5 Handy Fire Prevention Tips Every Homeowner Should Know
Fire prevention and fire safety practices are necessary to reduce the potential dangers of fires. According to the U.S fire administration, the number of fires and fire-related deaths and injuries has drastically reduced over the past decade. However, this does not mean that the general public should be lulled into a sense of complacency when it comes to fire prevention. It instead means that they should continue to remain vigilant in order to make sure that these numbers continue to go down.
The threat of fire can is ever present in the home so it is extremely important for homeowners to pay close attention at all times. Fires can occur in the summer or in the winter, as such, constant vigilance is paramount. Homeowners should make sure that they are doing all they can to prevent fires within their homes and here are some handy ways they can do that:
- Regularly Check Smoke Alarms
It is probably unlikely that your home or apartment does not have smoke alarms, but in case you’re reading this and you do not have smoke alarms make sure that you invest in some. Smoke alarms are an invaluable asset to have in the home. If you do have smoke detectors, then perform regular maintenance checks to make sure that they are in working order. It is important to change the batteries of your smoke detector at least once a year (you can definitely change it more times if you like). Investing in the proper alarms for your home will save you money in the long run.
In addition to this, make sure that your smoke alarms are well placed around your home to maximize their use. Be certain that there is a smoke alarm within every sleeping area or within close proximity to one, also place one in general areas like living rooms and basements. Homeowners should also make sure that they change their smoke alarm within ten years of the manufacturing date.
- Always Have A Fire Extinguisher on Hand
The importance of a fire extinguisher within the home cannot be overstated. There are many fires that can start in places like the kitchen, as such; it is beneficial for homeowners to have fire extinguishers placed within their home in advantageous locations to make sure that they are close by in times of need. It is also important for homeowners to be aware of how to store and use fire extinguishers. It is best to have a portable fire extinguisher within the kitchen of your home, by the fireplace, near the grill and one near the heating unit of your home. These are some of the locations that are most prone to fires so they are the places with the most need for extinguishers.
- Do Not Overload Your Power Outlets
Overloaded power outlets are a leading cause of fires within the home each year in the United States. If a power outlet is overloaded, there is a very high chance that you will start an electrical fire. If the power outlet has only two ports, make sure that there are only two appliances plugged into it. In the event that you plug an extension outlet into it, make sure that you are not powering devices with high usage rates at the same time.
If you do happen to start an electrical fire, make sure that you use a fire extinguisher to put it out or immediately dial 9-1-1. Some people are quick to throw water on a fire in order to douse it, but this will backfire on an electrical fire and only make the situation much more dangerous than it already is.
- Do Not Place Flammable Materials Near Open Flames
I’m sure most people will read this and think that this point is something everyone already knows. However, there are many home fires started simply because someone left a candle to close to a curtain. Flammable objects should not be left near open flames. The potential for these accidents is higher in the kitchen and bedrooms than in any other parts of the home. It is important for flammable items and materials to be kept at least 3 feet away from open flames, or to be kept in another room altogether.
- Establish and Practice Fire Safety Plans
Fire safety plans play a big role in preventing fires and keeping your family safe. Not only does it give you the chance to practice the fire safety tips discussed above, but it helps you figure out if there are any vulnerabilities in your home that would hinder your safe escape in the face of a fire. When crafting a fire safety plan, make sure that you map out all exit points and work out a rendezvous point. It is also advisable to hire a locksmith to asses the locks in your and make sure that they will not compromise your safety in the event of an evacuation. It might be hard to think about you and your family being stuck in the midst of a fire but it is a possibility and you should definitely be prepared for it.
As was stated above, fires are not uncanny and it is important to make sure that you are working to prevent the possibility of this ever happening to you. Make sure that you avidly employ some of the fire prevention tips listed above and that you practice overall safety so that you are not found wanting and in danger. Here are some additional tips homeowners can also make use of:
- Do not smoke in bed.
- Make sure matches and flammable materials are kept out of reach of children.
- Do not leave flammable materials near heaters, even though there is no open flame.
- Make sure that you are using the appropriate fire extinguisher before you spray it.
- Be aware of emergency phone numbers and contact information so that you are not left trapped within your home.
- If you have children at home, make sure that they are fully aware of the fire safety plan and all that goes into it so that they do not compromise your security.
Ralph Goodman is a professional writer and the resident expert on locks and security over at the Lock Blog. The Lock Blog is a great resource to learn about keys, locks and safety. They offer tips, advice and how-to’s for consumers, locksmiths, and security professionals.