The safety of our family always comes first. We do our best to keep ourselves and our loved ones healthy and happy, and losing our home to a fire is one of the scariest things that can happen. Because of that, we need to learn how to protect ourselves, our home, and our family. There are a lot of prevention and safety rules you should follow, but if you can’t remember everything, you should try to follow at least the most important guidelines.
To help you learn how to protect yourself, we created this guide. Follow these rules and don’t forget to talk to your children about what they should do in case there is a fire in your home or anywhere else they might be.
1. Install Smoke Alarms
Installing smoke alarms should be the number one priority as soon as you move into a new home. Even if the previous owners have fire alarms, you should check them, change the batteries, and see if everything is working correctly. They are the first line of defense when it comes to home fires and they will activate as soon as there is smoke or elevated heat.
Be careful where you install them and if you are not sure what the right place is, you should consult with professionals. It is said that you should install the alarms in at least two different places in your home. You should always put the sensors where your home appliances are – the kitchen and you should put one in the basement. If you can, try and putting smoke devices in every room of your home, so in case something bad happens, you can react right away.
2. Check the Alarms
Experts advise checking the alarms at least once per month. You won’t need a lot of time to do it, and you can teach your children how to maintain and check them. Most of the alarms have a button installed on them and the only thing you need to do is press that button to see if everything is working correctly. You should also check to see if they are loud enough because they need to be noisy enough so that everyone in the home can hear them.
In case you are not sure how you should do the testing or when it is time to maintain the alarms, professionals can help you do it. Maintenance and service are crucial if you want your home to be safe. Don’t forget to change the batteries when needed and think about getting an upgrade to the system so you can follow things even when you are not at home.
3. Check the Appliances
We remember to check the smoke detectors, but what happens if the appliances we use are old or we don’t use them correctly. Never leave things on your fridge or your microwave, and after you are done cooking, remove everything from the stove. If you use the oven, double-check if you’ve turned it off. Don’t put pans with grease or oil in it, even if you don’t use it.
Another thing you should watch out for flammable items like the curtains. Try not to have curtains near the stove, and store the cleaning supplies and chemicals as far away from the appliances as possible.
4. Learn how to use a Fire Extinguisher
We think that having an extinguisher is enough to be safe. However, do you know how to use it? We buy it, we store it and if something happens, we hope for the best. Because of that, you need to find a safe space and practice with it. Invest in one extinguisher that will be used for practice for the whole family. Let everyone have their turns and learn how to use it. You should keep at least two units in the home and one in every car.
5. Make a Fire Escape Plan
You always need a fire escape plan. No matter if you’ve never seen fire and if you take all the necessary precautions, you should always have a plan. Experts say that you should test it and practice it with your family at least two times per year.
Start by drawing the home, including all the windows and doors. Find a way to leave any room in at least two different ways. If you live in a high building, always look for the fire escape stairs and make the plan around it. In the plan, you should include a meeting place, in case you lose sight of each other.
- Follow the Rules
In case a fire happens in your home, you need to follow the main guidelines and rules. Experts say that the first thing you need to do is get out as soon as possible.
The next thing you should do is stay out. Don’t be a hero and don’t go back for your valuables. Things that can be replaced with money are not worth a human life. It is also said that you should not go back and try to save anyone because you will put your life in danger as well. Professionals can help you a lot more in that and it is easier to save one than two people.
If everyone made it out okay, make sure that all the members of your home are safe and call the fire department immediately. In case you forgot your phone in the house, go to your neighbor’s home and tell them to call the emergency services. Or you can tell anyone who you see on the street to do that.
In case a fire occurs in your home, you should never touch any metal object with your bare hands. Door knobs will become really heated and they will burn you. Teach your children the stop, drop, and roll technique and practice it with them. Learn how to extinguish different types of small fires so in case something happens, you will be prepared and know how to act. Remember that oil and water are not a good combination and you should use damp blankets instead. You can also talk to a firefighter and write down all the tips they give you.