Did you know that 80% of fire-related deaths are the result of home fires? They are tricky because fire leaves families only two minutes to escape. Fires are scary because they change lives forever in an instant without advanced warning.
The best way to fight home fires is through learning fire safety. Like so much in life, your response to an adverse situation is what makes the difference between survival and long-enduring pain and suffering!
It sure seems like there is a lot of mention of smoke detectors. It is not your imagination. The reason that smoke alarms are so widely touted is that they are known to cut death by fire by up to 50 percent.
It means the first step in fire safety is to have working smoke detectors. Always check the batteries a couple of times per year. Install them on every level of your house and in every bedroom.
The second level of defense is to keep matches and lighters out of the hands of children. Even teach them to never play with fire. Keep matches and lighters out of kids’ hands in the first place. For adults, it means blowing out candles when leaving a room.
In addition, follow the directions on space heaters. In general, they should be kept three feet or more from flammable items such as bedding, couches, curtains, and the like. Closely watch the kids and pets when a space heater is in use. Always turn off space heaters when you are not using them.
When using gasoline heaters, make sure that the gasoline is stored in a place where kids or incompetent adults have no access to it.
Along the same lines, use common sense in the kitchen. Do not leave food cooking unattended. Keep a fire extinguisher around the house. Spray the wall first in a stove top fire and then the pans. Better yet, keep baking soda near the stove to put out fires if they erupt. Also, keep curtains, dish towels and other flammable articles away from stoves, open flames, and other cooking devices.
Be sure to be safe when it comes to plugging in electrical devices, too. If you plug in too many items, it may cause sparks from overdoing it. Never use extension cords in an overloaded socket. Do not use extension cords in an outlet expander in a power strip or in an over-plugged in socket.
Fire Escape Plan
Another great move to improve the chances of your family making a safe escape from home fires is to create a home escape plan. Teach your family the best route out of the house in the case of a fire. Then, do regular fire drills and time them.
Make sure everyone knows the routes to leave the house. Have a plan, and designate someone to gather younger kids, such as the smaller children and infants. Teach them to have a secondary plan in case the person normally designed to get them is knocked out by smoke inhalation.
Teach your kids what the smoke alarm sounds like, and how to respond to it if it goes off. Teach them to get as near to the ground as possible and to exit the house when they hear it go off.
When It Is Not Safe To Leave
If the door is hot or smoke coming in around the gaps in the door, cover the gaps with wet towels and use an alternate route out of the home, if possible. If there is no way out, wait for help.
Cracks open the window and hold a sheet outside or turn on a flashlight and shine it outside.
All of these moves go a long way in preventing death, injuries, and pain and suffering. The idea is to prevent home fires in the first place. If it does happen, know how to respond. It must be quick and efficient. Make sure everyone in your house knows how to respond effectively.
Prevent home fires in the first place by setting your family up for success. Do not leave candles, heaters, matches, lighters, or stove tops unattended. If you leave the room, shut them all off. In addition, avoid having anything flammable, such as curtains, dish towels, or kids alone in rooms with any of these items next to stoves, candles, or space heaters.
Make a fire escape plan, and run fire drills with your family to ensure that they respond quickly and effectively. The idea is to do so many run-through that if any home fires do happen, they will be able to escape while half asleep.