Since the beginning of time, humans have wanted to control fire. In the modern age, we’re able to utilize fire and similar heating properties in order to carry out everyday tasks in both domestic and professional environments. Unfortunately, whether you’re cooking in your own home or using heat in the workplace, losing control of a fire remains a constant threat, even with all the advances of the twenty-first century. In this article, I will be addressing fire safety in the home but don’t worry! There will be a follow up article concerning fire safety in the workplace coming next week.
The most important step for domestic fire safety is creating a fire escape plan. However, just coming up with an emergency escape plan isn’t enough to truly prepare for a fire. You must go over the plan with the entirety of your household. In addition to talking about the plan and ensuring that everyone involved has a clear understanding of how it works, your household should practice the fire escape plan at least twice a year. By preparing for an emergency, you’ll reduce panic, stress, and chance of injury in the worst case scenario.
While having a backup plan is an absolute must for every family, the best tip in fire safety is to take preventative action. Make sure that you don’t have any frayed cables that might spark and avoid overusing any single outlet or extension cable. You should also check your home light fixtures to ensure that you’re using the proper wattage lightbulbs. If you have small children in your home, don’t allow them to play with kitchen electrical appliances and consider getting plastic covers for any unused power outlets. Another simple preventative task is to not use an electric blanket overnight. Finally, keep lamps away from blankets, furniture, and drapes. You don’t want your house ending up like this one!
Maybe the most overused yet important pieces of fire safety advice, check your smoke alarm batteries regularly. The reason everyone says to check those alarms is that almost two-thirds of deaths from home fires occur due to improperly working smoke detectors. Once a month, check the batteries of your smoke detectors. Additionally, make sure at least one smoke detector is on every level of your home. They should be placed outside of any bedroom or sleeping space. While we’re on the subject of alarms, you should check your carbon monoxide detectors anytime you replace the batteries in your smoke detectors. These alarms are extremely important as carbon monoxide is an odorless and deadly poison.
The next tip is another safety classic: keep fire extinguishers in your home! Emphasis on the plural of extinguishers. There should be one within every room or every other room depending on the size of your house. The most important thing with your fire extinguishers is to know where they are located so that you can easily find and use them in case of emergency. When using a fire extinguisher remember to P.A.S.S. This stands for Pull, Aim, Squeeze, and Sweep. However, there are many different types of fire extinguishers so make sure to read up on the particular type(s) that you own in order to use them properly. In addition, you should educate every member of your household as to where the fire extinguishers are located and how to use them properly.
There are many more safety tips than I can fit into one single article so make sure to stay tuned for the next installment of my fire safety series regarding fires in the workplace. Most safety tips are pretty interchangeable for each location so I highly recommend checking this post out. If you find yourself in a life threatening fire situation do not hesitate to call 911.
If you want to educate others on fire safety before next week’s installment, the United States Fire Administration has several programs for spreading awareness on fires. You can find all the information and educational materials to help prevent injury here: https://www.usfa.fema.gov/prevention/outreach/
For more information check out the Brampton Fire Department’s video on fire safety below. It’s a fun video and great to educate kids!