It’s Fire Prevention Week… so it only makes sense that we talk about ways you can prevent Fires and intensive damage from happening.
- Smoke Alarms
This may sound incredibly simple, but smoke detectors are very underrated. Be sure to check smoke alarms regularly and switch the batteries at least once a year. Many investigations involving house fires often reveal that fire alarms could have saved the lives but didn’t because they were disconnected or the batteries were dead or not even in it.
Have an alarm on each level of your home, be sure that it is within 10 feet of your bedrooms. Many deaths because of fires happen during the night while people are sleeping. The alarm needs to be on the ceiling or a foot below the top of the wall. Don’t put them near heating or cooling ducts. You can interconnect your alarms so that when one goes off the rest will as well.
- Fire Safety Checklist
- Have an escape plan. Rehearse it. Make the bedrooms top priority.
- Do not stop to grab anything, just get out. Save your files online and put your valuables in a waterproof/fireproof safe beforehand.
- Be sure that you and your children know how to use 911. Make sure the children know the address.
- Be sure that you have a second exit such as a window. Make sure that it is easily opened by children and the elderly. For higher stories, keep a fire escape ladder nearby. Practice out of a first story window so everybody is comfortable using them.
- Feel your doors before you open them and look for smoke coming in around the edges. Open the door slowly and be prepared to shut it if you need to.
- Have a meeting place and be sure that everyone knows where it is. Make sure that it is far from the house and that the kids will not re-enter the house.
- As soon as there are two people at the meeting place, one person should leave to call 911. The other needs to stay and make sure everyone else gets out.
- If someone doesn’t make it to the meeting place, do NOT go back inside. Tell the fire department as soon as they arrive.
Fires are commonly caused by candles, cooking, or falling asleep while smoking. These accidents can happen at any moment. You should consider use battery operated candles, these candles are safer than normal candles and then you don’t have to worry about a child or pet knocking them over.
- Safety Maintenance.
Here are some things that you can do to help lower the risk of a fire.
- Clean your dryer vent.
- Unplug your appliances that aren’t being used.
- Install a Carbon Monoxide detector.
- Store lighters and matches where children can’t reach.
- Don’t use an outdoor or charcoal grill indoors or on a porch.
- 911 Signs
Make sure that your 911 signs are visible for the fire department to see.
If a fire does start, do not panic. If something on your stove catches fire and you aren’t sure what to do, do not throw water on it. If it is a grease fire, the grease may splatter and the fire may spread. Grab a Fire Blanket and smother the flames, quickly. You can grab a Fire Extinguisher also.
Smoke inhalation is the largest killer in fires, not burns. So you need to escape quickly.
Following the above tips will reduce your risk of damage, and it may save the lives of you and your family. The few minutes it takes to read and practice these tips could be the best few minutes you’ve ever “wasted”.