Smoke Alarms Protect Your Home From Fire
Smoke alarms give you the chance to escape your house quickly if there’s a fire. Alarms should be installed in every bedroom, in hallways outside of bedrooms, in or near the kitchen, and on every level of your home. To make sure the detectors are working, test your alarms once a month and replace the batteries as needed, at least once per year. The entire device should be replaced every 10 years.
Electrical Wiring Up to Code
One of the most common ways that a house fire starts is from faulty electrical wiring. If you live in an older house, have a licensed electrician inspect your home’s wiring to make sure it is safe. You should also have GFCI outlets in areas where water is used, like kitchens and bathrooms. Never plug too many appliances into one outlet, as this can overload the circuit and cause sparks that may ignite a fire.
Have a Plan
Keeping your home safe from fire is only one part of the equation. Do you know the easiest evacuation routes from your house? Where will your family meet outside to make sure everyone is safe if there’s a fire? Many families never discuss an escape plan, but it can save lives.
Your plan should include how to exit the home from any room. Have multiple escape routes in case one ends up blocked by the fire. Have window ladders for rooms upstairs. Decide on an area to meet away from your house where you can call 911. If you have kids, teach them to crawl low through the house to minimize smoke inhalation.
Keep a Fire Extinguisher in the Kitchen
Fire extinguishers are a critical piece of equipment to keep your home safe from fire. Small fires can be easily put out with a fire extinguisher. Make sure that your extinguisher has not expired and is in good working order. Read the directions so you know how to use it. Don’t wait for an actual fire to read the directions. Finally, keep it in an accessible spot so you can grab it quickly if a fire breaks out.
Never Leave Cooking Unattended to Protect Your Home From Fire
It’s easy to get distracted while cooking. Always keep an eye on your cooking, regardless of what appliance you are using. When you’re finished, carefully check that all appliances are turned off and keep towels and other flammable items away from hot surfaces.
Home fires do happen, but they’re becoming less frequent as building materials improve, codes get updated, and homeowners are more educated about fire prevention. A little common sense will go a long way to keep you, your family, and your house safe.