Fire Safety Tips to Protect Your Home
by James Kilvert on May 20, 2019
Fire Safety Tips to Protect Your Home
From the time a fire breaks out, you have less than two minutes to get out safely. Be prepared and save yourself and your family from injury or death.
It’s unthinkable, the prospect of your home going up in flames and losing everything. It’s a situation that no one wants to be in. You need to be prepared, aware of how to avoid having a fire break out in the first place. There are quite a few ways in which you can secure your home, belongings, family and pets against a fire.
How to prepare to avoid a fire
The most basic step is to make sure you are practicing fire safety. This can include:
- ·never leaving the stove untended when it is on
- Lighting candles and leaving them unattended or burning overnight
- Putting drapes in the kitchen or near ignition sources
- Check power plugs are not overloaded or using excessive extension cables
- NO smoking in bed
- Making sure you have an adequate number of smoke detectors installed in all the important spaces around the house
- Regular tests every six months for smoke alarms to ensure the batteries are in working order
- A working fire extinguisher that you and other adults in the home know how to operate it should a fire break out. Test the fire extinguisher every few months, so it is in working order.
Develop an escape plan
You need to have a fire escape plan that you plan and discuss with your family or housemates. Take a walk through the entire house, one room at a time, and identify the escape routes and best exit points. Ideally, there should be two viable points of escape from every room, so that should one get blocked due to the fire, you know to head to another one.
Pick a safe meeting point where everyone in the home will gather if there is a need to escape a home fire. Children may not know what the sound of a fire alarm going off means, and it is important to educate them so they can respond appropriately in the event of a fire actually breaking out.
Have fire drills – press the smoke detector alarm button and once it is set off, you can see how long it takes, and with what speed and efficiency the household follows your escape plan and makes it to the meeting point. This is not something that only workplaces should be practicing, but a good idea for individual homes too. Teach everyone, of all ages, the emergency services numbers (post it in different spots like on the refrigerator if needed) and how to dial the number to get help.
What to do in case of a fire
First, grab that fire extinguisher and get started subsiding the blaze if it is small enough to contain. Otherwise, remember that two minutes is the timeframe within which you need to get out. Get an adult to get the children, pets and any elderly outside before you start trying to put out the fire.
Then, once everyone is safely out, get ring the fire department or local emergency services so professional help can be on the way to you as soon as possible. Just get yourself and your family out of the house – and stay out! If you live in an apartment complex, do not head to the elevator but take the stairs. Alert neighbours by shouting FIRE as you exit, banging on their doors. You never know who is taking a nap and needs to be woken up so they can get to safety.
Get out, stay out
Often, people think they have time to go back in and get that one or two or five precious things. Don’t. Your life and safety are more important, and once you exit the blaze, stay away. Gather at the pre designated safe spot that you and the rest of the family had identified.
Once there, remember to do a check to ensure that every family member (human and animal) is present.
If you are inside, the fire is spreading and there’s smoke, try to cover your nose and mouth – and if possible, use a wet cloth to do so. And go low, under the smoke and in the opposite direction of the fire itself. Close doors behind you to impede the fire’s progress, to try and suffocate it. If you find door handles hot or warm to the touch or heat and smoke emanating from behind a door, that means the fire has taken hold there and you need to find an alternate escape route.
Keep you and your family safe from fire
You need to keep yourself and your family safe at home. To protect against fire, you need to:
- ·Take precautions against fire
- ·Plan and practice an escape plan
- ·If you find a fire, get out and stay out
While there are no guarantees in life, you can make choices that make your family safer. Make changes today to ensure optimal fire prevention and make sure that your home and valuables are protected with adequate insurance cover.
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