You have probably heard an old proverb saying that “fire is a good servant, but a bad master”. The reason why this statement remains relevant to this very date is the fact that no matter how humanity has progressed, fire remains one of its greatest fears. And for a good reason, too. According to National Fire Protection Association of the United States, a structure fire is reported every 63 seconds, while 78% of casualties caused by these fires are the lives lost in home fires. So, the danger is very real and very present. Let us see what you can do about it.
Living and Sleeping Areas
For a start, you should eliminate the possibility of electrically-caused fires by turning off all the items that use electrical power, like electrical blankets, TVs, lights and heaters, when you are not using them. If you can, try to unplug them from the wall. You will do your electrical bills a favor as well. If you have security bars over your windows, make sure they can be easily dismantled from the inside. Also, make sure you don’t leave ashes in open fireplaces overnight and check your electrical outlets and cords from time to time. And please don’t smoke in bed.
With all of its electrically-powered utilities, like stove and oven, the kitchen is one of the most fire-dangerous areas of your home. Still, if you take extra caution, a fire can be avoided. The first step you should take is to do your best not to overload existing outlets with multiple appliances. If your stove is fueled by gas, double-check if it is leak-free. Also, it should not be a bad idea to turn the saucepan handles towards the rear of the cooker when you are cooking and keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen, regardless of the type of the stove you are currently using.
The garage may be one of the most overlooked house areas when it comes to fire safety. Anyone providing fire safety services knows how big of a mistake that is. The garage is a place where we usually store paint, petrol, gas, and other flammable substances. The best thing you can do to lower the chances of a fire is to store them in secure containers and keep them away from all heat sources. After you take care of this issue, take some time to install some solid, inflammable door between the garage and the rest of the house. If you can’t prevent some fires, you can, at least, do your best to contain them. Finally, much like with the utilities in the living area, do your best to keep your power tools unplugged when you’re not using them.
Of course, there are some rules that are not area-specific but can save your life if you apply them. Here’s a short rundown:
- Keep lighters, matches and other flammable items out of the reach of children.
- Install smoke alarms (both ionization and photoelectric) in each room, or at least on every floor of your home.
- Don’t hang your clothes, towels or any other pieces of fabric near heaters.
- Make an emergency evacuation plan and practice it with your family at least once per month.
- Establish a meeting place outside the house to make sure everybody’s safe in the case of emergency.
- Teach your family that, in the case of a fire, the best way to avoid smoke and intense heat is to stay low.
- If you are living in a dry and fire-prone area, keep the bushes and other plants away from your house.
Some of these rules may seem overly zealous or simply unnecessary, but just remember how dangerous a house fire can be and you will see that taking a few extra precautionary measures doesn’t seem like a bad idea at all. After all, it’s much better to be safe than sorry.