Keeping Your Home Safe From a Fire
Home fires can cause extensive property damage and even endanger lives. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), home fires cause over 2,600 deaths and $7.3 billion in property damage every year. Fortunately, many home fires are avoidable. Follow these tips for fire safety in the home.
Install Smoke Detectors
Smoke detectors significantly reduce your risk of injury or death in a fire. Protect your property and family by making sure you’ve installed smoke detectors on every level of your home. Check to verify they’re functioning correctly every month and replace the devices themselves every ten years. For maximum protection, install carbon monoxide detectors, too, especially if you have a fireplace or wood stove that you use often.
Keep Your Kitchen Safe
Most house fires start in the kitchen. Follow these fire safety tips to prevent kitchen fires.
- Never leave cooking food unattended.
- Turn your stove off if you have to leave the kitchen.
- Don’t wear loose, flammable clothing while you’re cooking.
- Set a timer to help manage cook times.
- Never leave children unattended around a hot stove or oven.
- Clean grease to prevent it from accumulating and starting a fire.
Electrical Safety is Important to Prevent a House Fire
Electrical appliances are a leading cause of property damage due to house fires. Protect your property by following these safety tips.
- Don’t overload outlets.
- Replace appliances with frayed or damaged cords.
- Turn off and unplug unused appliances.
- Read product manuals for fire safety tips.
- Never operate electric appliances with wet hands.
- Don’t attempt DIY electrical repairs for complex issues.
- Contact an electrician if you notice problems, such as constantly flickering lights or strange odors from outlets.
Clean the Chimney
Chimneys accumulate creosote over time. Creosote is a flammable substance that can cause a house fire when it builds up in your chimney. Schedule an annual inspection and cleaning by a professional chimney sweep to remove creosote before building your first fire of the season.
Purchase Fire Extinguishers
Know how to put out a fire using a fire extinguisher. Purchase a multipurpose extinguisher that puts out all types of fires. Learn how to use it and teach your family members. You won’t have time to figure out how to operate the device if a fire breaks out.
Fire Safety in the Home: Make a Home Escape Plan
You can put out small fires using an extinguisher. However, large and uncontrollable flames mean you will need to evacuate. An escape plan guides you on how to exit the home safely if a fire occurs in your home.
When creating the plan, identify at least two exits in every room. Check the windows in your home to make sure they will open easily. Additionally, if your home has multiple levels or you live on a top floor, purchase fire ladders to help you safely escape through your window. Family members should know the escape plan. Establish a meeting point outside where everyone can gather after safely exiting the home.
A house fire doesn’t have to end in tragedy. Use these fire safety tips to protect your property and keep your family out of harm’s way.