Waking up to your home set on fire is the worst nightmare of every homeowner. According to the statistics published by the National Fire Protection Association, there were 1,345,500 fires reported in the US in 2015, claiming 3,280 civilian lives and $14.3 billion in damaged property.
You know what the worst part is?
Most of these fires could actually have been prevented.
Just like any business owner knows that they need to protect their business and partner with a company like Red Truck Fire & Safety Co. to keep their corporate offices safe, so does every homeowner need to implement similar fire prevention methods to keep their family safe.
All it takes is a little fire prevention and preparation. From something as simple as drafting a fire escape route to installing and inspecting smoke detector, this is how you can make sure your family is safe in case of a fire.
How to Prevent a Fire in Your Home
The U.S. Fire Administration reports that the leading cause of residential fires is cooking, responsible for 50.8% of all home fires. It is followed by heating accidents, responsible for 10.8% of all residential fires. Some other common causes of residential fires include electrical malfunctions and unintentional fires.
To say that all home fires can be prevented would be incorrect. However, there are a lot of steps you can take to minimize the chance of ever having to worry about a fire in your home. Some of the ways you can prevent home fires are:
- Install smoke alarms and frequently make sure they are operational. Have them installed on every floor and even your bedroom, so you can be alerted if a fire breaks out while you are sleeping.
- Never leave the stove on and unattended while you are cooking. This is especially true for deep fryers or anything that uses heated oil.
- Never leave portable room heaters working overnight.
- Develop a fire escape route out of your home. Ideally, you should be able to evacuate your home in less than two minutes. Conduct fire drills to practice quick evacuation.
- Try not to smoke inside your home. If not, make sure to put out the cigarette buds.
Electrical Equipment and Fires
Electrical malfunctions are among the leading causes of residential fires. To prevent faulty electrical equipment from putting your family at risk, have a licensed electrician conduct a thorough checkup of all your electrical equipment.
- Check all your electrical cords from time to time. Never place cords under the carpets or across doorways, or they could get damaged.
- Limit the number of plugs you have in an outlet to prevent overloading the breaker or starting a fire.
- Finally, never use light bulbs that exceed the recommended wattage in lamps and fixtures.
How to Test Your Smoke Detectors
Owning a network of smoke detectors is often not enough. You have to regularly test if they are operational. To test the smoke alarm you first have to locate the test button on the device. After that, follow these steps:
- Tell your family members that you will be testing a fire alarm and that there’s no reason to panic. If you have a baby, the fire alarm might startle it, so you might want to keep it out of the home while you conduct the test.
- Have somebody stationed at the point in your home furthest from the alarm. This way, you can make sure that everyone can hear the alarm loud and clear. If not, consider adding a few extra alarms at the most remote points.
- Press and hold the test button on the device. There might be a slight delay before you hear the loud siren. If you cannot hear the sound try replacing the batteries.
- Check for any grime or dirt that might be blocking the grates of the smoke detector, as these could prevent it from functioning properly.
- If the smoke detector chimes or beeps, you have to replace the batteries. If you haven’t replaced the batteries in more than six months, replace them even if there is no sound.
Make sure you have at least one smoke detector on every floor of your house, including the basement and the attic. Additionally, install smoke detectors in every bedroom so you can be alerted to a fire while you sleep. Smoke detectors should be mounted on the wall, not the ceiling.
Mount a smoke alarm at least 10 ft. from the stove or other cooking appliances. In the basement, install a smoke detector on the ceiling near the bottom step of the stairs.
Miscellaneous Fire Safety Tips
The best way to keep your family safe is to keep them informed. Don’t let your children play with flammable items, never leave cooking and heating equipment unattended and always stay vigilant. Here are some useful tips to remember in case of a fire:
- If the doorknob is hot, do not open the door under any circumstance.
- Teach your children the “Stop, Drop and Roll” Routine.
- Teach your family members how to use a fire extinguisher through the P.A.S.S. method.
- Tell your children not to hide in the closet or under the bed in case of a fire, as wood is highly flammable and they risk suffocating.
To Sum Up
While there’s no sure way to guarantee that a fire won’t happen, but being prepared for fire will no doubt help save your lives. If you make sure your family members know all the safety drills and escape routes and regularly check your fire safety equipment, you will stay safe in case of a fire.
Reach out to Red Truck Fire & Safety Co. at: 5555 Santa Fe St M, San Diego, CA 92109, United States