According to the National Fire Prevention Agency, there were over 330,000 house fires in the United States in 2019. Not only did these fires cause billions of dollars in property damage, but they also caused thousands of deaths. You’ve worked hard for your home and care about your family, so check out these 8 useful fire safety tips for the home.
Working smoke detectors are your first defense against a fire. If your smoke detectors run out of battery life or simply malfunction, you won’t be alerted to a house fire and may not have time to escape. To protect your family, check your fire alarms every month and replace batteries at least twice per year. This is one of the most common fire safety tips because it is so important yet often overlooked.
Smoking Fire Safety Tips
If anyone in your family smokes, be mindful of ashes and embers. Pipes should only be emptied into ashtrays, and for good measure, douse the ashes to make sure they are extinguished. To promote fire safety, only smoke outdoors. Never flick your cigarette or ashes towards the ground outside; you could start a fire.
Tend the Fireplace
A fireplace in your living room comes with risks. It’s essential that you tend to your fireplace at all times when a fire is burning. Keep all rugs, carpets, and flammable items several feet away from your fireplace so that they don’t catch any stray embers.
Your fireplace should have a screen in front of it so that burning embers can’t escape. Regularly clean your fireplace and have your chimney swept each year before building your first fire.
Inspect Your Heating System
It’s important to regularly check your furnace and boiler. If you notice any strange odors, damage, inefficiency, or residue, then you should contact a heating professional as soon as possible. Any irregularities pose a serious fire hazard, and your heating system will be easier to fix if you address the problem as soon as it is noticed.
Watch the Stove and Oven for Fire Safety
Always stay in the kitchen while cooking. Never leave your stove, oven, fryer, or other cooking appliance unattended. A minor malfunction or quick spatter of grease can quickly lead to a fire.
Walkways and entrances should be cleared of all debris and obstructions. Tripping over clutter in an emergency could cause injury, so this is one of the most important fire safety tips.
In the event of a fire, you want to be able to escape the premises as quickly as possible with no obstacles to slow you down. Also, keep your lawn clear of brush piles, leaves, and other flammable debris.
Fire Safety Plan
These fire safety tips are most useful when used in conjunction with a fire safety plan. Your family should know what to do in the event of a house fire. Identify 2 exits from each room, establish a safe meeting place away from the home, and outline general fire protocol with your family so that they’re ready if disaster strikes.
Hire Professional Electricians
If you ever need electrical work, hire a professional electrician for the task. Bad wiring is a common cause of house fires and an amateur wiring job puts your home at risk. Electricians are insured, so if anything does go wrong, you’ll be covered.