Next week is Fire Prevention Week
(FPW), so it's a great time to stock up on fire safety essentials like smoke alarms and fire extinguishers. Hardware stores will be well-stocked with these and other fire safety-related products this coming weekend, and there will likely be some good deals to be had.
FPW is organized by the National Fire Protection Association. The NFPA has an excellent website
if you want to read up on fire-proofing. It also has another site that's just for kids, hosted by cartoon character, Sparky the Fire Dog
. Woof woof! The US Fire Administration has tips on its site, too. Click here
to view that.
If you do nothing else to fire-proof your house, at the very least make sure you have working
Smoke alarms are affordable and installation of battery-powered versions is easy -- even for the beginner DIY'er
. Afraid you don't have the required know-how? Don't worry. Full instructions are included with the alarms. Mine are all by Kidde
. I've found this brand to be very affordable and super-easy to install.
Here are my tips on smoke alarm installation. First, by law you probably already have a smoke alarm in your house. However, you should consider adding them to most or all of your rooms. Basic models are cheap but do the job perfectly well. Second, consider placement before you drill
. Alarms should be located away from walls, but not near ceiling fans. This can be tricky if, like me, you have small rooms that all have ceiling fans! Third, measure carefully for aesthetic reasons. If you are like me and want things just-so, use a tape measure to ensure each alarm is located in a spot that's pleasing to the eye. For example, if the alarm is to be installed in a long, narrow hallway, use your tape measure to make sure it is placed exactly in the middle of the ceiling. Fourth, remember that some alarms are designed to detect smoke, while others are designed to detect sparks or flame. Get the type that's most suited for each room.
Oh, by the way, I notice mega-retailer The Home Depot has taken it upon itself to declare this "National Fire Safety Month."
, not week. I guess you can't blame them for wanting to spread this out longer and maximize sales, huh?