Everyone should know basic fire safety tips. Even though your home insurance may cover your house going up in flames, nothing will compensate for the loss, nor the risk to you or your family’s life. Follow these basic fire safety tips and minimize your risk.
1. Smoke Detectors
It’s not even worth considering NOT having smoke detectors in your home. It is top of all fire safety tips for a jolly good reason. A warning can save properties and lives. Each state issues guidelines for placement and maintenance here ajfire.org and in the UK they are covered by building regulations. Install them and maintain them. Most fire departments recommend the batteries be changed twice a year – doing it when the clocks go forward/back is a good aide memoire.
2. Safety Plan
Do you know what to do if there is a fire in your home? Do you have a family fire safety plan? Everyone should know what to do if a fire is discovered, including how to exit the safest way and where to meet outside. Do a practice fire drill once a year.
3. Fire Fighting Equipment
The best options for a domestic setting are a fire blanket for the kitchen and one general purpose fire extinguisher – this is one that contains dry powder and is the only one suitable for a variety of fires. Learn more about types of fire extinguishers here mfs-fire-extinguishers.co.uk also, make sure you are happy you know how to use the equipment and only tackle a fire if it is safe to do so.
4. Regularly Check Fire Hazards
Make it a habit to check fire hazards once a year. Look for frayed cords and signs of electrical problems. Remove anything blocking potential fire exits and check that window and door locks are functioning properly and screens etc open quickly and easily.
5. Exiting in the Event of a Fire
If the worst does happen, the safest way to exit in the event of smoke is to drop to the floor and crawl. It takes smoke longer to gather at floor level and it will be easier to breathe as you make your way to safety. If your clothes catch fire, do not run. Drop and roll, and keep rolling until the flames are out.
No matter how precious anything is to you, don’t stop to collect anything. Nothing will ever be worth risking your life or your kids’ lives, or putting them at the risk of injury and disfiguration. Don’t even stop to collect your cell phone to call the emergency services. Do that from a neighbor’s house.
7. Emergency Services
It is best to ensure everyone who is able to has exited safely before calling the fire service. You should never go back into a burning building (except we know that there will be times when instinct to help someone will override that.) Stay a good distance from the fire because even embers caught on the wind can set alight to clothing.
Obviously, every home is different and every family is different. These are just the basic fire safety tips on a generic basis. They can be extended and implemented as befits your needs, such as having your cell phone on the bedside table and a torch by the door or investing in an escape ladder. Your fire safety needs to consider all members of the family including pets. Do you have a fire safety plan?