Learning the best practices for fire safety in your home is an important step that every homeowner should take. Waking up to your house on fire is a terrifying experience. Fire safety techniques can prevent residential and apartment fires. Through common sense and awareness, you can stop the loss of your possessions, your home and possibly your life.
Reliable smoke detectors are essential for keeping you safe in the event of a fire. There are two kinds of smoke detectors: photoelectric or ionization alarms. Photoelectric alarms specialize in detecting smoky fires. Ionization alarms recognize fast-moving fires. You should use both kinds of detectors in your home.
Install smoke alarms on each floor of your house, including the basement. You should also place detectors in your bedrooms and just outside the doorways of these rooms. Also, the kitchen should have a smoke alarm.
Once a month, check to make sure your smoke detectors are working. The batteries should be changed annually. Many people chose to change the batteries during the time change.
You and your family should develop a home escape route. Rooms in your house should have more than one way to exit. Make a drawing of the interior of your home and discuss the ways you can escape from each room. Designate an area outside where you can meet once you leave the building.
In the event of a fire, do not open a door that feels warm. Upon seeing smoke, get down on your knees and crawl to safety. Since smoke rises, you have a better chance at breathing when closer to the ground.
If you live in a multistory building, purchase a collapsible ladder to use for escaping through the window. If your building has window bars, practice unlocking and opening the bars and windows.
You and your family should rehearse the escape plan. Upon finishing the exercise, take attendance to make sure everyone has left the building.
Every home should have fire extinguishers. They should be used only if you believe you can control the outbreak. Small fires in single areas are ideal for fire extinguisher use.
There are five types of extinguishers. Class A extinguishers eliminate cloth, plastic or paper fires. Class B extinguishers tame flammable-liquid fires. Class C extinguishers are ideal for electrical blazes. If metal has catches fire, a Class D extinguisher would put the flames out. Class K extinguishers are best used for kitchen fires. Multi-purpose extinguishers cover a combination of fire types.
Once a month, check the pressure reading on every extinguisher. Shake it to prevent chemicals inside from settling.
Candles and incense sticks can create a romantic ambience, but they can also be dangerous. Never leave them unattended. Candles and incense should be placed in sturdy holders and away from flammable materials. Do not fall asleep by candlelight, and keep all lit candles and incense away from children and pets.
Keep the area around space heaters and fireplaces free from furniture, papers and other combustible materials. Give the heat source at least five feet of clear space. Do not fall asleep while using a space heater. Do not allow children or pets near them.
Move combustible materials, such as towels, curtains or recipe books, away from the stove. Wear appropriate clothing while cooking. Loose sleeves could make contact with heat sources. It is vital that an extinguisher be kept close. Do not leave food cooking unattended.
You should not get in the habit of using your stove as a counter. Papers and other items should not be placed there, even when the appliance is not in use. Children and small pets should be kept away from stoves and ovens.
In the event that food catches fire, you can smother the flames with a pot top. Baking soda will put out grease fires. Turn off the stove and spread baking soda over the flames. Do not use water, as that will only feed the flames.
Teach all family members, including children that if your clothing catches fire, drop to the ground and roll. Doing so will effectively extinguish the flames. Practice this technique to overcome the instinct to run.
If you have children, consider installing door latches and childproofing your home. Matches, lighters and other combustible materials should be kept in a place where no child could reach them.
Major appliances should be plugged directly into the wall. Do not overload extension cords with appliances such as televisions, microwaves and computers. Manufacturers rate extension cords according to light or heavy use. Do not place extension cords under rugs or near wet areas. Make sure that your children and pets are not using the cords as toys. Replace all frayed cords immediately.