Protect Your Family With These Fire Prevention Tips
How will you protect your family from a home fire? Do you know the standard home fire prevention tips?
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), home fires were reported roughly every 90 seconds a few years ago, which means understanding how to prevent and detect possible home fires is extremely important.
Home fires are preventable because smoke alarms save lives. In fact, the risk of dying in a home fire is reduced by 50% with a working smoke alarm.
- 38% of home fire deaths are the result of homes without a smoke alarm.
- 60% of home fire deaths are the result of home without a properly working smoke alarm.
As a start, the NFPA offers some basic questions to answer.
- Do you have a home fire escape plan?
- Have you changed smoke-alarm batteries within the last year?
- Do you know the main reasons for fires starting in the home?
Smoke Alarms Are the Foundation of Home Fire Prevention
Smoke alarms are so important that the NFPA has focused on smoke alarms for three consecutive years during fire prevention week.
Because NFPA's survey data shows that the public has many misconceptions about smoke alarms, which may put them at increased risk in the event of a home fire.
NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm Code®, requires replacing smoke alarms at least every 10 years. However, most people are unaware of this requirement. As a result, many homes rely on smoke alarms past their expiration date, which puts families at increased risk.
If you don't know the age of your smoke alarm, then check the date of manufacture on the back. It is vital to check all of the smoke alarms and ensure they are replaced every 10 years.
Check Your Smoke Alarm
In addition to replacing your smoke alarm every 10 years, remember that the alarm should be tested monthly and batteries should be changed annually. If you hear that chirping sound, then that is your alarm signaling you the batteries are low.
Standard Home Fire Prevention Tips
There are many things a homeowner can do to help create a safe shelter that prevents home fires. However, accidents happen, which means no home or family can be too safe.
FEMA provides a complete home safety checklist, which includes details about the following topics:
- There is one smoke alarm on every level of the home and inside and outside each sleeping area.
- Test and clean smoke alarms monthly.
- Change batteries as needed.
- Smoke alarms are less than 10 years old.
- Cooking area is free from items that can catch fire.
- Clean kitchen stove hood.
- Vent stove hood to the outside.
- Ensure pots always attended while on the stove.
Electrical & Appliance Safety
- Do not run electrical cords under rugs.
- Ensure cords are not frayed or cracked.
- Use circuit-protected, multi-prong adapters for additional outlets.
- Plug large and small appliances directly into wall outlets.
- Clean clothes dryer lint filter and venting system routinely.
- Candles are in sturdy fire-proof containers that won't be tipped over.
- Extinguish all candles before going to bed or leaving the room.
- Children and pets are never left unattended with candles.
Carbon Monoxide Alarms
- Locate carbon monoxide alarms on each level of the home.
- Carbon monoxide alarms are less than 7 years old.
- Family members who smoke only buy fire-safe cigarettes and smoke outside.
- Secure all matches and lighters out of children's sight.
- Ashtrays are large, deep and kept away from items that can catch fire.
- Empty ashtrays into a non-burnable container.
- Clean and inspect chimney and furnace yearly.
- Furniture and other items that can catch fire are at least 3 feet from fireplaces, wall heaters, baseboards, and space heaters.
- Fireplace and barbecue ashes are placed outdoors in a covered metal container at least 3 feet from anything that can catch fire.
- Never use extension cords with space heaters.
- Heaters are approved by a national testing laboratory and have tip-over shut-off function.
- Have two ways out of each room.
- Know to crawl low to the floor when escaping to avoid toxic smoke.
- Know where to meet after the escape.
- Meeting place should be near the front of your home, so firefighters know you are out.
- Know that once you're out, stay out.
- Practice your fire escape plan.
Home Escape Plan
- A: These fires involve ordinary combustibles like wood, paper and cloth.
- B: These fires involve flammable liquids, such as oils and gasoline, and oil-based items like paints and stains.
- C: These fires involve energized electrical equipment like wiring, circuit breakers, fuse boxes, machinery and appliances.
- D: These fires involve combustible metals, such as magnesium.
- K: These fires result from the combustion of cooking oils and fats, such as commercial kitchen fires.
Other Fire Prevention Information To Protect Your Family
The U.S. Fire Administration reports that fires kill more than 4,000 Americans every year, while injuring about 20,000 more people. In fact, U.S. fire departments respond to nearly 2 million fires each year and 75% of fires occur in homes.
There are many potential causes of home fires, which means homeowners must remain diligent in fire prevention. For example, according to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, arcing faults cause about 30,000 home fires each year, resulting in hundreds of deaths and injuries and more than $862 million in property damage.
To help keep your home and family safe, consider installing GFCIs around your home to help prevent electrical faults that could cause home fires.
Here are some additional ways to protect your home from fires and ensure it is the sanctuary your family deserves.
Keep Plugs Safe & Avoid Overloading Circuits
Help prevent electrical fires by checking plugs, cords, and wires. Try to avoid placing cords and wires under rugs or in high traffic areas.
Plus, avoid loose connections by checking the fit of the plugin on the wall outlet. A poor connection between the plug and outlet can cause overheating and start a fire.
If you have any issues or concerns with your electrical outlets, then don't hesitate and call Snappy Electric, Plumbing, Heating, & Air today. We offer 24/7 service and can fix any electrical issues.
Conduct Regular Inspections
Preparation is the key to success. Check all of your electronic equipment and wiring at least once a month.
From electrical wiring to major home appliances, if there are any questions, remember the Home Protection Plan offers a seasonal review and tune-up to ensure there are no electrical or heating issues.
Check the Fire Extinguisher
In the event of a fire, many people will instinctively look for a fire extinguisher. Just like smoke alarms and CO detectors, fire extinguishers play a critical role in fire prevention.
However, there are separate types of fire extinguishers for every type of fire. The NFPA categorizes these in the following classes of fire:
A good home extinguisher is an ABC class that extinguishes all three classifications of fires, which are common in homes.
And remember, that safety doesn't stop when you and your family are asleep.