When it comes to a house fire, safety is the most important thing to protect. Property and materials are replaceable, but your life and the safety of your family comes first. In this article we wanted to give you the top 10 tips we have for house fire safety.
House Fire Safety Tips
As always, PREVENTION is the number one house fire safety lesson we can learn. Most of the tips below are centered around preventing a fire in your home – which is obviously the best way to ensure house fire safety.
- Smoke Alarms: As we all know, smoke comes before fire and if you have alarms to detect it and alert you early enough, you should be able to minimize damages and protect yourself from injuries and casualties. For house fire safety and prevention, test the alarms every 2 months to make sure they’re working properly.
- Fire Extinguishers: Be sure to keep a functioning fire extinguisher in the kitchen, in the garage, wherever your heater is and at least one on every floor. Check them (or have them professionally checked) every couple months to make sure they are in working order.
- Emergency House Fire Safety Exit Route: As part of your house fire safety preparation, you should always have a pre-determined, well known exit plan for each room of your house. Make sure if you have children to walk them through the exit route from their beds, teaching them to stay low if they see smoke and to use their voices loudly to communicate during a house fire.
- Cooking: Cooking is the leading cause of house fire in the United States. Be sure whenever you cook to never leave the stove or oven unattended for long periods of time, and to never leave dish cloths or pot holders near the burners of the stove. If you have children, make sure they know the dangers of the stove and not play with its knobs or dials.
- Children and Matches: Speaking of children, be sure to teach them the dangers of lighters and matches. Always keep matches and lighters out of children’s reach, up high where they cannot get to them.
- Electrical: Always be mindful of the number of electronics you are plugging into any one outlet. Avoid things like splitters and electrical cords that allow for twice or four times as many electronics to be plugged into an outlet. If you need to plug multiple electronic devices into an outlet, always use a power strip with an appropriate surge protector. Also, never run cords under rugs or carpets.
- Smoking: We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: “Don’t smoke inside your house!” It’s a simple rule to follow, and you will enjoy cleaner, fresher air in your house – not to mention have far less risk of a house fire. Set up a safe designated smoking area for guests with a safe place for people to extinguish cigarettes. This goes without saying, NEVER smoke in bed or laying down on a sofa (especially if you’ve been drinking alcohol).
- Candles and Incense: Never leave candles or incense burning if you leave a room, and certainly never leave them burning if you leave the house! Keep them on a secure surface out of the way of curtains and other flammable fabrics and papers.
- Fire Place: If you have a fire place in your home, a big part of house fire safety is to have it inspected at least once a year before using it (as the cool season approaches). Also, to prevent accidents, you should install some sort of glass shield in front of your fireplace to block coals from popping out.
- Portable Space Heaters: If you must use a portable space heater, be very cautious. There are special gates you can buy to put around them so that people and pets don’t accidentally knock them over and to reduce their exposure to fabrics like clothing and curtains.
If you have any questions on these house fire safety tips, feel free to give us a call or email us at any time!