple fire extinguishers at the ready. A portable fire extinguisher can help stop a fire before it gets out of control. According to the National Association of Fire Equipment Distributors (NAFED), fire extinguishers are successful in extinguishing 95 percent of house fires. When they can’t fully put out a fire, extinguishers can effectively contain it until emergency services arrive. There are different variations of fire extinguishers , so it’s important that you have the right style for your home. Keep one on each level of your house in places where there are lots of appliances, mechanical equipment, or chemicals. Clean out your dryer’s lint trap. If it’s been a while since you last cleaned your dryer's lint trap (or if you never have), start making it a regular habit . Lint fires from backed up dryers account for around 16,000 house fires annually. Just adding this bit of maintenance to your to-do list will protect your home and your family. You don’t need many tools, and you really only have to do it about once a year. Make sure to clean out both the interior and exterior vents to allow for lint to pass through and not get stuck. You’ll not only make your home safer, but also extend your dryer’s useful life. Deep-clean your oven when it’s dirty. Almost 173,000 fires a year are cooking related. With many people spending the majority of last year at home, your oven might have gotten a workout. Burnt food, built-up ash, and grease hinder your oven’s ability to work correctly and pose a serious fire hazard. While you can use the self-clean option, it’s best to give your oven a thorough scrubbing . Store-bought cleaners, baking soda, and even lemons will cut through baked-on debris and prevent the chances of a flare-up as you work on your chef skills. Repair your home’s electrical ASAP. The wiring in your home is one of its largest components . That means there are many places where something can go wrong. Loose outlets and cracked outlet covers create arcs that lead to electrical fires. You especially need to repair broken covers if you have kids or pets to prevent them from reaching into the socket. Even something as seemingly mundane as a power surge stresses out your home’s wiring. To best reduce your chances of an electrical fire, have a professional assess your home and replace any outdated components . Place detectors around your home. One of the best ways to stay safe from a fire is by having smoke detectors installed in your home. But just having them isn’t enough--you need to ensure that they’re working properly. Working smoke detectors can increase your likelihood of safely escaping a fire by 50 percent. Like with fire extinguishers, place a detector on every floor of your home and wherever there’s an increased chance of a fire starting. Test them once a month to see if they’re in working condition or in need of replacing. Have your home inspected. Along with creating a safety checklist , getting an inspection will let you know your home’s condition. A home inspection by a qualified professional gives you the knowledge you need to make an informed purchasing decision. Find your local NPI inspector and schedule an appointment today!