No one wants to think about what would happen if you had a fire in your home. If you want to keep your family and home safe though, you need to have a plan in place. Here are some of the best tips from fire safety experts, that will help you prevent fires and stay safe if one occurs.
1. Check Your Smoke Alarms
It’s hard to express just how important it is that you test your smoke alarms. They’re your first line of fire safety and defense, should one ever break out in your home. If you hear the alarm go off, you know there’s a fire and so can take action instantly.
If you’re not checking your smoke alarms, then you won’t know if they’re not working. If a fire happens and your smoke alarm isn’t working, then you just won’t know until it’s too late. It’s recommended that you check your smoke alarms at least once a month. If your alarms use batteries, this is the time to check whether they’re running low and replace them if so.
If you’re looking to install new smoke alarms, consider buying a connected system. That way, if one smoke alarm goes off, they’ll all go off together. You’ll be alerted of fire no matter where you are in the house.
2. Be Careful With Candles
Everyone loves candles. They lend a soft ambiance to any room, and you can buy candles that smell of almost anything you’d like. They’re great, but of course when used improperly, they’re a fire safety hazard.
When using candles, you need to be careful. Keep them far away from any flammable items, such as curtains, blankets or furniture. Never leave a candle within the reach of a child, and when you leave a room, leave the house, or go to bed, ensure you blow the candle out. It’s also best to use specially designed candle holders that will hold your candles securely, to ensure that they can’t tip over easily.
3. Have a Fire Safety Escape Plan
Even if you have the best fire prevention equipment in your home, it’s best to have a fire safety escape plan in place. Decide where your best fire escape routes are, keeping in mind that the best routes may be through windows. When you have new windows installed, you can actually have windows designed that can be easily climbed through from the inside, if you need to.
Once you know your routes, make sure you go over your plan with the whole family. Practice the routes, and ensure that you have a meeting spot outside of your home you can meet up at, in case you get separated.
4. Be Safe With Your Electricals
When electrical items are misused or in poor condition, they are a potential fire risk. You need to ensure all your electricals are safe in your home, to reduce that risk. Firstly, when you have any wiring work done on your home, ensure that you only use a licensed electrician to do it.
Also, be careful with your electrical items. Any large items that draw a lot of power, such as washing machines and refrigerators, should be plugged into wall outlets instead of extension cables. Also, ensure that you never run cables under doors or carpets.
5. Keep Your Fireplace Safe
Soon it will be time to get the fireplace up and running again, so you need to think about how you can keep it safe. It’s a beautiful and cozy thing to have in your living room, but of course it can pose a fire risk. Firstly, your fireplace needs to be swept annually. This will clear out the chimney of any debris, meaning there’s less risk of anything catching fire.
You’ll also need to ensure that you keep flammable objects such as furniture, carpets and blankets away from the fireplace. When you have a fire burning, be sure to supervise young children, too.
6. Know How to Put Out Grease Fires
Many house fires are caused by grease during cooking, so you need to be armed with the knowledge of how to prevent and put them out. Many home owners think you can put them out with a dish rag or other fabric item, but in fact that can actually help the fire spread. This will also happen if you try to pour liquid on it, as this causes a steam explosion.
The best way to put out a grease fire is to pour on salt or baking soda directly from above. If you can’t do that, sliding a metal baking sheet or lid over the pan can put the fire out. If these options don’t work, you’ll need to leave the house and call 911 for help.
7. Keep Doors Closed
If a fire does occur in your home, you want to prevent it from spreading as much as possible. One of the easiest ways you can do this is by closing doors in your home. This is especially true when you go to bed, you want to shut your bedroom door behind you before you go to sleep.
This is because a shut door will buy you some time if a fire breaks out. If the fire is behind the door, then you can get out without having to go anywhere near the breakout. If you have fire doors in your home then you’ll have longer, but even closing regular doors will help.
8. Have Fire Extinguishers on Hand
Fire extinguishers are an excellent tool to have in your home, to help contain fires if they break out. If you have a small fire that isn’t growing, such as in a garbage can, then you can use the extinguisher to put it out.
The best way to do this is to pull the pin, aim low at the fire, and squeeze the trigger slowly. Sweep the nozzle from side to side to cover everything. This is known as ‘PASS’, so keep that in mind when you’re using it.
These fire safety tips will help you prevent and contain fires in your home, keeping you protected. Put them into practice today.