A fire can happen in seconds and leave your home in ruins. It’s important to take fire damage prevention seriously and do everything you can to keep your family safe. Here are 6 steps that can help reduce fire damage on your property.
1. Install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends smoke detectors in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area, and on all levels of the home. Carbon monoxide alarms should be installed near bedrooms as well. It’s also a good idea to test fire alarm batteries at least twice a year so you know they’re working properly when it matters most.
Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years or if they are damaged, but you may save money by installing your own fire alarms. Replace the batteries in your annual and carbon monoxide detector batteries twice a year, which is when daylight saving time begins and ends (usually). Examine other fire safety items such as fire extinguishers, which aid in the fire control process.
The fire protection association states that fire extinguishers should be rated for the type of fire they are designed to fight and use it on small fires only, since using an incorrect extinguisher could make a fire worse. The NFPA recommends inspecting your fire extinguisher at least once a month by pressing down on its handle. If it doesn’t fire, use a different extinguisher.
If your fire extinguishers are more than six years old or have been in service for longer than 12 years, replace them with new ones that are rated for the type of fire they fight. Without fire alarms and smoke detectors to warn you of fires when they occur, it’s important to check your fire extinguishers regularly to make sure they’re ready when a fire breaks out.
2. Maintain a clear path to the nearest exit in case of fire
You should have at least two ways out of every room. Also, make sure your kids know where fire extinguishers are located and how they work. Teach them that fire needs oxygen to survive, so keep doors closed or use ladders if there is no other escape route.
If fire breaks out, stay low to the ground and crawl if you have a smoke mask available. If not, cover your mouth with clothing or other fabric that may provide some protection from breathing in dangerous fumes while keeping an eye out for fire extinguishers along the way. Close doors behind you as you leave so fire can’t follow you and exit the home quickly. If fire has spread, leave immediately or call for help from a safe location or cell phone.
Remember that fire burns upwards so it’s best to stay low while you’re trying to escape if smoke is everywhere. According to firefighters, most fire injuries are caused by people who get trapped in rooms because they don’t think fire burns upward.
If you’re unable to escape after fire breaks out, close the door behind yourself and seal off all vents in the room by stuffing wet towels or clothing around doors. You can also cover your face with damp cloths or pillow cases if fire is getting closer so dangerous smoke doesn’t get into your lungs. Call for help or fire assistance if possible.
According to fire safety experts, the first step in fire prevention is being prepared for an emergency by having a plan and knowing what to do if fire does break out. Make sure your family knows where all fire alarms are located so they can be heard throughout each room of your home.
3. Keep an extinguisher nearby and check its expiration date every six months
Every fire extinguisher is designed to fight a specific type of fire, so it’s best to have more than one in your home. If possible, you should keep fire extinguishers accessible but out of reach from children and pets at all times since they can’t be replaced if damaged or used up without adult supervision.
Make sure every member of your family knows where fire extinguishers are located and how to use them. Teach kids that fire needs oxygen to survive, so it’s important not to break windows during fire emergencies since fresh air is needed for fire survival just as much as fuel.
Keep a fire extinguisher in your kitchen near the stove or oven if this room contains dangerous cooking equipment. Fire extinguishers should also be located in or near your garage, laundry room and bathroom.
If fire breaks out, fire extinguisher instructions suggest that you immediately shut off all sources of fuel for fire to stop its spread before calling 911 from a safe location. Remember that fire is dangerous even when it’s small since most injuries occur while people are trying to put fire out.
In addition, fire extinguishers should be checked frequently for damage and replaced if needed so they’re always ready when fire breaks out. If you have a fire alarm in your home, test it at least once every month and replace the batteries regularly as well.
If you can’t find fire on your property after using fire extinguishers, fire experts recommend staying in your home if fire is contained to one area. However, if fire spreads or you see smoke outside of the room where it started and can’t put out the fire with a fire extinguisher, evacuate immediately and call 911 from a neighbor’s house for help.
4. Avoid cooking with oil or grease, which can lead to dangerous fires
Oil and grease fires are extremely dangerous because fire spreads quickly, especially in the kitchen. According to fire experts, most oil or grease fires start when food is left unattended on high heat for too long since they produce large flames that can’t be extinguished easily with water alone.
