Fire Safety Tips

Learn some important fire safety tips

Fire Safety Tips

No one expects to face a dangerous fire in their home, but there are more than 1.3 million home fires every year that hurt over 15,000 people and kill about 3,000. The good news is most home fires can be prevented with planning and a mind toward safety. Here are some top tips for home fire safety.

Install Smoke Alarms

Having working smoke alarms in your home reduces the risk of death in a fire by half. Be sure you have smoke alarms on every floor of your home, inside bedrooms, and outside of sleeping areas. The alarms should be tested once a month.

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Create a Fire Escape Plan

Every household should create and practice a home fire escape plan. This plan should designate two escape routes that everyone in the home can access. Someone should also be designated to get small children to safety with a back-up plan if this person is overcome by smoke. Teach children to test doors for heat before opening and to crawl when leaving the home if there is smoke.

Smoking Safety

Cigarettes are a leading cause of home fires. If you smoke, do so outside. Most deaths from smoking-related fires occur in bedrooms, living rooms, and family rooms. Do not throw away cigarettes in vegetation or landscaping. Extinguish cigarettes in a deep ashtray away from anything that may burn. Douse cigarette butts in sand or water before throwing away to be sure they are out completely.

Dryer Safety

Along with cigarettes, clothes dryers are a leading cause of fires. When the dryer vent is not cleaned and becomes clogged with lint, the dryer will work harder to dry clothes. The lint can then become kindling and ignite due to high heat. Make sure you clean the lint filter before each load of laundry. Replace older vents with flexible or rigid metal venting for better air flow. Once a year, have the dryer vent professionally cleaned to remove the accumulation of lint.

Christmas Tree Safety

Christmas trees can quickly become the source of a major fire. If a small fire spreads to the tree, it will also grow large easily. Make sure you choose a tree with fresh green needles. The tree should be placed at least 3 feet from a heat source like a radiator, fireplace, heat vent, or lights. Add water daily to your tree stand. Christmas tree lights should be turned off before going to sleep or leaving the house. Only use lights for indoor use that are in good condition without loose bulb connections or worn cords.

General Tips to Prevent Fires

  • Do not plug several appliances into the same outlet
  • Install a barrier around ovens, furnaces, and fireplaces if you have small children
  • Keep candles away from anything flammable and extinguish before leaving the room or going to bed
  • If you use a space heater, keep it 3 feet away from anything that can burn. The heater should have an auto-off feature if the heater is tipped over. Plug the heater directly into a wall outlet, never an extension cord.
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