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Thanks for following along on our four part series about fire safety inspections for every part of your home! This topic can feel daunting to accomplish all at once in your home, so taking it room by room, step by step will make it easier to protect your home from a devastating fire. You can read our last three posts on our blog. Today we’re finishing the series by covering the last areas of the home: electrical, outside the home, and general safety items.

Electrical Fire Safety:

  • Is the home equipped with the proper Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) breakers? Ensure kitchens and bathrooms have GFCI outlets on countertop surfaces within 6 feet of running water outlets and they are working properly.

  • Are all extension cords not plugged into a second extension cord, and not run through doorways?

  • Are all appliances plugged directly to wall outlets?

  • Are all breakers properly labeled in the electrical box?

  • Is there a three foot clearance in front of the breaker/fuse box?

  • Are all electrical outlets and switches covered by proper faceplates, installed correctly and in good condition?

  • Are outside lighting appliances clear of any combustibles?

  • AFCIs (arc-fault circuit interrupters) are installed throughout the home and they are working properly (applicable to new home construction only).

  • Receptacles have been tested and are in good working condition — no evidence of arcing or overheating.

  • Switches are in good condition — no evidence of arcing or overheating.

  • Lighting fixture canopies are fastened in place and fixtures are in good condition.

  • Bulbs in light fixtures are the correct wattage for the lighting fixture.

  • Flexible cords and cables are not used as fixed wiring, run through holes in walls, ceiling or floor, run through doorways or windows or under carpets or attached to building surfaces.

  • If there are young children in the home, the home has tamper-resistant outlets.

  • Panel board and distribution equipment is accessible for inspection and in good condition — no evidence of overheating, corrosion or other damage.

  • Service entrance raceways or cables are fastened in place, grounded, readily accessible and in good condition.

Outside the Home Fire Safety:

  • Is your house number visible from the street by Fire, EMS and Law Enforcement responders?

  • Are the roof and gutters clear from excessive leaves and pine straw?

  • Is there proper clearance around electrical and gas meters?

  • Is your driveway clear enough to allow fire engines and ambulances to reach your home?

  • Is the gas or charcoal grill utilized at least 10 feet from the side of your home? Ensure that barbecue grills are only used outdoors.

  • Are proper ash trays located outside for smokers?

  • Is the area next to your home free of excessive leaves, brush, trash, tree trimmings, or combustibles?

  • Outside electrical receptacles are GFCI and they are in good working condition.

  • Swimming pool or hot tub is enclosed by a four-sided fence and locked gate. Filter, heater or hot tub is properly grounded.

General Fire Safety Items: 

  • Are all smoke alarms tested and cleaned each month? Are they found on each level of the home, in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area, and at least 10 feet from a stationary or fixed cooking appliance?

  • For larger homes (where the interior floor area on a given level is greater than 1,000 square feet), there is an average of at least 1 smoke alarm for every 500 square feet.

  • Smoke alarms are interconnected so when one sounds, they all sound.

  • Replace smoke alarms over 10 years old (they expire).

  • Is the dryer lint trap cleaned out after each use?

  • Is there a three-foot clearance around heating devices and water heaters?

  • Are all areas of the home free of excessive clutter, including: clothing, papers, magazines and other combustibles?

  • Are the furnace, and the fireplace, inspected and cleaned before each heating system?

  • Are furnace filters changed on a regular schedule?

  • Family has a home fire escape plan. Family practices the home fire escape plan at least twice a year.

  • If the home has occupant(s) that require assistance to escape, occupants discuss escape planning and occupant requirements in case of a fire or emergency escape.

  • Windows used for escape open easily — not blocked by furniture, security bars or nailed/painted shut. Security bars, if present, have a quick release-device.

  • Home has a home fire sprinkler system.

  • Home has a carbon monoxide alarm outside each separate sleeping area. Home has a carbon monoxide alarm on every level. Carbon monoxide alarms are working.

  • Smokers smoke outside the home. Large ashtrays are provided outside for smokers.

  • Matches and lighters are stored in a secure cabinet.

  • Lit candles are not left unattended.

  • Flammable liquids, if stored in the home, are limited in quantity.

Lists compiled from the National Fire Protection Association and the Horry County Fire Rescue.