Fire Safety in the Home

| February 1, 2018 | 0 Comments

Fire SafetyFire safety is a bigger concern than most people realize. In fact, every day an average of 7 people die in a home fire in the US. According to the National Fire Prevention Association, there are over 300,000 major home fires every year, which cause thousands of deaths, tens of thousands of major injuries, and billions of dollars in damage.

What can be so terrifying about fire is that moves quickly. It only takes two minutes for a spark to turn into a life-threatening event, and around five minutes for a building to become completely engulfed in flames.

So, in order to keep your home and family safe, take a few minutes right now to enact some fire safety measures.

Know Your Fire Extinguisher Better

Fire extinguishers are a safety must in homes. Rental units are required to have them, usually, but few average homeowners bother.

Just in case you’re one of those extinguisher sceptics, here’s an argument for getting one. However, the truth is that few of us actually know anything about our fire extinguisher. If needed, would you know what to do?

Did you know that fire extinguishers actually expire? Would you be able to even remove it from its fixture in case of an emergency?

It’s time to learn a little more about your fire extinguisher. Review the instructions for use BEFORE you actually need it. Practice removing it and holding it.

Check the expiration date and make sure that it will be ready to use just in case of a fire. Remember that fire extinguishers are most important when it comes to a grease fire, which happens commonly in the kitchen.

Adding water to the flames will just feed the fire more, spreading the grease around. Instead, you should smother the fire, douse it in baking soda, or use a fire extinguisher.

Make a Family Fire Plan

Fire SafetyAs mentioned above, it only takes 5 minutes for a fire to engulf a building. Do you have a plan for what to do?

Does your family know the procedure in case of an emergency? In order to keep your family safe, you should have a few things included in a fire plan:

  • Everyone should be able to identify two different exits from every room.
  • Have a meet-up point outside of the house.
  • Practice the stop, drop, and roll technique just in case anyone gets fire on their clothing.
  • Designate a contact point outside of the home in case you can’t find each other and need to check in.

Clean & Service Appliances Regularly

The leading cause for home fires is carelessness, i.e. leaving a stove on, etc. However, a close second cause of fires is malfunctioning appliances.

This is especially important for large things like your stove range, oven, and furnace. In order to prevent fire danger, carefully clean around these items.

Have them regularly checked and serviced by a professional who can identify dangers before they become a problem in your home.

You should also factor some good space practices into your decor and storage layout. Anything that produces heat (including a clothes dryer) should have a safety cushion between it and anything that could potentially catch on fire.

In fact, the surrounding area should be clear for half a foot or more. This also includes a space heater, which should always be free-standing and free of surrounding clutter.

Check Fire Alarms Every Month

Fire SafetyFire alarms are your best defense against fire-related injury and death. The majority of fire-related deaths happen between the hours of 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. when everyone is asleep.

A fire alarm will alert you and your family so that you all have time to get out. You should have an alarm in every level of your home, and right outside of the bedroom areas.

In order to ensure that fire alarms are functioning effectively, check them once a month.

Fire-Safe Habits

Make sure that you and everyone in your family practice fire-safe habits. Be scrupulous in attending to heat-generating appliances when they’re in use.

You should never leave a candle, hair curler, or hot stove unattended, even temporarily. Wear close-fitting clothing while cooking so that loose sleeves, etc. can’t catch flame.

Know what to do if you see a spark catch. Be proactive if you see a danger like a sparking outlet plug and get it fixed instead of ignoring it.

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Category: Home Improvements

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