A home fire is reported every 88 seconds according to the NFPA; a scary thought when you take into consideration that your home could become a part of this statistic. With National Fire Prevention week occurring this month now is the perfect time to review tips to help prevent fires from occurring in your home.
Cooking and heating are the two leading causes of house fires with smoking, electrical problems, and candles not far behind. Some simple ways to prevent these fires include tips such as remain in the kitchen while cooking, switch over to flameless candles, no longer smoking inside the home, and check all cords in the household, replacing any that appear frayed or have bare wires.
In regards to heating fires, with the cold weather upon us it is also important to make sure any flammable items such as clothing, curtains, and bedding are at least three feet away from the heat source before starting the heat. If you use a space heater always place the device on a level, nonflammable surface such as tile; never a rug or carpet as these can quickly catch fire. If you are shopping around for a new one, look into buying a model that has an automatic shut off if the heater was to ever fall over. Another major fire source is from the use of a fireplace. If you plan on using yours this winter investing in a fireplace screen is a simple way to keep pets and children away from the fire. If your fireplace requires you to clean out any embers, use a flame resistant container and place the container in a safe place outside.
Even with these tips it is important to remember that fires can occur even with safety measures being taken. Working smoke alarms on each floor of your home is a must especially near the bedrooms and close to the kitchen. They will help notify you of a fire quickly and give you precious time to assess the situation. It is important to note that once a smoke alarm sounds, a fire can spread quickly, not leaving you much time to escape. Your family should practice an escape plan at least twice a year and dictate a safe spot away from the home to gather in these situations. This will help to let firefighters know if anyone is stuck inside the home once they get on the scene and prevent any unnecessary entry into the dwelling. If you have children living in your home it is a good idea to have them practice the escape plan on their own. Many children will hide when a fire occurs and practicing the escape plan will teach them how to escape on their own and prevent them from waiting for an adult to come help.
If your budget allows, install a monitored home security system. These systems will allow help to arrive quicker, especially if no one is home at the time of the fire.
Practicing safety procedures and taking precautions will help lower your risk of a fire occurring in your home. If you would like to learn more fire safety tips please check out the American Red Cross webite.