Fire Safety Guide
Waking up to smoke and flames is one of the worst things that can happen to your family and home. In 2018, United States fire departments responded to an estimated 1,318,500 fires. The fires resulted in 3,655 civilian deaths and 15,200 civilian injuries. Astonishing numbers like these illustrate why it’s important to spend time reviewing fire prevention and your family’s escape plan if necessary. Here are some tips to help keep you and your family out of harm’s way.
Create A Fire Escape Plan
Home fires can spread rapidly, so having a plan in place for you and your family to escape quickly is important. If you have small children try drawing a floor plan of your entire house that shows all the doors and windows. Discuss the plan and identify at least two ways out of every room which could be through doors or windows. Lastly, select a safe place for everyone to meet outside after escaping a fire.
Maintain Smoke Alarms
A working smoke alarm significantly increases your chances of surviving a deadly house fire. Install a smoke alarm on every level of your home. Smoke alarms should be tested monthly and batteries should be changed when needed. A good rule of thumb is to change the batteries when you set your clocks forward or back. If your smoke alarm ever “chirps,” it’s a good indicator that the batteries should be replaced immediately.
Prevent Electrical Fires
Electrical malfunctions are one of the leading causes of home fires. Replace cords that are cracked, damaged or have broken plugs. Never overload circuits or extension cords as it could trip a breaker and cause a fire. Also avoid placing cords and wires under carpets or in high traffic areas where they can be damaged.
Use Appliances Wisely
When using appliances, read and follow the manufacturer’s safety precautions. Overheating signs include unusual smells, shortages or sparks. Never leave an appliance running if unattended, and if you aren’t using it, then it’s best to unplug it.
While there’s no guarantee that a fire will ever happen in your home, staying prepared and following simple precautions will help minimize the risk.