Many new homes are built to strict safety standards. But over the years, hidden fire and safety dangers can accrue slowly and under the radar.
The Red, White and Blue Fire Protection District is marking Building Safety Month during May by offering free courtesy inspections of homes and businesses to identify potential safety problems.
Fire hazards can creep up in the kitchen, in chimneys, appliances, in the backyard or storage shed, said Jay Nelson, deputy chief of Red, White and Blue Fire.
“Fire is caused by so many things, from recalled products to accidents within the home,” Nelson said. “There are always ways that each and every one of us can be safer. The more information people have, the more fire safe they will be.”
The fire department works on structure safety with architects, home builders, sprinkler fitters, alarm technicians, construction-industry contractors and property owners every day, fire chief Jim Keating said.
“When our fire-prevention experts inspect buildings during and after construction, they help to ensure the places we live, learn, work, worship and play are safe,” Keating said.
Fire department officials know what to look for when inspecting homes and businesses.
Heating appliances can be problems, Nelson said. Wood-burning or electric stoves need to be up to code. Chimneys should be swept at least once per year — more often if they’re used regularly. Flammable materials need to be kept away from electric heaters.
Backyards also play a big role in home safety. Fire officials can point out ways to reduce the risk of a wildfire, by reducing outdoor debris, for example.
“We’ll work with the homeowner to provide them with educational materials that will help keep them and their family safe,” Nelson said.
Red, White and Blue is one of four agencies in Colorado taking part in the national public safety effort. To schedule an inspection of a home or business, call (970) 453-2474.