In the United States, over 300,000 home fires happen every year, most of which are preventable. Protect your family and your belongings by using the following tips for fire safety in the home.
Easy Fire Prevention Tips
- Make sure there are fire alarms on each floor of your home. They should be installed in each bedroom and outside all sleeping areas.
- Never leave your cooking unattended on the stove.
- Keep portable space heaters away from curtains and furnishings and turn them off when you’re out of the house or sleeping.
- Don’t smoke indoors.
- Develop a fire escape plan that each member of the family knows and has practiced together.
Tips for Electrical Fire Safety in the Home
One of the biggest causes of house fires is electrical accidents. Inspect all the cords in your home. Replace any appliances with damaged or frayed cords. Don’t place cords underneath carpets or across doorways. They can get damaged or overheat and become a fire hazard.
Don’t plug too many devices into an extension cord, power strip, or electrical outlet. This can cause a breaker to trip or start a fire. Check that the bulbs you place in light fixtures are the correct wattage.
Test Smoke Detectors
One of the most important tips for fire safety in the home is to test your smoke detectors on a regular basis. Each detector will have a test button so you can make sure the batteries are working. Replace the batteries at least twice a year or earlier if the smoke alarm makes a chirping noise. This is a sign that the batteries are low.
Best Places to Install a Smoke Detector
Smoke detectors should be installed in the basement, on each level of the home, and inside and outside of every bedroom. Place each detector on the ceiling or high on the wall, no more than a foot away from the ceiling. The kitchen smoke alarm should be installed at least 10 feet from the stove to minimize the chance of false alarms from cooking.
Using an Extinguisher for Fire Safety in the Home
Don’t try to put out a major fire with a fire extinguisher. They are only designed for use on small fires. The U.S. Fire Administration uses the word “PASS” to help us remember how to use a fire extinguisher.
- Point the nozzle away from you as you pull the pin.
- Aim low so the nozzle hits the fire at its base.
- Squeeze the lever evenly and slowly.
- Sweep the extinguisher back and forth.
How to Create a Family Fire Escape Plan
One of the most important fire safety tips for the home is to make sure that every member of your family knows what to do if a fire occurs. Educate your children so they know how to respond to the sound of a smoke alarm. Teach them to crawl to an exit if the room is full of smoke. Discuss an escape plan with your family and choose a meeting place a safe distance from the house.