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Well friends, the dog days of summer have officially arrived! If news reports of drought conditions aren’t enough to convince you that it’s hot and dry out there, check out California’s “Firenado” that touched down earlier this week. While staying cool and comfortable is top-of-mind, this is a great opportunity to survey your home for fire risks and mitigate wherever possible.

  • Water your lawn. Whether you use an irrigation system (which we detailed during last month’s Under the Roof series) or manual sprinklers, follow local guidelines and try to water twice a week on your designated days. It’s hot out there and your grass needs water as much as you do to ward off this heat. A well-irrigated lawn is less likely to catch ablaze if a stray spark tries to ignite
  • Clean the lint trap and dryer vent. According to the American Red Cross, dryers are responsible for nine out of 10 house fires. Clean your lint trap each time you take clothes out of the dryer and consider having your dryer vent checked and serviced to keep it in good, safe running condition.
  • Survey your kitchen. Let’s face it – intense heat and open flames mean that most fires start in the kitchen (and we all know what happened with the Pearson’s finicky Crock-Pot). Eliminate risks where you can. Ensure towels and paper towel dispensers aren’t too close to your stove, and check to make sure your microwave’s vents aren’t obstructed. Keep a working fire extinguisher under your kitchen sink and make sure everyone in the home knows how to use it if needed.
  • Be the grill master, don’t cause a disaster. Although it’s toasty, it’s still summer and in Texas that means we grill and smoke as much as possible. As you enjoy outdoor time, make sure your grill is at least two feet away from all surfaces. This includes fencing, decks, outdoor equipment, and yes, your home. Check propane tanks for cracks, holes and leaks which can cause explosions.
  • Take the proper precautions. Ensure your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are in good working order and review your fire safety plan so the whole family is on the same page.

As we continue to spend more time at home, it’s more important than ever to protect the spaces we love. Stay safe, stay cool and remember to follow us on Facebook and Instagram @BarfieldHomeInspection for more home maintenance tips from the company that’s been telling it like it is since 2003.

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