Protect Your Home and Family with our Fire Safety Tips
Of the numerous potential disasters that you could face in your home, a house fire is likely the most frightening for most of us. While there are a great number of things that are beyond your control, there are certain measures you can take to help prevent and control fires in your home and to protect yourself, your family, your house, and your possessions. We’ve outlined some fire safety tips so that if the unthinkable ever happens in your home, you are prepared to respond.
Check Your Fire Extinguishers
Not all fire extinguishers are intended to be used for the same purpose. Some treat fires started by a wide variety of sources and others are effective only for a few. For example, a fire extinguisher that works on a paper- or wood-based fire may not work on a grease or an electrical fire. When you’re purchasing fire extinguishers, make sure you’re getting the right kinds for your needs.
Check your fire extinguishers to make sure they are full and ready to be used. If you’ve chosen battery-powered extinguishers, change the batteries two times a year. Handy tip: Make a point of changing the batteries whenever you “spring ahead” and “fall back” so that you’ll always remember when it’s time to take care of this important chore.
Fire Extinguisher Placement
Put fire extinguishers in strategic areas throughout your home. Be certain that you have at least one easily accessible extinguisher on each level of your house. It’s important to place them in hallways outside of bathrooms and bedrooms. Keep a fire extinguisher close to your stove, but don’t store it below; in case there’s a fire on your stovetop, you shouldn’t be kneeling down and reaching under the flames to access it. It’s recommended that you mount your kitchen fire extinguisher inside of a cabinet door slightly off center so it won’t take up too much space.
One of the most important fire safety tips is to never use water to try and put out a grease fire. Store a box of baking soda near your stove for this purpose. You can pour baking soda on the fire to smother it and then extinguish the fire by covering it with a lid.
Operating a Fire Extinguisher
If you find yourself needing to use an extinguisher to put out a fire, place yourself six feet from the flames and spray while you sweep the nozzle from side to side.
Install smoke detectors throughout your home to alert your family of any fires and allow adequate time to escape during a house fire.
Put together an escape plan for your family and be sure to map out a number of evacuation routes from each area. Choose a safe meeting place and hold practice runs with your family members.
Put special stickers or other decals on your children’s windows that will help firefighters identify these rooms in the case of an emergency. If you have pets, put a sticker on a window near the front door which denotes how many.
Install panic buttons in your home and be sure that each family member knows where they are and how to set them off. This could be the first warning signal to the authorities, as well as to your family if a fire starts in or around your home.
More fire safety tips and free downloadable apps are provided by the American Red Cross.
1st Alert Home Inspections offers home inspections and inspection-related services to Northeast Ohio. As a firefighter and paramedic as well as a home inspector, co-owner Brett Baldinger always considers home safety as he conducts home inspections. Contact us to schedule your appointment or discuss your home inspection needs!