Your family’s safety at home is a high priority. You equip your home with deadbolts, motion lights, and maybe even an alarm system to protect your loved ones and your belongings. While home security is important, so is protecting your home in case of fire. Here are a few fire safety tips to help reduce the chance of a fire in your home.
Fire Safety Begins with Prevention
The first step in fire safety is to prevent a fire from starting in the first place. The most common causes of house fires are routine, daily activities like laundry and cooking.
Unplug any unused electrical appliance. Clothes irons, hairdryers, space heaters, and other appliances should be disconnected anytime they are not in use.
Clean the lint screen and vent on the clothes dryer after each use and replace any malfunctioning lamps or appliances. Be careful not to overload power strips. Don’t use devices with damaged or frayed electrical cords. Basic maintenance and common sense are key in home fire safety.
Educate Children About Safety
Children are often the most vulnerable victims of fires. To help your kids stay safe, invest time in fire safety education for them. There are many sources of information online. Check with your local fire department for educational events offered to the community. Sit down with your children and create a fire escape plan in case of an emergency. Find exits from each area of the home and practice your escape route with a fire drill.
Help children understand the dangers of fire. Teach them that matches and lighters are not toys and instruct them in the proper use of space heaters and appliances.
Practice Fire Safety When Heating the Home
Fireplaces, space heaters, and furnaces help keep our homes at a comfortable temperature. However, heating is also a leading cause of house fires. If you use a fireplace or woodstove, have the flue inspected and cleaned each fall. Do this well in advance of cold weather so that the fireplace is ready for a surprise cold snap.
Be smart with space heaters. Don’t use electric heaters with extension cords and maintain a safe distance between the units and combustible materials. Teach children to stay away from space heaters when they are in use and place the heaters where they’re safe from being tipped over by people or pets.
Fire Safety in the Kitchen
Unattended burners, overheated food, and hot grease cause many home fires each year. Use caution in the kitchen. Don’t overcook foods, leave a hot stove unattended, or allow the handles of pots and pans to extend into your work area.
Children should be supervised as they cook and if you have an older family member with signs of dementia, monitor the kitchen in case he or she forgets to turn something off.
House fires are dangerous to your family and your home. Practice fire safety habits to prevent a tragedy from occurring. Install and maintain smoke detectors and fire extinguishers, and use these tips to build a strong plan for lowering the risk of a fire in your home.