8 Important Fire Safety Tips for Homeowners

Did you know that many home fires could have been prevented? While some fires can be caused by faulty wiring, most of them start in the kitchen, or around a heat source such as a fireplace or stove. To keep your family and yourself safe from harm, you need to be careful while cooking. The same diligence must apply whenever you heat your home during the coldest months of the year.

Fire Safety Tips

For homeowners, there are many safety measures you can implement around the house. From smoke detectors to fire escape plans, you want to be as prepared as possible before an emergency happens. Fires happen when you least expect them, so your preparation will make a significant difference in protecting you and your loved ones. You don’t wait until an accident happens to finally practice fire safety.

Let’s learn how homeowners can improve the fire safety in their houses:

1. Inspect and test your smoke detectors regularly

Smoke detectors are highly recommended for every homeowner who wants to protect their houses from fire hazards. These handy devices will detect the presence of smoke in your house, alerting you in case there are any fire hazards. You should ideally have at least one smoke detector on every floor of your home. It could be a good idea to have one in the kitchen, and one near bedrooms.

To make the most of your smoke detectors, you need to keep an eye on them. Test them once a month and replace the batteries at least twice a year. Keep in mind that any smoke detector that is more than 10 years old should be replaced immediately, as it might not be functional anymore.

2. Be careful when you are cooking

Many home fires start in the kitchen, so you need to be careful when you are cooking. If you have children, teach them how to take precautions in the kitchen as well.

The most important kitchen safety tip is that you should never leave your cooking unattended. When you are done, you should always make sure the stove and the burners are turned off. Keep flammable items such as hand towels and oven mitts away from your stove. Keep the area around the appliance neat and tidy.

Be extra careful when cooking with grease or oil. And if ever a grease fire starts, you need to know how to put it out safely. If a pan has caught fire, don’t try to move it, and don’t throw water on it as it would only make it worse. Instead, put the lid on the pan, or throw baking soda or salt on the fire to smother it.

3. Take measures to prevent electrical fires

Electrical fires are surprisingly common causes of house fires. When home appliances or electronics become faulty, they have a higher chance of igniting a fire in your home. To prevent electrical fires, always hire a qualified electrician to do electrical work in your home. Never use a cracked or damaged electrical cord and be sure not to overload wall outlets or extension cords.

4. Take measures to prevent chimney fires

To prevent chimney fires, have your chimney and fireplace inspected and cleaned by a professional each year. If your fireplace doesn’t have glass doors, use a metal screen to keep hot embers where they belong. Finally, you should never leave the home or go to bed before completely extinguishing the fire.

5. Never leave candles unattended

Never leave candles unattended

Candles set the ambiance in a house and provide a unique source of lighting. The flame of a candle doesn’t look as dangerous as the flames of a fireplace, but it still represents a risk. You should never leave burning candles unattended, and you should keep them away from flammable items such as blankets or curtains.

6. Get fire extinguishers and learn how to use them

Sometimes, you can put out a small fire quickly by yourself. To do so, you should get at least one fire extinguisher and keep it in your kitchen. Make sure the fire extinguisher is easily accessible so that you can obtain it in case of an emergency. But even though having a fire extinguisher is a good start, you need to know how to use it properly.

There are different types of fire extinguishers, and they are designed to fight different types of fires. An ABC powder extinguisher is a good option to keep in your home, as it can work on burning wood and flammable liquids, as well as electrical fires. When you do use a fire extinguisher, aim at the base of the flames instead of aiming at them.

7. Take a moment to create your fire escape plan

Even if you follow these safety tips carefully, a fire could still break out in your home. This is why you need to create a fire escape plan with your family, and to practice it at least twice a year.

You should plan at least two different escape routes, just in case one of them is blocked. Each of these escape routes should bring you and your family outside, quickly and safely. You could draw a map of your home, and trace your escape routes on them.

8. Don’t panic if there is a fire

If you need to open a door to escape from a room, you should first feel it with the back of your hand. Don’t open a hot door and try to find another way out. If there is a lot of smoke in the air, crawl close to the floor. When you are under the smoke, it will be easier for you to see and breathe.

Make sure young children know they should not hide in a closet or under their bed if they hear the sound of the fire alarm. They need to associate this sound with the urgency to get outside. You should decide on a meeting place outside your home if all your family members are not able to use the same route to escape.

Thank you for reading!

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