If you’re cooking while distracted by others who need your attention or children who may need your help, fire experts recommend turning heat down to prevent fire from starting.
As a precautionary measure, fire extinguishers should be placed in the kitchen and bathroom at all times since both rooms contain dangerous items that could lead to oil or grease fires if left unattended for too long. The area where you cook also needs fire extinguishers nearby in case there’s an emergency while food is cooking on high heat. If possible, avoid using electric stovetops altogether when you’re distracted by other people or kids since they can’t be turned down quickly enough during emergencies like this one.
If fire does start while cooking with oil or grease, keep calm and immediately turn off burners before putting it out without water alone. If fire spreads outside of the pan, fire extinguishers suggest covering it with a fire blanket or another large object to put out flames.
If you don’t have fire safety equipment nearby, remember that smothering oil and grease fires is dangerous since they produce toxic fumes when extinguished this way. However, if there’s no other option than to use water on an oil or grease fire in your home, do so safely by putting the lid back onto the pot first before using it as recommended by experts to prevent spreading fire.
5. Stay away from candles and matches when you’re home alone
Candles and fire sources that aren’t safe for a home alone should be avoided at all costs to prevent fire damage. According to fire experts, most injuries from fires start when people are alone in their homes since they’re more likely to use dangerous items like candles or matches without supervision if children or other members of the family can’t see them.
If you need a fire source to keep warm while home alone, fire extinguishers suggest using electric space heaters instead of an open flame to reduce the risk of injury from fires around your home. In addition, never leave candles unattended near curtains or other flammable objects since damage caused by fire spreads quickly when nobody is looking and could lead to devastating results within minutes even if there’s no one else in the room at this time.
If candle sparks land on clothes or combustible materials like books without supervision present, put them out immediately with water before they can cause major problems – but remember not to use an ordinary household fire extinguisher because it won’t work flames fueled by paper products or clothing.
Most fire safety experts agree that candles and matches should never be used in homes with children or pets since there’s a higher risk of fire damage if they’re left unattended around flammable materials like curtains, books, clothes and bedding. According to fire statistics from NFPA (National Fire Protection Association), most injuries caused by candle fires happen when people are alone at home because it’s easier for them to use dangerous items without supervision – so remember to keep any lit candles away from combustible objects whenever possible even though you may have more freedom here than you’d think depending on the age of your kids.
6. Never leave your stove unattended while it’s still on or after you’ve turned it off
The fire experts at NFPA also recommend never leaving your stove either turned on or off while you’re home alone.
In case of fire, make sure to extinguish all flames before going out and always leave a burning stove unattended since fire damage could spread quickly if left unchecked by other people nearby – even for a short period of time according to fire statistics from the US Fire Administration (USFA).
If there’s no one else in the room with you right now, immediately put out fires that start during cooking as mentioned above and keep any open flame sources away from combustible objects like drapes so they don’t catch fire without supervision present as well. If possible, use electric space heaters instead to stay warm when someone isn’t around to supervise fire sources like candles or matches.
Remember that fire damage spreads quickly when nobody’s looking, so never leave cooking unattended even for a few minutes – including after you’ve turned the stove off if it made contact with flammable materials during use as mentioned above. According to fire experts at NFPA (National Fire Protection Association), most injuries caused by fire start in homes where people aren’t paying enough attention and can spread rapidly without supervision present so don’t take risks here no matter how old your kids are or whether they’re staying home alone today.
If you have pets, make sure their toys are away from any lit fire source since fires usually spread more quickly than usual through drapes, carpeting and other fire damage repair materials when left unchecked by fire safety equipment – especially if they’re made out of fabric or paper.
If there are young children around, make sure they know not to touch fire safety equipment without an adult nearby – even candlelight during romantic evenings according to fire experts at NFPA.
We all know that a fire can be devastating, and it’s important to take steps to prevent them from happening. There are a lot of things you can do before they happen in order to keep your home safe when the worst happens – like installing smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors, having an extinguisher nearby, avoiding cooking with oil or grease, staying away from candles and matches when you’re home alone, and never leaving your stove unattended while it is still on or after turning off. Armed with these helpful tips for preventing fires in your house before they start up again!