In the US, every 23 seconds, a fire department responds to a fire somewhere in the nation. Although the number of fires and fire deaths has decreased significantly since the 1970s, few statistics are quite troubling.
But the question lies, are you aware that if a fire starts at your home, you may have as little as two minutes to escape? During a fire, early warning from a working smoke alarm along with a fire escape plan that has been practiced can help save lives regularly. Here in this blog, you will get to learn a few tips to keep in mind to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.
Installing fire protection
Smoke alarms are the best early warning system for fire events. Install smoke alarms at every level of your home, including outside, basement, and sleeping area. For example, install one inside your sleeping area if you sleep with the door closed.
You should test alarms each month and replace batteries once a year or whenever an alarm ‘chirps’ to show the sign of low battery power. Never ‘borrow’ a smoke alarm’s battery for another use. A disabled alarm can also save your life. Replace all the alarms that are more than 10 years old. Consider installing an automatic fire sprinkler system if you want complete home protection.
Plan your escape from fire
You may need to get out fast if a fire starts in your home. Sit down with your family and try to work out an escape plan in advance. Make sure that everyone knows at least two unobstructed exits, including windows from every room. If you live in an apartment building, you should skip the elevator and avoid using the stairs to escape from fire. Instead, it would help if you decided on a meeting place outside.
Keep an eye on smokers
Careless smoking is one of the leading causes of fire deaths in the US. Smoking when you are drowsy or when in bed could be fatal. Provide smokers with soak butts, non—tip, and deep, large ashtrays with water before you discard them. Before leaving home or sleeping after someone has been smoking, check around upholstered furniture or under cushions for smoldering cigarettes.
Lighters and matches are tools for only adults
Use only child-resistant lighters and store all matches and lighters up high, where kids cannot reach or see them, preferably in a locked cabinet. Teach children that lighters and matches are tools for only grown-ups. Always teach young children to tell a grown-up if they find lighters or matches; older children should immediately bring matches and lighters to an adult.
Always stay near the cooking counter to monitor it closely. Keep cooking areas clear of combustibles, and wear clothes with tight-fitting, rolled-up, or short sleeves when you cook. Turn pot handles inward on the stove where you can’t bump them and children can’t grab them. Enforce a ‘kid-free’ zone three feet around your kitchen range. If grease catches fire in a pan, slide a lid over the pan to smother the flames and turn off the heat source. Leave the lid on until the pan is completely cool.
Give space for space heaters
Keep space and portable heaters at least three feet away from anything that may burn. Keep pets and children away from heaters, and turn them off when you go to sleep or leave home.
Use electricity safely
If an electric appliance has an unusual smell or smokes, unplug it immediately and then get it serviced before you use it again. Replace any electrical cord that is frayed or cracked. Plug only one electrical cord into each receptacle. You should avoid running any cords under rugs. Also, do not tamper with your fuse box or use improper size fuses.
Cool down a burn
Run cool water over a burn for 10-15 minutes. Remember not to apply ice. Never put butter or any other kind of grease on a burn. See a doctor immediately if the burned skin is charred or blisters.
Crawl low under smoke
If you encounter smoke while you escape from the fire, it is best to use an alternative escape route. Escape through smoke, crawl on your knees and hands, keeping your head 12 to 24 inches above the floor, where the air will be cleaner.
Stop, drop, and roll
If your clothes catch fire, do not try to run. Instead, stop where you are and drop to the ground. Now cover your face with your hands, and roll over and over to smother the flames. Finally, cool the burn with water and call for help.
If you practice these habits and tips as a family, the above simple steps could help to make a difference between whether you successfully escape the house or suffer repercussions.
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