According to FireSafety.gov a home fire in the United States claims a life every three hours and every half-hour someone is injured by a fire in a home.
There are a few simple things that you can do to protect your home and your family.
1) GET SMOKE ALARMS SET UP IN YOUR HOUSE
In the event of a fire, a smoke alarm can save your life and the lives of those you love.
Having properly functioning smoke alarms is the single most important thing you can do to prevent house and apartment fire fatalities by providing an early warning signal—so you and your family can escape.
Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including the basement. Many fatal fires begin late at night or in the early morning.
For extra safety, install smoke alarms both inside and outside the sleeping area. Also be sure and replace the alarm batteries annually.
The Smoke Alarm Checklist from FireSafety includes:
1. Fire alarms are installed on every level, especially near sleeping areas.
2. Test them monthly.
3. Replace batteries at least annually.
4. Vacuum and keep your smoke alarm free of dust.
5. have their batteries replaced and are retested, should they start making a “chirping” noise.
6. Replace your smoke alarm every 10 years.
2) PLAN AN ESCAPE ROUTE IN ADVANCE
In the event of a fire, remember – time is the biggest enemy – every second counts!
Escape plans help you get out of your home quickly. In less than 30 seconds a small flame can get completely out of control and turn into a major fire.
It only takes minutes for a house to fill with thick black smoke and become engulfed in flames. The best plans have two ways to get out of each room. If the primary way is blocked by fire or smoke, you will need a second way out.
A secondary route might be a window onto an adjacent roof or using a collapsible ladder for escape from upper story windows. Make sure that windows are not stuck, screens can be taken out quickly and that security bars can be properly opened.
Also, practice feeling your way out of the house in the dark or with your eyes closed.
3) PRACTICE FIRE SAFETY
More than 4,000 Americans die each year in fires and approximately 20,000 are injured. An overwhelming number of fires occur in the home.
There are time-tested ways to prevent and survive a fire. It’s not a question of luck. It’s a matter of practicing and planning ahead.
4) CALL FOR HELP
Call 911 even if a fire seems minor.
A fire can double in size every single minute. In addition, it may only take three or four minutes to spread throughout the house.
5) KNOW WHERE YOUR FIRE EXTINGUISHER IS
And how to work it.
It may sound obvious, but many people forget where they put their fire extinguisher – especially if they haven’t used it for many years.
The instructions are clearly marked, but read them before you have a problem. Make sure you have a fire extinguisher for most rooms in your house, including: kitchen, bedroom, living room and any areas where you frequently keep candles.
6) CONTAIN FLAMES
When you use the oven, use a cookie sheet under the baking ware so that spills stay off of the heating coils.
If something starts flaming, turn off the oven and keep the oven door closed. Most kitchen fires start on top of the stove, especially if you are frying in grease.
If a grease fire happens, immediately cover the plan with a lid to close off the oxygen supply.
Recovering from a fire can be a physically and mentally draining process. When fire strikes, lives are suddenly turned around.
Often, the hardest part is knowing where to begin and who to contact. These few quick fire prevention techniques can help save you and your family. For more information, please visit firesafety.gov.