Protect your family from fire by establishing routine safety practices. With these techniques, you can learn to prevent, extinguish, and survive a house fire. Here are four fire safety tips for your home.
1. Fire Safety Means Maintaining Smoke Detectors
Installing smoke detectors is the best thing you can do to protect lives and property. Make sure you have smoke detectors inside and outside of bedrooms and on each floor of the house. Install smoke detectors on the ceiling or near the top of the wall so they detect smoke quickly.
Smoke detectors give you time to safely escape your home, but they do require maintenance. Replace the batteries twice a year. Test the detectors every month. Hard-wired smoke detectors use a battery backup system in the event the electricity goes out and should be tested as well. All detectors should be replaced every ten years.
2. Fire Extinguishers are Essential for Safety
Your home needs at least two fire extinguishers. Keep one near the kitchen and one in the garage. Manufacturers make extinguishers for different types of fires. Class B extinguishers put out paint, oil, and gasoline fires. These may be an appropriate choice for the garage.
Once you have purchased and installed the extinguisher, review how to operate it. Demonstrate to family members the correct way to use a fire extinguisher. There are four steps to operate the device, nicknamed PASS. Pull the pin. Aim at the base of the flames. Squeeze the trigger. Sweep the spray across the fire.
3. Plan and Practice an Escape Route for Fire Safety
Set up an evacuation route for every room and have your family practice escaping the house. Fires often start at night, so to help keep your family safe, have them practice the escape route in the dark.
For fire safety, install evacuation ladders on higher floors and practice using them. Designate a meeting place away from the home as part of your escape plan. You might choose a neighborhood park, a well-lit corner, or a nearby neighbor’s yard.
4. Maintain Your Property to Prevent Fires
To help prevent fires, clean the clothes dryer’s lint trap and vent. The combination of flammable materials and heat can lead to a house fire. If you use a fireplace or woodstove, have your chimney cleaned annually. Do not overload circuits or power cords. Make sure your address is clearly visible from the street and that everyone in your household knows how to call 911.