October is Fire Prevention Month

October is fire prevention awareness month so today we’re releasing 10 home fire safety tips for you to start following in the month of October and continue for the rest of your life!

The U.S. Fire Administration reports that fires kill more than 4,000 Americans each and every year. Approximately 20,000 people are injured in fires every year and U.S. fire departments respond to 2 million fires, with 75% of them occurring in residencies.

1. Smoke Alarms: Check your smoke alarm batteries on a monthly basis to make sure they are working properly. There should be a smoke alarm installed on every level of your home.

2. Prevent Electrical Fires: When you leave your home, unplug everything from the walls and use extension cords wherever possible, but don’t overload them! Flip the switch on the extension cord to turn the circuit off before you leave the house. Avoid loose electrical connections by checking the fit of the plug on the wall outlet. If the plug fits loosely, inspect the outlet. A poor fitting can cause overheating and can start a fire in minutes.

3. Keep Plugs Safe: Unplug all appliances when not in use. This includes coffee makers, hair straighteners and curlers, cell phone charges, and anything else you may not think to unplug because you use these products so often.

4. Alternate Heaters: Make sure there is ample space around any portable heating unit. This means anything that can catch fire should be at least 3 feet away, even from the wall. Inspect your chimney annually by a professional.

5. Fire Safety Sprinklers: Home fire sprinklers generally increase your chance of surviving a fire. Sprinklers are affordable and can increase property value and lower insurance rates. Consider investing in these devices.

6. Create an Escape Route: Make sure every member of your family is aware of where to safely exit the home in the case of a fire. Ensure there is more than one exit just in case your safety route is blocked by the fire or debris.

7. Position Appliances Carefully: Try and keep TV sets, kitchen appliances and other devices away from windows, curtains and other flammable items in your home. It is also important to keep these appliances away from water sources, such as rain coming in from a window. This can prevent wiring damage which could lead to a fire.

8. Clean Dryer Vents After Every Use: Clothes dryers often start fires in residential areas. It’s extremely important to clean out dryer vents after each and every use to ensure you are protecting your home and family from a fire. Make sure the exhaust duck is made of metal tubing and not plastic or foil. Clean the duct with a good quality dryer vent brush to prevent blockage and check for lint build up behind the dryer at least twice a year.

9. Be Careful Around Holidays: If you decorate your home with lights around the holidays, make sure you are keeping them away from anything that could easily catch fire. Unplug your Christmas tree lights at night and when you are not home. Check all lights prior to stringing them and dispose of any frayed or exposed wires.

10. Conduct Regular Inspections: Check all your electronic equipment for any damages or wires that might be frayed at least once a month.

Get more fire safety tips for the month of October.

Dear Friends and Clients,

Our firm is dedicated to act with compassion, concern and commitment to our clients, community and colleagues. As such, we have been taking precautions to ensure that we are still fulfilling our ethical and moral obligation to our clients, while also ensuring the health and safety of our employees.

Until further notice, our offices will be closed to the public to encourage social distancing and to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Our team is still hard at work, most from home, and you may still call, email, live chat or video conference us if you or a loved one is seeking legal assistance. As the first law firm to offer our clients secure online access to their case file more than a decade ago, we have always been believers in using technology to make life easier and information more accessible. In these present times it has been a smooth transition for us to continue to offer our clients the same seamless and thorough service that you deserve and are accustomed to.

This pandemic is unlike anything any of us have faced in our lifetimes, and while we can continue to emotionally support one another through it all, staying home and keeping your distance is vital to the health and wellness of our communities. It does not feel good to break routines, cancel events and retreat from our normal, day-to-day socializing, but let us remember that, in times of strife, prior generations were asked to go to war and we are simply being asked to stay home. Your isolation equals more lives saved, and more time for medical providers to prepare for the treatment of patients battling COVID-19.

When the dust settles, we will join together with a greater appreciation for the country we live in, local businesses, loved ones and health. Until then, we will continue to offer guidance and representation from a safe distance.

Very truly yours,

Marvin Anderman and the firm family of Fine, Olin & Anderman, LLP