Fires can be frightening and devastating if they get out of hand.
That’s why it’s essential to take steps to prevent fires and to know exactly what to do in the event of one to minimize property damage and health issues.
These tips are easy ways to be prepared for anything. Let’s start with pre-fire tips:
You should have a smoke detector in nearly every room of your home. Since you can’t be monitoring everything at once, a detector can alert you of a fire in another room, giving you plenty of time to get out of the building before it’s too late. They are inexpensive and require very little maintenance, although it is recommended that you check the batteries at least twice a year.
Be Smart With Fire
You’d be surprised how easy it is to light a candle in a room and then forget all about it. According to the National Fire Protection Association, about one-third of fires started by candles are started in a bedroom, and between 2009 and 2013 about 25 home candle fires were reported every day. If you light an open fire, set an alarm to remind you to extinguish it or put it out before you leave the room. You should also avoid lighting a candle before going to sleep.
Plan An Escape
When you have some time, plan and review a system for evacuating your home. If you have a family, be sure that everyone knows exactly where to go in case of a fire. Reviewing this often will keep it fresh in your mind and will make it your natural response, even in a chaotic situation. Make sure responsibilities are clear, like who is going to be in charge of pets or other important items. You can get fire safety gear to keep you more protected from many places online from firefighter supply sites like FireStoreOnline to Amazon and even Walmart.
Taking these easy steps will help reduce the likelihood of a fire and will make things go more smoothly. It isn’t easy to think straight in a situation like a house fire, but try to remember these tips:
Avoid Doorknobs and Use the Back of Your Hand
If you can smell smoke, but you’re unsure whether there’s a fire in a particular room, place the back of your hand against the wood of the door. If you feel heat, then that’s a clear giveaway that there’s a fire spreading inside, and using the back of your hand will prevent you from hurting your palm, which is much more sensitive and vulnerable to burns. In addition, never check for a fire by grabbing a doorknob directly as the metal components can be highly conducive to heat and may burn you.
Stop, Drop, Roll
You’ve probably heard these instructions since you were a child, and for good reason. If you notice any flames on you or feel any burning sensation, you must extinguish the fire before it spreads across your skin and clothing. Stop what you’re doing, drop to the ground, and roll on the floor to put the fire out. Just be sure that you’re rolling in a safe area and not towards any debris or fire.
The most important thing you can do in a home fire is to simply get out of the building. You may be tempted to try to save something of value, but there is nothing more valuable than your life. Get everybody out of the building and leave everything else to the professionals. If you absolutely need something protected, consider investing in a fireproof safe to store it in. Once you’re safe, call 911 immediately.
While it’s totally normal to be afraid during a situation like a fire, it’s imperative that you remain calm and collected. Ultimately you should work to prevent fires at all costs, but these life-saving tips should leave you feeling more confident if one does happen. Lastly, be sure to thank the brave men and women who risk their lives fighting these fires, and stay safe!
Carolyn Clarke believes that safety shouldn’t be out-of-reach nor overbearing. She loves the simple things, and is happy to help others find them as well.