Ask any professional chimney sweep, and they’ll tell you that applying fire safety tips in your home is a smart move. Each home will require different elements that are unique to the location that you live and the layout of your house. However, there are a few tried and true practices that each family should incorporate into their lifestyle. Have a chart with these written down on the fridge or somewhere that people look often, and take the time to discuss your plan of action every so often to keep it fresh in the mind. Here are a few fire safety tips for you and your loved ones to follow.

Have Your Chimney Inspected Before It Gets Cold Out

One of the first steps to fire safety is to have your chimney inspected once a year before you use it. They’ll let you know if you need to have a full chimney sweep and what areas need extra attention. If you do this yearly, you’ll find that your chimney stays in safe shape so that you can enjoy it throughout the winter seasons, as well as when the weather gets warm out.

Get Rid of Any Hazards

Be mindful of things such as where you place the dry wood for your fireplace, garbage and old newspapers, and other flammable materials. You’ll want to ensure that all hazards are in their proper place. You should also pay attention to extension cord placements and use the safest appliances. If you discover that you have a rodent in your home, you’ll want to have them removed immediately because they can chew through cords and possibly cause electrical fires. The best chimney sweeps will be able to remove wildlife from your home and chimney, so start with a call to them if you want to prevent these animals from getting into your chimney and chewing on hazardous items.

Have an Escape Plan That Everyone Understands

An escape plan is essential to keeping everyone calm in case there is an emergency, and you’ll want to make it easy for people of all ages to understand. If you have babies or elderly living with you, then make sure you assign someone to assist them during the exit strategy. Choose a meeting spot outside for everyone to go to and make sure that you have more than one way out. Teach everyone how to effectively test doors to ensure that there isn’t danger on the other side. And don’t go back for items that you feel are important such as a purse or photo album.

Make Sure Everyone Knows How to Properly Start and Put Out Fires

If you love having fires in your chimney during the winter, be sure that you properly start and put them out. Ask your chimney sweep if they can recommend the proper tools for fire safety such as quality screens that fit over the opening of your fireplace. Remember, start by having a chimney sweep inspect your fireplace, and then move forward from there!