Knowing how to prevent and detect a house fire is vital to the safety of those in your home.
Here are some common fire dangers according to consumersafety.org:
• Check your home for cords that are worn out or frayed. Remove and replace these cords.
• Stay safe when cooking in the kitchen. It is a good idea to have a fire extinguisher that is easily accessible in your kitchen to quickly put out a fire.
• Smoking in the home is also a cause of house fires.
• Candles that have been forgotten and left burning while not home or set too close to something that is flammable or knocked over by a child or a pet, can all cause a fire.
• Unplug your curling iron or hair straightener when done using and make sure it is placed in a safe spot to cool away from flammable materials.
• When using an outdoor fire pit make sure the fire is at least 25 feet away from any structures and that sticks, branches and shrubs are cleared from the fire area. Use extra caution when lighting the fire and keep a shovel, water and a fire extinguisher nearby in case the fire becomes too big or spreads outside of the fire pit.
• A grill can also be a common cause for starting a fire. When grilling do not leave it unattended and make sure it is placed away from the house and railings, and out from under eaves and tree branches. It is also important to keep your grill clean ensuring the trays below do not have a buildup of grease.
• One key element to fire safety in your home is your smoke alarms. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends that you have a smoke alarm in every bedroom, on every level including the basement and outside of all sleeping areas in the home. The alarms should be installed on the ceiling or high up on a wall and at least 10 feet from the stove. The NFPA also recommends that you use interconnected smoke alarms so that when one goes off, the rest of the alarms in the house will go off as well. You should test your smoke alarms monthly. For those who are hard of hearing you can use special alarms that have strobe lights and bed shakers. The NFPA states that all smoke alarms should be replaced when they are 10 years old. If your alarm does go off, make sure you and your family leave the home immediately and if there is smoke, get below the smoke to exit. You should have a fire escape plan that you and your family have practiced so everyone knows what to do in case of a fire and where to meet outside of the home once they have exited the home.
For more information and tips on fire safety visit www.nfpa.org. Sources: www.nfpa.org and consumersafety.org.