Fire Safety Tips – Thinking about the possibility of a fire in your home is unpleasant, but planning ahead and taking steps toward safety is vital and can provide peace of mind for your whole family. House fires can spread very quickly, which is why working toward preventing them important. While we hope you never experience a fire in your home, when it comes to fire safety it is important to plan for the worst and hope for the best.
The best time to consider fire safety is well before one ever starts. Make sure that all household members know at least two escape routes from every room, and select a predetermined meeting place that everyone knows to gather at if a fire occurs. Make sure everyone knows where to find fire extinguishers and how to use them.
Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors should be located throughout the home according to state guidelines. It is good to check smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors monthly, as well as put fresh batteries in them at least once a year. Everyone in the home should be familiar with what the alarms sound like and what they need to do if they hear them.
It is important that everyone in your household understands and adheres to general prevention guidelines. Here are some common causes of unintentional fires and how to prevent them:
Candle/Open Flame Safety:
Lit candles or fireplace fires should never be left unattended, and young children should not be left alone in a room with a candle or fire. When a candle is lit, it should be on a sturdy surface with no flammable objects nearby. Matches or lighters should be kept out of the reach of children.
It is also best to avoid lighting candles or starting a fire if you are likely to fall asleep while they are still burning. If there is a source of oxygen in the home candles, fireplace fires, and cigarettes should be avoided.
Don’t leave the room while cooking food on a stove top, or leave anything flammable on or near the burners. Turn your stove top off if you need to leave the room while cooking, and avoid leaving the house while anything is in the oven or similar cooking devices.
Keep a fire extinguisher in or near the kitchen in case of a fire. If a small fire does start while cooking, turn off the source of heat and leave the oven door closed or put a lid over the pan to cut off oxygen to the fire. Wait until the food has cooled to open the door or remove the lid.
Any new electrical work should be done by a professional. If you are experiencing electrical issues you should have it checked out by an electrician immediately before the issue results in a fire.
Avoid overloading outlets and limit yourself to using only one heated appliance at a time in an outlet. Do not exceed the recommended wattage when applying light bulbs. Extension cords should only be used temporarily, and shouldn’t be used for regular appliances. Additionally, all electrical cords should be checked to make sure they are in good condition and aren’t exposed to potential damage. For example, do not lay electrical cords along places where people walk or where doors can shut on them.
While many of these guidelines may seem like common sense, taking care to follow them can prevent fires and prepare you and your family if one does occur. Don’t wait to apply these tips in your home.