Fire Safety Tips For The Home
- The absolute #1 tip for fire safety around the home is smoke alarms-working ones. 65% of home fire deaths occur in homes with no smoke alarms or no smoke alarms that work. Test alarms at least once a month by pushing the test button. Batteries should be changed no less than once a year, but if the alarm “chirps”, that signals the battery is low and needs to be changed immediately. Have smoke detectors near all bedrooms and on every level of your home including the basement. You should also have carbon monoxide detectors as well. Make sure they are installed per manufacturers’ recommendations and all have the label of a recognized testing laboratory (UL). Smoke alarms are available for the deaf and blind that are equipped with a strobe light or vibration. Also available are recordable voice alarms that may help children wake to a familiar voice.
- Equally important is to have an escape plan. You must involve all members of your family including your pet. Have a fire drill occasionally since everyone can use a reminder and being prepared saves lives. Your neighborhood fire department offers a service to come to your home and inspect for potential hazards. They will also help you devise an escape plan that will work for your own situation and environment. Firefighters want your family to be safe and prepared. Their advice can save your loved ones lives and make their jobs easier. Each room should have two means of escape. There are emergency tools you can purchase to make escape easier on the second floor. You may never need to use them, but if you do, it could be the best money you ever spent. Remember to pre-plan an outside meeting place for everyone to go in case of emergency. This way you will be assured that everyone is safe. Post a copy of your escape plan on your refrigerator as a reminder to your family.
There are many precautionary things you can do around your house to make it a safer environment for your family. Here are a few:
- Use the proper type of extension cord for the job you need it for. Don’t overload with too many appliances or bury it under a carpet or furniture. Make sure all extension cords have the UL listing and follow manufacturers’ specifications.
- Do not use an oven to heat your home. Keep flammable items at least 3 feet away from a space heater. Never leave a heater unattended especially around children and pets. Always turn off a heater before you go to bed.
- Store flammable liquid and cleaning fluids in proper containers and out of reach of children and pets. Please seek professional advice on how to use and store combustibles safely.
- Unplug small appliances especially in the kitchen. Check all major appliances to make sure they are grounded and test their GFI’s to make sure they are operating correctly. Again, check for a UL listing on all appliances. This indicates that the appliance has been inspected by a recognized testing laboratory.
For very little effort, you can rest assured that with little changes your loved ones can enjoy a safe environment at home, whether at rest or play, no matter the season. Being aware and prepared can spare your family. Safety doesn’t take a lot of time, but it does take thought and planning. Take a minute now to avoid a lifetime of regret. Please blog us today to add your own advice on safety.