October is National Fire Safety and Prevention Month, and that means it is time to raise awareness about fire safety and prevention methods. The fundamental mission of all fire departments is to save lives, protect property, and prevent environmental harm. To support this mission, fire departments across the nation participate in efforts to educate the public through safety campaigns and programs in their communities about how fires can start, how to prevent fires, and how to respond during a fire. One thing they always stress is the importance of having smoke alarms in your home.

Smoke alarms are one of the most well-known fire safety features in American homes. These small, inconspicuous devices alert residents when there is smoke present that might indicate that a fire has started. However, according to a January 2019 research report from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) entitled “Smoke Alarms in U.S. Home Fires,” smoke alarms were only present in 74% of home fires reported between 2012 and 2016. The report notes that a significant number of home fire fatalities reported during that period—close to three out of five—were caused by fires in properties that had no smoke alarms (40%) or in properties with smoke alarms that failed to operate (17%). Further, the data shows that the risk of death in home fires is 54% lower in homes that have properly installed, functioning smoke alarms than in homes without working alarms or without alarms altogether. (In Texas, there are disclosure requirements outlined in the Texas Property Code that are mandated by law so that individuals involved in real estate transactions clarify the presence, physical condition, and operational status of a variety of items, including fire safety devices within homes.)

With some advanced planning and precautions, home fires can be prevented. Proactive steps you can take include looking for potential fire hazards throughout your home and resolving them appropriately; developing a fire escape plan and practicing it periodically with your family; having functioning smoke alarms and knowing what the alert signals sound like so you can take action to keep yourself and your loved ones safe. Making sure the home you are buying or selling meets safety standards is important for feeling protected and having peace of mind.

WEICHERT, REALTORS® – The Place of Houses is a professional real estate team located in the Corpus Christi, Texas area. Whether you are buying or selling a home in the Gulf Coast region of Texas, WEICHERT, REALTORS® – The Place of Houses is ready to assist you with your real estate needs, including helping you understand Texas Property Code. Please don’t hesitate to contact a member of the licensed team of real estate agents via the website or by phone at 361-882-5588. This honest and capable group takes pride in offering quality service to every client. If you are interested in learning more about available real estate services, reach out to WEICHERT, REALTORS® – The Place of Houses today.

Written by: Erika Mehlhaff