Fire is undoubtedly the most dreadful calamity that can strike a home. But unfortunately, we hear news about the occurrence of such incidents every other day. A report issued by the National Fire Protection Association in November 2020 highlights – more than 27% of reported fire incidents occur at residential houses. The results of these fires are quite terrible, as the report further indicates over 77% civilian deaths and more than 73% reported injuries were caused by home fires.
Most Americans are quite negligent towards essential home safety tips. Perhaps that is why we hear heart-wrenching news about the tragic fire incidents happening around us on a regular basis. House fires are a risk – not only for a person's total belongs but also their lives.
That being said, it's no rocket science to protect your home from such occurrences and keep your loved ones safe and protected.
Here we will share some precautionary measures you need to know about fire safety in homes.
1. Keep a check on your smoke detectors
Smoke detectors save lives – ONLY if they are kept in good working condition.
Smoke detectors detect smoke and alarm you in the event of a fire. If properly installed, these fire protection devices play a significant role in the prevention of fire incidents, thus reducing the risk of injuries and deaths. Keep your smoke detectors in good quality, test their efficacy every month, and change the batteries when needed. Also, remember, every electric appliance has a predefined lifetime, and smoke detectors are no exception. To keep smoke detectors in top shape, replace them every ten years. Make sure that you replace the existing one with a model that also offers some additional features.
2. Be cautious with appliances
One of the leading causes of domestic fires in America is electricity. Let's have a look at some appliance fire safety tips that everyone should know.
- Place your appliances at a safe distance from wet areas, especially in the kitchen, bathroom, garage, or basement.
- Keep an eye on the electrical appliances' wires at your home; if you see them damages or frayed – replace them immediately.
- Unplug small appliances like irons, hairdryers, shavers, and toasters immediately after use.
- Never overload a power outlet. Plug just one wattage into an outlet at a time.
- Never let the chords run under rugs or carpets, as it can cause serious damage.
- If you observe sudden sparks or sputters coming from an appliance, get them repaired as soon as possible.
Portable space heaters
The peak months for fire occurrences are December, January, and February, and it is quite obvious. During these months, people usually start using heating equipment or, more specifically the portable heaters. The major culprit here is the portable space heaters, causing more fires than central heating systems.
If you want to use heating equipment, then make sure that your room is well-ventilated and at a minimum distance of three feet from your furniture and other inflammable objects. Before initiating regular usage, make sure that its thermostat in a proper working condition. Try to go for the models that offer an automatic shut-off feature.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, cloth dryers account for 13,820 home fires every year. If, however, the safety tips mentioned below can potentially help you prevent a tragic house fire.
- Get your dryer installed by a professional technician who has expert knowledge about manufacturer recommendations.
- Perform regular servicing, which includes daily cleaning and annual maintenance inspection of device functionality.
- Always keep the area surrounding the dryer free of combustible items.
- Procrastinating on laundry is easy; however, overloading the dryer can be a potential safety hazard. Try to schedule your laundry more often.
Some other electrical appliances you need to be careful about include dishwashers, microwave ovens, electric or gas ranges, etc.
3. Play safe
Practice fire-safe habits and protect yourself, your loved ones, and your belongings.
Practice caution with candles
Candles are undoubtedly the most integral part of all our celebrations. Be it a birthday party, a romantic dinner, or just an occasional spa night. However, always be careful when using them. Please don't leave them unattended and put them away from flammable objects and fabrics.
Keep the doors closed
Fires spread more quickly in the absence of barriers. Keeping your bedroom doors closed at night can surely buy you some precious seconds at the hour of need.
Don't smoke inside
According to the National Fire Protection Association, the leading cause of fire deaths in America is smoking. Often, smoking-related fires originate from bedding or upholstered furniture. Never toss a cigarette directly into the trash, in fact, it would be much better if you smoke outside your home and extinguish the cigarette astray when finished.
Pay extra care when cooking with an electric or gas range.
- Connect the oven and hood properly.
- Install safety devices like stove knob stops, stove safety guards, and stove locking straps.
- Be careful while frying, boiling, broiling or grilling.
- Always turn on the exhaust while cooking.
Have an escape plan
Emergency never comes with prior notice. So always be prepared, create an escape plan, share it with your friends and family, and practice it at least once a month. An adequate escape plan looks like this;
- Two escape routes coming from each room – in the knowledge of every family member.
- A predefined meeting place where you will meet after escaping.
- Practice the plan if it doesn't work out in an emergency situation – practice sealing yourself in.
- If you own a pet, Purchase a carrier to take them along.
These were some strategies that we think can help you at the hour of need.