Reports from the National Fire Protection Association say that more than 3,000 Americans are killed every year in fires. The vast majority of these are in buildings, and on average, a structure catches fire every minute somewhere in the USA.
Equally astounding is the fact that so many of these fires could have easily been prevented with better education, the right preventive measures and a little bit of advance planning. This simple checklist is something that could just prove to be a life saver for you and your family.
If you work in an office or public building, there will be fire safety procedures, signage and regular fire drills. Why on earth do we not have the same in our homes? Suppliers like mysafetysign have handy equipment that is just as useful in the home as in a commercial environment, and will get you off to the right start.
Involve the whole family in planning and practicing the best escape route from each room in the house in the event of a fire, and agree on an outside assembly point where you will all meet if the worst should happen. For upper stories, consider installing chain ladders, and make sure everyone knows how to use them.
Have a fire drill at least every six months.
Smoke is a silent killer that claims far more victims than the fire itself. The tragedy is that when a fire breaks out while the household is sleeping, they can become overcome by smoke inhalation without even waking up. Every room should have a smoke detector fitted, and the battery tested every six months – do it at the same time as you have your fire drill.
Cooking-related incidents are the most common cause of domestic fires. Be aware of any grease build-up in the range hood or the stove, and if grease or oil does ignite, use a pan or lid to smother it. Do not be tempted to pour water onto it, as this will only cause the ignited oil to splatter. Avoid cooking in inappropriate, loose fitting garments. Chefs wear aprons for a reason!
Yes, we all know that smoking is bad, but there are still more than 36 million smokers in the US. They are not all going to stop tomorrow, so if there’s a smoker in your household, he or she needs to be aware that while cooking causes the most fires, smoking causes the most fire-related deaths.
This is because when a cooking-related fire breaks out, we know about it and have time to act. Smoking related fires typically result from carelessly discarded cigarette ends that might smolder for hours before a real fire breaks out. Always having a small amount of water in ashtrays means you know the cigarette is definitely out.
These days, we have more electrical gadgets than ever. They all need charging, and sometimes, our outdated electrical systems just can’t cope. Don’t overload sockets with multiple extensions, and if you notice a cord is frayed or damaged, get it replaced immediately.