Fire safety begins with us. We should do our best to secure our homes and businesses from fire hazards. Following these fire safety tips will lessen the possibility of fire damage.
Have smoke detectors in every room. Catching a fire before it becomes out of control can mean the difference between life and death. It can also give you a chance to put out a fire before it overtakes the property, or give you and your family time to escape.
Don’t store appliances like snow blowers and lawn mowers in the basement. These appliances have flammable liquids. When the fumes escape, they can ignite and start fires.
In your bedroom, make sure to never sleep with an electric blanket. Store the blanket in the proper way by keeping it flat. The electrical coils can be damaged if the blanket is bunched or rolled. Keep portable heaters away from clutter, and make sure to turn them off and unplug them. Don’t smoke in bed. Many fires start because a homeowner falls asleep while smoking.
The kitchen is often a source for home fires. Turn off stoves and ovens when not in use. Long sleeves can catch fire, so roll them up or change into a shirt with shorter sleeves. Turn pot handles away from the edge of the stove to reduce the risk of knocking the pot over. Keep towels and dish rags away from cooking appliances.
Grease fires can happen. Smother the fire by placing a lid over the pan. Don’t use water because it can make the fire spread. Instead, use baking soda to suffocate the grease fire. Avoid trying to take the grease fire outside. The pan will be way too hot, and it increases the risk of spreading the fire if the pan drops out of your hands.
Bathroom appliances should be kept in good working order. Don’t use appliances with frayed cords. Keep hair dryers and curling irons away from water sources to prevent electrical shock. Store small appliances the proper way. Unplug appliances when not in use.
In the backyard, dry leaves create a fire hazard. Keep the yard free from dry leaves and other combustible materials. Trim tree branches and remove loose limbs so that fire won’t spread to the surrounding trees. Fire-resistant plants like hardwood trees can provide added protection.
Fire escape plan
Keep entrances and exits clear. Have a plan for fire escape to get your family and pets out of harm’s way. Do practice fire drills with the family so that everyone is on the same page. Remember that fires also don’t follow predictable patterns, so practice with various scenarios.
Fire damage plan
If fire damage occurs, lock and secure the property as much as possible. Only enter the property if the fire department deems it safe to do so. Document the damage with photographs. Inspect the damage if possible. Call the insurance company as soon as you can. Fire damage can leave behind smoke and soot that continues to damage the home. Hire a cleaning and restoration service to preserve your home and restore your property.