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Unfortunately, fires occur in homes all the time. While it is important that we know what to do if a fire breaks out in our home, it’s equally important to know how to prevent a fire from happening in the first place. Here are nine home fire safety tips to help you ensure the safety of your family and your home.
- Have a family meeting and create an escape plan in case a fire ever breaks out in your home. It’s important that everyone knows where to meet and where points of exit are located. You will want to have at least two ways out. Make sure that everyone knows how to dial 911 and knows what your address is. Be sure everyone is familiar with the home fire safety tips.
- Practice escaping from your home at least twice a year. Things to include in your practice are pretending to wake up to smoke alarms and doing a low crawl to help prevent smoke inhalation. When escaping from your home, the goal is to be as quick as possible. Set a timer and time yourselves, because in many instances you would only have about two minutes to escape.
- Be sure that your entire house is covered by working smoke detectors. One smoke detector per zone is a good start, one per room is ideal. In over 60% of house fire deaths, the families did not have working smoke alarms. Test the smoke alarms once a month. Be sure to keep fully charged batteries in the smoke detectors. One popular tip for keeping track of when you last changed the batteries in a smoke alarm is to change the batteries when you change set your clocks forward or back twice a year. Be sure that all family members know what the smoke alarms sound like and what to do when they hear them.
- If there is a fire and the door handles are warm, do not open the door. This mean that there is a fire directly on the other side. If there is another way to escape from the room use that. If there is no way to escape a room and smoke, heat, or flames prevent you from escaping, place a wet towel underneath the door. This will slow the spread of the fire into your room. Dial 911 and stay by a window. Signal for help from there too.
- Be sure that everyone knows what to do if they were to ever catch on fire. Practice the stop, drop, and roll technique.
- Do not smoke inside of your home. Be sure to keep all matches and lighters out of the reach of your children.
- Do not leave candles unattended.
- Keep flammables away from anything that gets hot or could cause a spark.
- Don’t leave food unattended on the stove when you’ve cooking. Be sure to keep all flammables away from the stove, including oven mitts, pot holders, towels, and clothing.
Fires are very frightening and have to potential to cause a lot of damage and endanger, and take, lives. In the event of a fire it is important that everyone remember to stay calm. If there is a fire, it’s important that you know all of the above home fire safety tips so that you have the best chance of survival.