Fire Safety and Prevention

Fire protection is crucial for the safety of your home and your family.  Home fires are one of the leading causes of accidental death every year and account for nearly $2 billion in damages.  You can take some easy and effective steps to protect your home and family from the devastating results of fires.

Fire Prevention Techniques

Fires can begin almost anywhere, but there are two areas in your home which are more prone to fires.  These two areas are the kitchen and the garage.  Reduce the risk of a home fire in these areas by following these precautionary steps:

  • Use only UL-listed (Underwriter’s Laboratory) or FM (Factory Mutual) approved appliances and tools
  • Check for frayed or worn power cords and plugs regularly
  • Replace worn cords and plugs immediately
  • Do not operate appliances, outlets/ switches with wet hands
  • Do not plug in more appliances than a socket is meant to handle
  • Do not store flammable items over stoves
  • Turn pot handles in so children cannot grab them
  • Keep a fire extinguisher near the stove
  • Keep areas around kitchen appliances clean to prevent dust from igniting
  • Keep trash away from the furnace or water heater
  • Check the heating system annually
  • Store gasoline and other combustibles in tight metal containers away from the house

Install Smoke Detectors

One of the easiest ways to make sure that your family is safe is to install smoke detectors.  Most deaths from fires happen when people are sleeping.  Smoke detectors help prevent these sleeping deaths from waking your family members and alerting them to an issue inside the house.  The National Fire Protection Association recommends installing a smoke detector just outside each bedroom.  They also urge homeowners to place at least one smoke detector on each level of their homes.  Also remember to test the alarms once a month.  Batteries do not last forever!

Install a Monitored Fire Detection System

While smoke alarms can alert your family to a fire and prompt an evacuation having a fire detection system that is monitored is even better.  In addition to saving your family a monitored system immediately sends a signal to a monitoring center where they can quickly dispatch the fire department to your location.  They provide more complete protection, especially if you are away from your home for an extended period of time.

Keep a Fire Extinguisher

Fire extinguishers are great for helping control small fires which will also help prevent further damage.  There are different types of extinguishers for different types of fires, however the A-B-C extinguisher is useful in almost all small fires.

Plan an Escape Route

If you find your home in a large and uncontrollable fire you and your family’s best defense is a quick escape.  Have an escape route planned for your family in the event of a fire.  Practice it on a regular basis and even consider planning alternative routes in the event that your original plan will not work.  You should practice this alternate route as well.

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