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How to Properly Secure Your Home from Fire

Protocols for protecting your home from fire

Did you know that every year, more than 3,500 people die fire related deaths in the United States? It’s said that the three most common causes of home fires are: smoking, heating equipment and arson, in that order. What’s interesting is that most house fires start in the kitchen, due to overheated grease and unattended cooking.

Home fire in the kitchen
Most house fires start in the kitchen from unattended cooking
and ovearheated grease.

When it comes to fire, it’s important to keep in mind that heat and smoke are just as dangerous as flames, as breathing in hot air can burn the lungs and poisonous gases can affect your judgement. Of course, unlike some disasters, fires can easily be prevented if certain protocols are followed through correctly.

Don't leave frying pan unattended
Cooking and overheating are common causes of home fires, which often start
in the kitchen and spread elsewhere if unchecked.

Prevention

Potential fire sources
Your home contains many potential fire points, including power points, kitchen appliances or candles in bedroom.
In learning how to properly secure your household from possible disasters, it’s equally important to know how to prevent these accidents from occurring in the first place. When in the kitchen area, make sure never to leave your cooking unsupervised, but also make sure not to keep too many appliances plugged in at the same time.

It’s also wise not to keep any combustible substances near heaters, fireplaces or any other sources of heat. Keep in mind that smoking in bed is considered a huge hazard, especially smoking whilst drinking alcohol. If you have children, it’s smart to keep any lighters, matches and similar tools out of their reach and to educate them about fire safety.

Emergency Escape Plan

Designing an emergency escape plan is one of the key elements of proper fire safety. It can enable you and your family to safely exit the premises and avoid any possible injuries or fatalities. It’s important to always have two alternative ways to escape every room of the house and also to equip your home with escape ladders. It’s probably a good idea to practice this emergency escape at least twice a year with your whole family, so everybody would know how to act in case of fire.

Putting the fire out
Firefighter in training, putting the kitchen fire out.

All members of the family should know the basics of stop, drop and roll, to stay low during a fire and to proceed to the nearest fire exit. After that, everybody should continue to an already established meeting place. It’s also crucial to educate your family about the importance of not re-entering the premises once out and stopping to gather certain valuables.

Fire in the house
Even a small source can cause a horrific fire that can quickly spread
and it's very hard to extinguish.

Smoke Alarms

Depending on the area, certain countries required you to install smoke alarms in all households and business premises. The importance of smoke alarms is enormous as they have the ability to detect fire in its early stages and notify the residents about the possible disaster.

Installing smoke alarm
Install smoke detector at your home or business premises, as an excellent
early warning system that costs very little.

Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years or so, while it might be a good idea to change the batteries approximately every 6 months. It’s wise to install smoke alarms in every room of the house and to occasionally check whether they work correctly. Teach all your family members how to recognize the sound of a smoke alarm and how to act in case they hear one.

Checking smoke detector
Your smoke alarm should be checked from time to time and your family members
should be all familiar with how it works.

Fire Extinguishers

If it so happens that your home experiences a fire accident, it’s crucial to know how to make use of fire safety services. Any small fire can be handled quite easily by a fire extinguisher, if used correctly. In order to use this tool it’s important to learn the PASS rule:

  • Pull the pin; 
  • Aim low; 
  • Squeeze the lever; 
  • Sweep the nozzle. 
Follow fire extinguisher instructions
Apart from having a fire extinguisher at home, it's important to familiarize yourself
with how to properly use it, should a fire emergency arise.

There are 4 types of fire extinguishers and they’re classified according to the class of fire; most households should have an ABC rating on their extinguishers.

While having a well-developed emergency plan and a house equipped with proper tools is crucial, it’s quite important to learn how to prevent these fires from occurring. Of course, sometimes disasters are inevitable, and it would be good idea to learn how to handle small fires on your own, how to act in case of fire and how to recover afterwards.

All above images courtesy of Creative Commons

Diana Smith

Author bio:

Diana Smith is a full time mom of two beautiful girls and a passionate traveler. In her free time she enjoys writing about home and family, pets and gardening.

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