If you think your family and home are protected from fire, think again. Don’t leave anything to chance, but do all that’s in your power to prevent or properly handle fire emergency situations. Here is some advice on how to effectively protect your home from fires.
How to handle open fire
Cooking appliances are the most frequent house fire cause, so you should never leave them unattended. Handle fire pits and barbeques with care and always have an eye on them. Before going to bed, make sure that every candle and cigarette is properly put out and turn off all oil burners.
This is important because when you’re asleep, you will not smell smoke, so you have a greater chance of suffering from smoke suffocation or CO2 poisoning. Teach your kids to treat fire with caution and respect it, and keep all fire starters away from them.
Electrical outlets, power boards and cords
These are also a common fire trigger all around the world. Try not to overload your power boards if you use them and always plug heating and air-conditioning devices directly into the wall.Regularly check if all your cords are in good condition and make sure there are no fried or damaged cords. Also, before use, clean electric outlet holes (especially those you don’t use frequently) to avoid dust catching on fire. Make sure all cords are properly plugged in and that the outlets are firmly placed in the wall.
Smoke alarms are not a part of firefighting equipment, but they save lives every day. Install them around your house and you can sleep in peace. When smoke alarms detect smoke, they make a loud noise, waking everyone up and giving you time to appropriately react to the situation. Make sure all smoke alarms are in working condition, and check the batteries every six months.
Every home, car and workplace should have fire extinguishers for quick fire containment. Small fires are easy to control and extinguish, if you have the means and know how to properly do it. There are different types of extinguishers and firefighting equipment for different types of fires. Get a fire extinguisher chart that shows how to identify them for the best and quickest fire control. For homes, fire experts advise getting powder ABE fire extinguishers and putting them on every level of the house. Make sure you and your family know how to properly handle them.
How to protect your yard
Especially if you live in an area that is prone to bushfires, you have to know how to properly protect your yard. Make sure your gutters are clean of dry leaves and twigs and that your yard is tidy and clear. Think before planting anything in your yard and make sure trees and firewood are at a safe distance from your house.
Make an emergency plan
Sit down with your family and make an emergency escape plan. Think of all the situations that could occur and make sure everyone is on board with the plan. Practice it frequently and see if everyone knows it by heart. During a fire emergency, you can have as little as 2 or 3 minutes to escape safely, so explain why it’s important to practice and memorize it. Additionally, smoke will make you disoriented and it will make it harder to escape. When you’re outside, don’t go back into the house, but call the fire department and wait for them to take care of the fire. Also, plan an escape route in case of a bushfire.
Unfortunately, many people take fire and fire safety lightly. Always remember that fire is not a toy and it should be handled with caution. If you want to educate yourself further, visit your local fire department for some extra advice, and they will be happy to help.
March 20, 2017