What’s the condition?

It is funny what people will do when they know that their pastor is coming to visit. On the planned visits, you can tell that a lot of cleaning has taken place prior to a pastor’s arrival. Though I do not visit folks to see the cleanliness of their home, I was told that the state of a person’s yard and home is an indication of what is going on in their hearts; a discussion for another day. On the flipside, I visited numerous homes, while serving as a firefighter. In emergent situations, people did not care what their home looked like, even to the point of there being paths of stuff that you had to travel through. The point of this article is that the cleanliness of your home has a positive or negative result on fire prevention, as well as the health of your family.

Why does the condition of your home matter? Let me give you some examples:

  • Failure to clean your oven or stovetop will lead to a buildup of grease and other combustibles. Failure to clean your kitchen will also lead to a possible infestation of cockroaches.
  • Failure to keep the area around your washer and dryer clean could lead to dryer fires that occur when the dust and lint are allowed to build up.
  • Failure to change the filters on your HVAC system causes the system to have to work much harder than necessary. A dusty home can also lead to respiratory issues for everyone that lives there. Dusty homes also yield dust-covered smoke alarms that may not work when needed.
  • Houses that have paths, namely piles of junk, are firetraps. Combustibles are piled up everywhere. We searched a house one night that was on fire, only to realize that we crawled through pile after pile of dog feces.
  • Failure to keep the area around your panel box clear. When there is a need to get to your panel box, having to move things out of the way could create a bigger problem. Fire prevention code states that there should be at least 30 inches of clearance at every panel box.
  • Failure to keep stairways clear of stuff might prevent a quick escape. Placing items under stairs may lead to a fire under the stairs, which renders that stairwell useless.

Do not keep your house clean for the people that will visit; do it for yourself and for your family. I have been in some pretty rough places before. If a fire occurs in your home, it will be hard enough to get out, without having to crawl over or around stuff.

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