Every 86 seconds in the U.S., a home structure fire is reported to first responders, according to the National Fire Protection Association. The good news, though, is that house fires are highly preventable by familiarizing yourself with a few simple everyday precautions. Take a look at the top five fire safety tips that every homeowner should know to help prevent fires and keep their family safe.
1. Know How to Use a Fire Extinguisher
One of the most important fire safety tips is to make sure you have a working fire extinguisher, located somewhere easy to reach in your home. It’s also important that you know how to properly use this equipment, should you ever need to. When using a fire extinguisher, keep the acronym PASS in mind:
Pull the pin located at the top of the fire extinguisher
Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire
Squeeze the lever to begin spraying
Sweep from side to side while still aiming at the base of the fire
Teaching children how to use a fire extinguisher is not only a great fire safety tip, but it’s also a valuable life lesson.
2. Test Smoke Alarms Regularly
Smoke alarms are invaluable safety devices, but they won’t do much good if they’re not working properly or are out of batteries. As a general rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to check all the smoke detectors in your home at least twice a year. If you locate one that isn’t working, replace it as soon as possible.
3. Check Electrical Cords
Cracked or frayed electrical cords can start a fire, so make sure you replace these as soon as you notice that they are damaged. You should also take care not to overload circuits in your home, never use extension cords as permanent wiring in your home, and make sure all light bulbs are the proper wattage for the fixture that they’re in.
4. Never Leave Open Flames Unattended
Leaving a candle unattended is one of the leading causes of house fires across the country, so take special precautions when lighting them in your home. Place candles in a safe area away from curtains, drapes, and other flammable objects that could easily be blown into the flame. Never leave candles or fireplaces burning while you’re not at home or at night while you’re sleeping.
5. Cook Cautiously
Cooking accidents are another common cause of house fires in the U.S. Any time you have an open flame on the stove, make sure you’re in the same room to monitor it. Otherwise, turn the burner off.
It’s also important that you know how to handle a grease fire when cooking. Never put water on a grease fire. Instead, you need to eliminate the oxygen source by covering it with a pot lid or pouring salt or baking soda on top of it. If you can’t control the fire, call 911 immediately.
If you’d like to learn more about how to keep your home and family fire safe, register today to attend a FREE fire safety course provided through the Bernice & Joe Stimel Fund at the Allegheny-Kiski Health Foundation on Tuesday, August 1, 2017 from 6 – 8pm.
Experienced fire fighters will provide life-saving tips on ways to keep your home safe from fire, as well as how to keep your family safe in the event of a fire in the home.
You can reserve your spot by calling the AKH Foundation today at (724) 294-3157 or contacting us online.