Chances are, you know that you should change the batteries in your smoke
detectors at least once a year — even if you suspect the batteries are still
good.

But that isn’t the only fire safety check you should do annually. Here are some
other recommended tips to help keep you and your family safe.

• Clean your stove burners and oven regularly. Hard grease build-up can
become combustible.

• Check your cupboard for cleaning products, paints and other liquids
that are flammable. Read each label carefully. Use and store each
product only as recommended.

• If you keep a fire extinguisher in your kitchen — and you should —
confirm that it is still good. Extinguishers are like food. They have
expiry dates!

• Go over your fire escape plan with your family. Make sure everyone
knows exactly what to do if a smoke detector goes off or if there’s a
fire. (Don’t have a fire escape plan? Make one!)

• Check that all windows open easily, especially upper floor windows.

• Check appliances you use often, such as hair dryers, for worn or
frayed cords.

• Regularly clear away lint build-up in the clothes dryer. Check the
outside dryer vent annually to make sure it’s clear and working
correctly.

• If you have a wood-burning fireplace or stove, get it cleaned and
inspected by a licensed technician once a year.

Many local fire departments offer homeowners free tips and even in-home
advice and inspections at no cost. Contact your fire department and ask
about programs available to you.

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