Fires can be the most damaging and fatal of accidents when they occur. The smoke, the flames, and in fact, the temperature itself can cause serious problems to both life and property. In recent years there has been a considerable increase in these types of accidents – on average there is a fire every 86 seconds. As a result, nearly half a million buildings or structures are seriously damaged, and casualties have also increased significantly.
With such an increase in fires occurring these days, everyone should have proper knowledge of fire prevention and what you should do if you ever find yourself trapped in a fire. This fire safety resource guide will help you to get away when any such situation arises.
Fire accidents are really dangerous, so it is always better to prevent one from happening. Here are some of the basic measures necessary to forestall any fire incident:
- Many fire related accidents are caused by the negligence and curiosity of children. So, it is vital to teach your children about basic safety measures and inform them of the consequences if they do not follow your instructions. It is also important to keep matchsticks, lighters, candles, and other related materials out of the reach of your children.
- Smoke detectors and fire alarms are essential to saving lives in the event of a fire. They are your early warning system before the situation gets out of control. It is necessary to install fire alarms and smoke detectors in your home. You should also test them periodically and keep fresh batteries installed.
- If you smoke, it is best to do it away from your home. You should never smoke indoors as your risk for starting a fire greatly increases.
- Cooking is another source of many fires. When cooking, your attention should stay focused on the task at hand. Keep alert while cooking and don’t indulge in other activities while you are cooking. Diversion of your attention may cause something to catch fire.
- Don’t forget to turn off your appliances and stove when you are done cooking.
- Special care is needed when you are hosting a bonfire. When you start a fire outside, make sure that you always wet the surrounding area – wet grass is takes longer to catch fire should a log or cinders fallout of the designated area for the bonfire. When the bonfire is over, ensure that the fire is completely out before retiring inside. Covering the bonfire with sand can help to suffocate any remaining cinders.
- Keep lit candles away from other flammable items such as curtains and out of the way of traffic where it can not be easy bumped or knocked over by someone walking by.
These items can be helpful in preventing a fire or protecting you in case of a fire. They can also help you to devise proper fire safety strategies. Always keep in mind that accidents do happen, but proper planning and clear thinking can minimize the inimical effects of a fire accident.
- Fire Sprinkler System: These systems can help to squelch a fire while waiting for the fire department to arrive, buying you time to get your family to safety.
- Fire Extinguishers: Whether you are able to install a sprinkler system or not, fire extinguishers should be on hand in every home. Keeping them near the kitchen can help to stop a cooking fire from spreading and kitchens tend to be the center of the home and provide the easiest access in the event of an accident that causes something to catch fire.
- Smoke Alarms or Detectors: Every room and hallway should have a smoke alarm/detector. They are more than just warnings of bad cooking – they can help save lives, especially when a fire starts in the middle of the night.
- Signage: Properly marking exits, including all windows, can make it easier to spot these ways out of your home in the event a fire does take hold; enabling your family to find a safe way out faster. Also, there are window decals available that can provide information to the arriving fire department – such as pets or a family member who is too young, too old, or has a disability that may make their escape attempts harder or impossible.
- Fire Escape Ladder: Important for homes with bedrooms on a second story. Popular fire escape ladders are collapsible ones that can easily be stashed in a closet or under the bed until an emergency arises.
- Fire Blankets: Having a fire blanket on hand, stored near the fire extinguisher, can help save a life in the event someone in your family catches fire. They can also provide protection for family members as they make their way out of the home during a fire.
In addition to basic fire prevention and helpful products, it is important to also review your renter’s insurance or homeowner’s insurance to ensure you have adequate coverage in the event that your home or belongings fall victim to the destruction of fire.