Important Safety Tips for Fire Prevention
The most important thing we own is our house. One can never be too careful when it comes to safety of our family and house. Several reports suggest that due to negligence and carelessness by home owners, hundreds of home fires occur. As per the records of National Fire Protection Association, in the year 2003, 80% of fires occurred in home which resulted in 3925 deaths in the United States. This report also revealed some facts, which are as follows:
- A person dies from a fire every 134 minutes in the U.S.
- At every 31 hours, a person is fatally wounded in a home fire in the Canada.
- The half of all home fires were reported to occur between the hours of 10 pm and 6 am, the reality is that only 1/4th of home fires occurred between that period in the U.S.
- The leading cause of fire was smoking as per the reports suggests and also in the months between December to February, the heating equipments and smoking caused similar fire deaths.
- Children under the age of 5 were accounted for 17% of home fires in the U.S.
- A fire department responds to a fire somewhere in the country at every 20 seconds.
Thus, fires kill several people in the U.S. than any other disasters. A fire can become deadly within 2 minutes and cause mayhem. It can engulf an entire house within 5 minutes. Mostly fires can be avoided with some prevention techniques and this article talks about some useful fire safety tips for your home.
Tips to Prevent Home Fires
The following are a few suggested ways to prevent home fires:
Smoke detectors – Smoke is the leading cause of home fires and is also responsible for every 3 out of 4 deaths. Thus, following measures with smoke detectors are useful to prevent home fires –
- On every floor of your house and outside every bedroom, install smoke detectors.
- Keep a check on it on a regular monthly basis.
- Smoke detectors should be kept dust free.
- At least once a year, replace the batteries.
- If the smoke detector is connected to an electrical supply,make sure it blinks periodically, which indicates that your alarm is active.
Fire extinguishers –
- These serve the best purpose when you are on the spot where the fire begins.
- Fire extinguishers should be installed in the garage, kitchen and workshops.
- ABC type extinguishers should be purchased, which are suitable for all kinds of fires.
- Also, learn how to use a fire extinguisher before an emergency.
- Use extinguisher on small fires only. Immediately call 911 in case of a big fire.
Exit plan –
- The best technique to prevent fire is “Be prepared”.
- Floor plan should be made in such a way which shows at least 2 ways out from each room.
- Always close the bedroom door while sleeping as it helps hold back smoke and heat. Do not try to open the door, when it feels hot. Just escape through another window or door.
- Window escape ladders can be installed.
- Agree with family members to gather on a fixed location outside the home.
- Call 911 from other location and together stay away from fire.
- Clear all unnecessary objects from the basement, attic, closets and garage to id in cutting down the need for an emergency exit.
- Always remember, you are bringing fire into your house, so respect it.
- Fireplace screens should be used to avoid sparks from flying.
- Do not place rug, kindling, newspaper and matches and also do not expose the wooden floor in front of the fireplace.
- At the start of every heating season, get your chimney inspected by a professional. A professional can also clean the build up of creosote if required.
- To prevent roof fires, install a chimney spark.
- Strike you match first, before turning on the gas while lighting a gas fireplace.
Space heaters/ Furnace –
- The most dangerous appliance in the house can be a space heater.
- Correctly install and maintain the space heater.
- Do not store rags, newspaper and other combustible material near the space heaters, furnace and hot water heater etc.
- turn off your space heaters when you are not in the room.
- Space heaters should be placed at least 3 feet away from anything that could burn (which includes wall also).
- Extension cords should not be used with electrical space heaters as the large amount of current can melt the wire and start fire.
Clothes dryer –
- Dangerous heat, under some circumstances can build up in a dryer.
- Do not leave your home while the clothes dryer is running.
- It should be vented to the outside, not in to an attic or a wall.
- Lint screen should be cleaned frequently to keep the airway clean.
- Synthetic fabrics, rubber, plastic or foam should never be put in a dryer as they can retain heat.
- The topmost cause of home fires is the careless cooking. Hence, it should never be done unattended.
- Fire extinguishers should be installed near the kitchen.
- Young children should not be allowed in the kitchen.
- Items should not be stored on top of the stove as they can catch fire easily.
- Kitchen appliances should be kept in good condition and always disconnect them when not in use.
- Kitchen electrical outlets should not be overloaded.
- While cooking, wear comfortable clothing.
- Make sure the position of your cooking stove is not under a window where curtains are hanging.
- Regularly clean the stove hood and duct and also clean the spilled grease when the surface is cooled down.
- Microwave should always be operated when it has food in it.
- Gasoline and other combustible liquids should be stored in an approved safety containers. They should be kept outside the home or in a garage.
- Floors and other surfaces should never be cleaned with gasoline and other flammable liquids.
- Never Smoke in bed.
- This bad habit should be avoided when you are abnormally tired or drinking.
- Deep ashtrays should be used to put burnt smoke and empty them on a frequent basis.
- Always wet the cigarette butts before throwing into a bin.
- 1/4th of all fires are caused by children as per the reports.
- Matches and lighters should be kept away from children.
- Children should be kept away from space heaters or fireplaces.
- Keep an eye on children as they are naturally curious about fires.
The above are a few effective measures to prevent home fires.