According to the U.S. Fire Administration, there were roughly 354,400 residential fires in 2019. And of those hundreds of thousands of fires, 1,900 of them were fatal.
These numbers are scary to read, but they don’t have to be you. Because luckily, there are several things you can do to prevent house fires from happening.
Keep reading to learn 5 home fire safety tips that could save your life.
1. Check Smoke Alarms
Part of building fireproof homes is installing smoke alarms on each level of your house.
But even if you already have them, you have to check them periodically. You should replace the batteries every six months and replace the whole smoke alarm every 10 years.
And if you’re deaf or have deaf family members, you can get vibrating or flashing smoke alarms.
2. Be Careful of Candles and Appliances
Candles, straighteners, and curling irons can all be fire starters. To avoid fires with these items, never leave the room while they’re going or plugged in. And if you have to leave the room, make sure they’re out/off and away from flammable items.
Portable space heaters are also big offenders. Make sure you keep flammable items at least 3 feet away from them and switch them off when sleeping or leaving the room.
3. Keep an Eye On Your Cooking
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, 50.2% of all residential fires in 2019 were caused by cooking accidents.
To avoid this, always keep an eye on the stove and grill when cooking. And don’t forget to wear short sleeves or tight-fitting clothing, so your sleeves don’t catch fire.
But just in case, keep a fire extinguisher nearby if something goes wrong with your meal.
4. Know Your Escape Routes
It’s great if you can prevent a fire from occurring. But accidents happen, and you should have multiple escape routes from your home in case of a fire.
There should be at least 2 ways to escape from every room, such as a door and a window. You will likely need to purchase fire escape ladders for rooms on the second or third floor.
And if you live with a family or roommates, establish a safe meeting place outside once everyone has escaped the fire.
5. Create an Emergency Plan
Everyone in your home should know what to do in case of an emergency. The first step is to call 911 immediately so firefighters can get there quickly. Next, you have to take your escape routes.
If you’re in a closed room, check the doorknob to see if it’s hot. If yes, head toward your second escape route. If no, open the door and stay low under any smoke until you’re safe.
And if your clothes catch on fire in the process, do the stop, drop, and roll until it’s out.
Home Fire Saftey Could Save Your Life
While it can be frightening to think about a fire in your home, fire preparedness is important. So it’s time to check those smoke alarms, unplug your curling iron, and create an emergency plan. And of course, always watch the stove while cooking!
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