It’s never too late to practice fire safety at home. A small fire can turn fatal in a matter of minutes. When you’re prepared, the only possible outcome that you’d face in case of a fire is damage to your property. No matter the scenario, practicing fire safety and prevention reduces human casualties.
If a fire breaks out in your home, you should act quickly and stay calm to better protect yourself and your family. Preparation is key to improving fire safety at home. The more you do to prevent a fire is the best approach. As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure. Don’t wait until an emergency to act.
It’s essential to learn crucial fire facts to protect your home, family and yourself from injury and loss. Here are seven tips for practicing at home:
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Install fire alarms
Fire alarms and smoke detectors are much-needed items in any home or accommodation. However, mistakes can happen when these smoke alarms and detectors are not installed correctly. Hire a reputable and licensed company to install fire alarms in your home.
On your part as a homeowner, make sure that when the installation does take place, the fire alarms and smoke detectors are two feet from any corner and any light fixture. The alarm or detector should also be 10 feet above a stove.
Test alarms regularly
You should test these alarms at least once a month to ensure that they are in working condition. Batteries should be replaced according to the manufacturer’s recommendation. Generally, batteries should be replaced at least twice a year. According to fire experts, alarms should be replaced once every ten years.
Check your cooking and heating equipment
One of the primary ignition sources at home is cooking and heating equipment. It may be putting you at risk more than you realize. Careless smoke leads to fire, and things like portable heaters, fireplaces and wood stoves can cause fires, especially in areas that are not well ventilated.
Like smoke alarms, installing this equipment properly and maintaining them regularly is key to fire prevention. Clean chimney flues often and don’t store wood and combustibles near open flames or portable heaters.
Check your ventilation
Proper ventilation is essential. The primary purpose of fire ventilation is to reduce the impact of heat and fire gases on people trapped in a burning building. It is also vital to facilitate the evacuation of people out to the building. The ventilation in your home also aids in search and rescue as it improves the visibility of rescue workers who would need to get into the house to rescue people out.
Plan your escape route
Teaching about fire safety is as essential as installing proper fire safety equipment such as alarms and detectors. So what happens when these detectors go off? What do you do? Planning an escape route and ensuring every family member knows what to do and where to go is essential. Plan ways to get out of every room in the house and map out escape routes.
Make sure to place them in areas of the house with high traffic, such as the kitchen and living room. Practice these routes and safety tips with your family, including how to help them stay calm and confident if they find themselves in a cloud of dark smoke.
Keep fire extinguishers at home
Every house needs to have a functioning fire extinguisher, and it needs to be placed at an easily accessible spot. It’s also essential to learn how to use a fire extinguisher because you may not have time to read the instructions when there’s a fire. An easy acronym to memorize is P.A.S.S. which stands for:
- Pull the pin
- Aim the nozzle (at the base of the fire)
- Squeeze the trigger
- Sweep the extinguisher from side to side
Seconds matter in emergencies, and how you quickly put out a fire can drastically save and rescue not only the people around you but also reduce the damage to your property and surroundings.
Learn about fire dangers
You can also take fire safety courses to understand the basics of what to do and not do if you find yourself in an emergency fire situation. Educating yourself on fire is a vital step in fire safety and prevention. Understanding the dangers and triggers is essential because it’ll help you know what to do. When you sign up for fire prevention and safety courses, you also learn to handle a situation calmly and safely.
These courses also cover elements such as understanding heat, flames, smoke, and toxic air. If you have any doubts about tackling a fire, err on the side of caution and leave the building to get to a safer location. Once there, call the fire department immediately.
Also read: Home Warranty: What Are The Pros And Cons?