Fires can strike anyone at any time. According to the National Fire Prevention Association, in 2009, it is estimated that U.S. fire departments responded to 1.3 million fires. These fires resulted in over 3,000 deaths, and over 17,000 injuries. These fires caused over 12 billion dollars worth of damage and loss. Statistics like these show the importance of good fire prevention tips and fire safety habits.
6 Home Fire Safety Tips That Could Help Save Your Life
Fire Prevention Tip #1
One of the simplest and most effective fire safety precautions you can do to help keep your family safe is to install smoke detectors and smoke alarms throughout your home. It is important to check smoke alarms regularly, and change their batteries at least once a year. Investigation into home fires often reveals that smoke alarms could have saved lives but didn’t because the alarms were either disconnected or the batteries were dead or removed.
Fire Prevention Tip #2
At a minimum, you should have one smoke alarm for each level in your home. A smoke alarm should be placed within 10 feet of sleeping areas, since most fire deaths occur at night while people are sleeping. In order to be most effective, the alarm should be mounted on the ceiling or towards the top of a wall about a foot below the ceiling. It should never be placed where a wall and ceiling meet or in the corner of a room. Alarms should also not be placed near heating ducts or cold air returns. The air flow around these areas could prevent alarms from detecting smoke. You can also interconnect the smoke alarms throughout the house so when one goes off, all of the smoke detectors will sound.
Fire Prevention Tip #3
In the event of a fire, your primary thoughts should be of the safety of you and your family. If there is any doubt about staying at home or leaving, leave immediately. It is important to have an evacuation plan in place and to practice it. This will ensure that you and your family know and understand how to get out of the house. Here’s a checklist of fire safety considerations:
- Have an escape plan for each room and make the bedrooms top priority. Rehearse the plan regularly as a rehearsed escape plan will help eliminate panic in an emergency situation. Children who have not rehearsed a fire drill at home may hide under a bed or in a closet, greatly reducing their chance for survival.
- Once the alarm sounds, time is of the essence. Don’t stop to gather valuables or toys — just get out. Hopefully, you’ve already secured your files, CDs, DVDs, external hard drives, jewelry & other valuables in a Waterproof & Fire Resistant File Safe.
- Know how to use 911 and teach your children as well. Post your house address near the phone.
- Designate a window as a secondary exit. Make sure it is completely unobstructed and is easily opened by children and elderly. For second and third story windows, keep a Fire Escape Ladder stored close by. Practice using them out of a first floor window so everyone is familiar with them.
- Feel closed doors for warmth before opening them and look for smoke seeping in around the door’s edges and from underneath. Open any closed door slowly and be prepared to shut it immediately if heat or smoke rush in.
- Have a designated outside meeting place, and make everyone aware of where it is. Make sure the meeting place is located well away from the house and make it a rule to not re-enter the house.
- As soon as two people have reached the meeting place, have one person leave to call 911. The second person should stay to make sure the other family members all make it out.
- If someone is missing don’t go back inside. Instead, notify the fire department as soon as they arrive.
Fire Prevention Tip #4
Fires caused by candles, cooking, falling asleep while smoking, and other such accidents can occur at any time. It is always a good idea to consider using smokeless electric or battery-operated candles, like Rechargeable Tea Light Candles. These candles are much safer than traditional candles. With flameless candles, you don’t have to worry about a child or pet knocking them over and starting a fire.
Fire Prevention Tip #5
A little fire safety maintenance can go a long way towards reducing your risk for a fire at home. Here are some fire prevention tips you can do to help lower your risk of a fire breaking out:
- Practice home fire drills regularly and make them realistic. Have different escape routes blocked and practice using alternate exits.
- Lint build-up in your dryer’s vent can cause a fire. Get rid of it before it becomes a problem using a Dryer Maintenance Kit that includes a vent brush, lint trap brush, and vacuum attachment.
- Make it a habit to unplug all countertop appliances when they aren’t being used.
- Install a carbon monoxide detector. They are especially useful in the newer energy-efficient homes with tight weather seals.
- Store cigarette lighters and matches where children can’t get them.
- Don’t use an outdoor grill or charcoal grill indoors or on a porch or balcony.
- Test your smoke alarm regularly to make sure it’s in working condition.
- Change battery-operated smoke detector batteries once each year.
Fire Prevention Tip #6
Help emergency vehicles find your home faster with a Solar LED Address Light that easily stakes into the ground and illuminates your house numbers.
If a fire does breakout, don’t panic. For example, something cooking on the stove catches fire and you’re not sure what to do. If you throw water on the pan, grease could splatter and the fire might spread. Instead, grab a Fire Blanket and use it to smother the flames quickly. Made of nonflammable fiberglass, the Fire Blanket cuts off the oxygen supply to the fire, putting it out. You can also grab a convenient Fire Extinguisher.
Smoke inhalation, not burns, is by far the largest killer in fires, so the more time you have to escape, the better. This heat-resistant, transparent copolymer Smoke Escape™ Hood features a patented 3-layer ionized smoke filter that gives you up to 15 precious “escape” minutes.
Following these fire prevention tips and fire safety ideas will not only lessen your risk for damage, injury, and loss, but may also save your life, and the lives of your family. The minimal amount of time it takes to read and practice these fire prevention tips could end up being one of the best investments you ever make!