For a number of reasons, home fires may occur, however many are preventable. The leading cause of home fires is unattended cooking, accounting for more than half of home fires in 2015, led by heating equipment, electrical failure, deliberate fires and smoking materials. Home fires are not 100% preventable from occurring. However, to decrease the chance of home fires, you can take the required measures today. This is how:
– On every floor of your home and inside every cabin, mount and maintain smoke detectors. During the night, nearly 50 percent of home fire deaths occur when people are asleep.
– Never leave it unattended to cook food, particularly deep fryers and other frying equipment.
– Stop using portable and fixed space heaters, since the second leading cause of deaths from home fires is heating equipment.
– Get a fire plan that will get you out of your home and practice it in less than two minutes.
– In the house, stop smoking.
One of the leading causes of home fires is electrical malfunctions. To make any improvements to your house, make sure that you employ a trained electrician. In addition, be sure to periodically inspect electrical cords to ensure that cords do not run across doorways or under carpets where they may be harmed. Note to restrict the number of plugs in an electrical socket or power strip that you have. Not only would overloading an electrical outlet cause a breaker, but it may spark a fire as well. In addition, only use light bulbs for each lamp that match the recommended wattage. A sticker that shows the highest wattage light bulb you may use should be in your lamps and light fixtures.
By pressing the “test” button, every smoke alarm should be checked monthly and batteries should be changed when needed. It is best to have at least one spare battery at all times. If your smoke alarm ever ‘chirps,’ it is time to automatically change the battery. Owing to a missing or disconnected battery or a dead battery, most smoke alarm failures occur.
Three out of every five deaths from home fires resulted from fires where no or no smoke detectors were available. It will really save your life to have the proper fire safety equipment in your home. You can choose from several brands and models of smoke detectors. You can buy a smoke alarm with a full home protection system and have it monitored via the control center of a provider. Look for one that follows the Underwriters Laboratories Standard with the UL logo on the packaging when selecting the right smoke alarm.
On every floor, including the basement, and inside every sleeping room, the NFPA recommends installing a smoke alarm. Smoke detectors should not be mounted higher than a foot from the ceiling or on the ceiling, high on a wall. Remember, there’s smoke rising.
Kitchen: To eliminate false alarms while cooking, installing smoke alarms in the kitchen at least 10 feet from every cooking device is important.
Basement: Smoke detectors in the basement should be mounted up to the first floor on the ceiling at the bottom step of the stairs.
For putting out small fires, fire extinguishers are helpful. For fire extinguisher instruction, you can contact your local fire department. Or, follow these simple U.S. recommendations. Administration Flames. Remember the term “PASS:” to operate a fire extinguisher:
– Get the pin pulled. With the nozzle pointed away from you, hold the fire extinguisher and remove the pin to unlock it.
– Aiming tiny. Point the nozzle at the fire’s foundation.
– Squeeze steadily and uniformly on the trigger.
– Sweep from side-to-side with the nozzle.
Fire extinguishers should be reviewed annually and tested every few years by a specialist.
It is also helpful to realize that there are five different types of fire extinguishers for various types of fires to be put out.
Extinguishers of Class A: for use on materials such as fabric, wood, and paper.
Class B extinguishers: for use in flammable and combustible liquids such as petroleum, gasoline and grease.
Extinguishers in Class C: suitable for electrical equipment and appliances such as stoves, TVs, and computers.
Extinguishers in Class D: for use with flammable metals.
Class K extinguishers: best for cooking oils, including vegetable oil, typically used in commercial kitchens.
Many homes have a multipurpose extinguisher covering Groups A, B, and C. At any home improvement shop, you can buy these styles of fire extinguishers.
Home fires, and every second counts, will spread rapidly. It’s important for the safety of your family to have a plan in place where you and your family can get out of the house in under two minutes until the alarm sounds.
In the event of an emergency, everybody in your family should know how to call 9-1-1. Furthermore, teach your kids how a smoke alarm sounds and what to do if they hear one. Especially if you have small children, you should also create and practice a fire escape plan. Here are some suggestions for designing a fire escape plan:
Draw your whole house floor plan that shows all the doors and windows.
The strategy is seen and shared with everyone in the house.
If necessary, identify at least two ways out of any room. This may be by windows or doors.
Once outside, a safe distance from the building, everyone should meet at an agreed meeting spot. It could be the mailbox or the fence for the neighbor. Just make sure that it is easy to get there for young children.
You can also download a National Fire Protection Association kid-friendly fire escape preparation worksheet and complete it with your family.
In the event of a fire, help your family stay safe. Do not let children play with matches, candles or lighters. Keep these products up and away from young people. Furthermore, teach these simple fire safety tips to your children to help ensure they know what to do during a fire emergency.
Teach kids that you should NOT open the door if the doorknob is sticky.
Teach kids to “Stop, Drop, and Roll.”
Teach your children, if they see smoke, to crawl on their hands and knees.
In order to meet a firefighter, take your child to the fire station. This way, in their fire gear, they learn what a firefighter looks like.
Teach your child never to hide in the closet or under the bed.
There is no 100% assurance that a fire is never going to happen in your house. That’s why it pays to be ready and take precautions to reduce the possibility of a fire at home. Pursue the three “P’s”-prevent, schedule, and exercise. Make sure that your home has smoke detectors functioning, your family has a fire escape plan, and you’ve done it.