Conduct a Fire Safety Audit at your home
When was the last time you inspected your chimney or wood stove? Do your kerosene heaters meet building safety codes? Do your kids know the rules regarding electric outlets, plugs and switches?
If you haven’t thought about these things for awhile, it’s time for a household fire safety audit. Conduct a thorough investigation of all possible fire hazards in your home, and evaluate all possible fire risks to your children. By conducting a fire safety audit – and making any repairs or improvements along the way – you can protect your loves ones while scoring a few points in Family Court.
Make sure you stack firewood at least 30 feet away from your home. Be sure to regularly clean the leaves, pine needles and other debris off the roof of your home. Make sure there are no tree branches hanging above the chimney, flues or vents.
Trees and brush should be thinned within 30 feet around the home. Use fire resistant plants and vegetation for landscaping. Make sure all water sources are accessible to the Fire Department.
Children should be educated about the importance of fire safety. Whenever, possible, they should wear fire-retardant clothing. They should never play with electrical appliances or heaters. And your family should devise and rehearse a fire evacuation plan.
Smoke alarms should be tested every month. Be sure to replace batteries in smoke alarms at least once a year. Throughout the house, be sure not to overload extension cords. Replace worn or damaged appliance cords, and think about replacing old appliances. Never place portable electrical heaters within 3 feet of curtains or furniture. It’s also a good idea to keep a fire extinguisher within easy reach.
By conducting a fire safety audit at your home, you can show the Family Court one more area in which you excel as a responsible parent, both because your home is safe and because your children are well-informed about fire safety. In fact, by becoming knowledgeable about fire safety, you can highlight areas in which the other parent’s home is deficient or unsafe. Most importantly, you can avoid a fire, and in so doing avoid the risk of life, damage to property, and destruction of your child custody case.