Fire alarms should be mounted correctly. When it comes to installing or removing smoke detectors and fire alarms, it can seem to be a simple process. The number of detectors, where they are mounted, and how much they are checked will all affect your level of safety and security.
Ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms are the two types of smoke alarms. It’s a good idea to have both types in the building because ionization detectors will sound faster around burning fires and photoelectric alarms will respond faster to smoldering fires.
Smoke detectors should be mounted on each floor of your home or office; larger buildings should have multiple smoke alarms on each level. If at all possible, position the detector in the center of the room. Avoid positioning the detector near vents, doors, or fans, or in a recessed ceiling. You’ll also want to make sure it’s put in more than one location:
– Maintain a gap of two feet from any corner.
– Maintain a minimum of two feet from any light fixture.
Smoke detectors should be checked at least once a month, and the batteries should be replaced at least twice a year (it can be helpful to do this whenever you change the clocks for Daylight Saving Time). Every ten years, experts recommend that you upgrade your smoke detectors.
Cooking and heating equipment should be taken into account. Heating and cooking equipment, along with open fires, is a common source of ignition in the house, and it could be putting you at risk more than you know.
It should come as no surprise that reckless smoking is a leading cause of fire, but portable heaters, fireplaces, and wood stoves can also be extremely dangerous. If combustibles are too near to a heat source or an environment isn’t well ventilated, problems occur. You will reduce the chance of fire by doing the following:
– Employ a trained technician to install and maintain any heating equipment.
– Never use pressure treated wood in a wood stove or fireplace; only use dry wood.
– Keep chimney flues clean on a regular basis.
– Keep wood and other flammables away from a wood stove or a portable heater.
– Ensure that the heating device’s electrical components are undamaged and in good working order.
Cooking equipment can be troublesome, particularly if grease, dirt, and wear and tear accumulate. Make it a point to disinfect the hood filters, vents, and grease traps on a regular basis, and make sure everybody knows what to do in the event of a grease fire in the kitchen: use baking soda, salt, or a class B rated fire extinguisher to put out the flames – never use water.
Heating and cooking equipment, along with open fires, is a common source of ignition in the house, and it could be putting you at risk more than you know.
Develop a plan for your escape. Even if you know the building well, don’t presume you’ll be able to get to safety quickly in the event of a fire. If a fire breaks out, dense smoke, extreme heat, and general confusion will overpower your senses, trapping you and leaving you confused.
The National Fire Protection Association suggests planning two ways out of each room and writing out your escape routes on paper. It’s vital to practice getting out via those escape routes together, but it’s also critical that each person practice the route on their own: children will need to navigate the house on their own in certain situations, so they should have practice finding their way around. Your escape route should also be known to your babysitters.
Since the smoke from a fire will dramatically reduce visibility, you may want to try finding your way to the door or window at night, with the lights switched off, to replicate those conditions. You can commit the feeling to memory if you’re forced to feel your way down your escape path, which can help you remain calm and optimistic if you find yourself in a cloud of dark smoke.
Understand how to pick and apply a fire extinguisher. You’ve probably seen fire extinguishers before, but do you know what kinds there are, how to pick the right one for the job, and how to use one properly?
Any home should have a working ABC-rated fire extinguisher held in a convenient location. Since you do not have time to read the directions until tackling the fire, it’s important that you know how to use the extinguisher correctly until an incident arises. Know the acronym PASS:
– Pull the pin
– Point the nozzle at the fire’s source
– Squeeze the trigger
– Sweep the extinguisher side to side
Extinguishers can only be used when a fire is small and contained; a large fire necessitates the assistance of a professional. When in doubt, exit the building and contact the fire department from a safer spot.
Learn about the risks of flames. The ability to avoid fires needs awareness. If a fire happens, the more details you have, the more trained you will be to handle the situation calmly and safely. To help you minimize the danger and respond accordingly, keep the following points in mind:
Seconds are critical. In as little as 30 seconds, a small flame may become a big fire. Flames will easily spread around a house, filling it with dense, black smoke in a matter of minutes.
The threat of fire is greater than the threat of flame. While you would think the real risk is when flames are right next to you, the temperature of the surrounding air can cause immediate and serious damage: room temperatures can exceed 600 degrees Fahrenheit at eye level. That’s why, in a fire, keeping close to the ground is important.
Although the flames are white, the smoke is dim. A fire will brighten a room when it first starts, but the black smoke can soon cover your vision, and you will be in complete darkness in minutes. This is why practicing your fire escape route in the dark is so vital to your fire safety strategy.
Toxic air can be lethal. Although flames are terrifying, the smoke and toxic gases emitted into the air during a fire can cause drowsiness, disorientation, and shortness of breath. In reality, asphyxiation kills more people than fires do.