House fires are often preventable. Protect your property and your loved ones with the following tips for fire safety in the home.
1. Install Smoke Alarms for Fire Safety
Smoke alarms are crucial because they provide an early warning in case a fire breaks out. They significantly increase your chances of surviving in this type of emergency situation. Place smoke detectors on each level of your home and install them in every bedroom, and your kitchen and laundry room. Test the devices monthly to make sure they are working properly. Keep them dust-free and never paint over a smoke detector.
2. Don’t Leave the Cooking Unattended
Always be present when you’re cooking and don’t leave hot pots and pans unattended in the kitchen. If you have younger children, it is best to keep them out of the area when you are preparing food. Place oven mitts, dishcloths, and paper towels well away from the stove because they can easily catch on fire.
When deep-frying, monitor the temperature of the oil. Keep long hair tied back and wear short-sleeved or well-fitted clothing when cooking to prevent clothes from catching on fire.
3. Replace Damaged Electrical Cords for Fire Safety
An extension cord that has a broken or worn-out covering should be discarded immediately. However, many people tend to overlook this safety issue and “repair” the cable by wrapping it with electrical tape. The tape may hold the cord together for the time but this could potentially cause a fire in the future.
To be safe, replace damaged cords with new ones. Do not place electrical cords underneath rugs or across pathways where people walk. Foot traffic will cause cords to become worn and frayed.
4. Buy a Fire Extinguisher and a Fire Blanket
It is always a good idea to have a fire extinguisher and fire blanket available for home safety. You can purchase these from hardware stores or online. Store them in areas where a fire is likely to occur, like the kitchen and laundry room. Carefully read the instructions for using the fire extinguisher and blanket before you need them.
Wrap the fire blanket around someone if their clothes catch fire or use it to smother small fires in the home. Only use the fire extinguisher for small household fires. Do not put your life at risk trying to extinguish a large fire. Leave the home immediately and call the fire department.
5. Make a Fire Escape Plan
In the event of a fire, an escape plan will help you and your family members get out of the house quickly. Create an exit route and practice it regularly to make sure everyone knows what to do if there’s a fire at home. Include these tips when outlining your plan.
- Crawl to exit the house so you stay below the heat and smoke.
- Use a window escape ladder if you cannot exit via the door.
- Choose a safe meeting point, well away from the home, where you can gather if a fire occurs.
These home safety tips will help you be more prepared for an emergency should a fire break out in your home.