Hello, QJL readers. Before we get started, wishing all a Kasivah Vichasimah Tovah! We should all have a meaningful year, full of bracha and smachot!

For this article, the term “firebrand” comes to mind. A person filled with passion, a trend setter, lighting up a particular cause! Well, folks, maybe playing with fire in that setting is acceptable, but from the home inspection side, fire is one the classic elements that needs to be respected. We find fire in our very homes: in the electricity that power our home and in the heating system that keeps us warm. While we can’t actually see the “fire” in the electrical systems, it very much has the element of fire in its components. Where am I going with all this fire discussion? Safety!! In my years of home inspections, homeowners can be lax in taking the right precautions in keeping their home safe. Please take a moment to look through these easy but essential fire safety suggestions. 

Steps to Safety: How to Protect Your Family from a Fire

Don’t be a statistic. Be safe. A fatal house fire occurs approximately every three hours in America, and more than 20,000 people are injured or die from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning every year. The numbers may be alarming, but just a few steps can help shield your family from danger at home.


Step 1 - Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years.

Use 10-year sealed battery alarms and never change a battery.

Choose the right alarm for the right location in every room and on each level.

Test alarms weekly. If using traditional battery-powered alarms, remember to replace batteries as needed, at least twice a year.


Step 2 - Place Fire Extinguishers Within Reach on Every Level of Your Home.

Install close to exits, and in the kitchen and garage. Include all locations where a fire may start.

Check the gauge monthly to be sure it is pressurized.

Replace fire extinguishers that are over 12 years old or after use.


Step 3 - Install Carbon Monoxide Alarms on Each floor and Near Bedrooms.

Look for the “UL Listed” symbol to be sure the alarm meets quality standards.


Replace outdated alarms with Worry-Free 10-year sealed battery alarms.

Test alarms weekly.

Because carbon monoxide weighs about the same as air, an alarm can be plugged into an outlet, placed on a table or shelf or mounted high on a wall. Refer to your brand of CO alarm for correct placement.

Step 4 - Create an Escape Plan With Your Family.

Download the National Fire Protection Association guide.

Practice regularly, both day and night.

Know 2 ways out of every room.

Know who will assist children and those with mobility/health issues.

Have escape ladders in upstairs rooms.

Jay Aron is a licensed NYS Home Inspector, and seasoned Electrical Engineer, and owner of Bodeck Home Inspections in Kew Gardens Hills. He is available for home inspections including houses, condos, and co-ops. For more information, call 516-417-6111 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.