There are simple ways to keep your home safe from fire and protect your family. A house fire is a scary thought, but it can be prevented.
Taking the time to reduce fire risks around your home is important because in the event of a fire you may have less than two minutes to escape. Early warnings from smoke alarms and practiced escape plans regularly save lives.
Here’s how to keep your family and home safe from fire:
1. Install smoke alarms
The best way to reduce risks of fire in your home is to install smoke alarms. They should be installed on every level of the house, inside bedrooms and kitchens. Teach your children what smoke alarms sound like and what to do if they hear one.
2. Test smoke alarms every month
There’s no use in having smoke alarms installed if they are faulty or have flat batteries. Check your smoke alarms each month and run a test to see if they are effective. If they’re not working, replace the batteries or buy new smoke detectors.
3. Plan & practise a fire escape plan
Creating a fire escape plan with every member of your household is critical for saving lives. Practice your two-minute escape plan at least twice a year. Each family member needs to know two ways to escape from each room and the designated outside meeting point.
Also, take note of elderley or disabled family members who may need help to escape. Establish a family emergency communication plan and ensure that all household members know who to contact if they can’t find each other.
Additionally, it is important to ensure all of your family members are trained in STOP, DROP and ROLL.
4. Check appliances and heating sources
Another important way to reduce risks of fire in your home is through regularly servicing, cleaning and maintaining appliances and heating sources.
Almost half of house fires start in the kitchen, so make sure to never leave cooking unattended and to avoid hazards like leaving a tea towel on the stove.
5. Practise good electrical safety
Electronics can pose a fire risk to your home if not properly maintained. Look for frayed wires, surge marks in wires and damaged cords.
If you see exposed wires, unplug the device and replace it immediately. Keep cords away from furniture and rugs. Also avoid overusing extension cords or crowding them into one socket.
In the event of a fire, ensure that you know where your fire extinguishers and fire blankets are located.
Remember, if a fire does occur the first thing you should do is to get everyone out and then call 000.