Fire Safety and Prevention
Everyone wants to have a safe place for their family to live free from fire hazards. In order to do so, it is necessary to take precautions to avoid fire safety hazards. Every year in the United States, there are an estimated 3,300 deaths due to residential house fires. In addition to deaths, home fires account for 18,000 injuries every year. There are a few simple things you can do to protect your family
Install Smoke Detectors/ Fire Alarms
One of the best ways to ensure that you and your family are protected from injury in a house fire is to install an updated fire alarm system in your home. Of the 3,300 deaths, most deaths were a result of non-functional smoke detectors in the home. Today’s smoke detectors can detect smoke even before occupants of the home can smell the smoke themselves. Smoke detectors not only decrease the risk of serious injury or fatality due to the fire itself, but also due to smoke inhalation. It is imperative to install fire alarms on every floor of your home, and in the immediate vicinity of all bedrooms. It is important to test these devices monthly, change your batteries yearly, and replace the units every 10 years to ensure they will function properly should a fire start in your home.
Develop an Escape Plan
Second to smoke detectors, escape plans are most important thing you can put in place to help prevent house fire fatalities. Escape plans should be known by every member of the home, and there should be at least two escape plans for each room. As a precaution, it is advised to purchase a fire ladder to provide an escape for upstairs bedrooms. If your fire alarm is sounding or you suspect a fire in your home, you should always check door handles for heat before opening the door, and crawl on the floor to stay below the majority of the smoke. Finally, it is recommended to practice your escape route with your family at least twice a year.
Tips to prevent fires in your home
- Don’t leave burning candles unattended
- Turn off the stove when it is not in use
- Never overload electrical circuits with multiple extension cords
- Use a fire screen on your fireplace
- Keep portable heaters at least three feet away from any combustible item, including curtains and furniture
- Store matches and lighters out of the reach of children
- Keep flammable items at least three feet away from the stove
- Keep grills at least ten feet away from other objects when in use
- Have your chimneys, wood stoves, and central furnaces inspected once a year
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