Fires are destructive, causing millions of dollars in loss of property and injury every year. While these disasters can strike anyone at any time, there are ways to prevent such a disaster from happening to you and your family. Below is a list of fire safety tips and strategies for protecting your family and your belongings.
Household Fire Safety Tips
Being safer with fire is a matter of developing better habits. Here are a few ways that you can incorporate fire safety into your lifestyle.
- Keep flammable items away from heating devices such as stoves, fireplaces, and grills.
- Teach children about the hazards of an open flame. Keep lighters, matchboxes, and flammable chemicals locked out of their reach.
- Purchase a fire extinguisher and store it in an accessible location. Be sure everyone in the house knows how and when to use it.
- Inspect all electrical devices and check cords for loose connections or damage.
- Don’t leave a hot stove unattended. Double-check that your cooking appliances are off when you’ve finished preparing food.
- When cooking outdoors, clean your grill afterward to remove grease.
In Case of Fire
Fires can happen at any time. Preparing and planning beforehand will help you and your family react quickly and rationally in an emergency situation. Here are some tips to help you be prepared in case a fire breaks out in your home.
- Test your smoke alarms, make sure they’re up-to-date and in working order. Replace the batteries twice each year.
- Discuss fire safety with your family members and work together to devise an escape plan.
- Note your exits, making sure they’re all accessible. If you have a second floor, keep an escape ladder near a window in each bedroom so those occupants can safely exit the house.
- Teach your family about fire safety. Crawl to stay below the smoke when exiting the building. Make sure your children know to stop, drop, and roll in case their clothing catches fire.
- Keep a phone close to where you sleep so you can quickly call emergency services.
Fire Safety at Home
Read guidelines on the proper use of a fire extinguisher and learn about the different types of fires. A water-based extinguisher can be more of a hazard than a safety tool if the fire is chemical or electrical.
If a fire does happen, use the extinguisher only if it’s safe to do so. A small, contained fire can sometimes be extinguished safely. A large fire that is spreading is dangerous and you should not attempt to extinguish this type of fire. Instead, exit the home immediately and call emergency services.
To keep track of your family, designate a safe place away from the house for everyone to meet after escaping a fire. If someone is missing, do not go back inside. Notify the fire department so they can plan for the rescue.
Learn about fire safety and practice these tips to keep your family and home safe and secure.