Preventing House Fires
House fires can be devastating and deadly. Like everything else in life, an ounce of prevention is better than all the insurance in the world.
Reducing Your Risk of House Fires
60% of all house fires start in the kitchen – specifically, the stovetop. Never leave your cooking unattended, and keep your cooking area clean of flammable items – cookbooks, paper towels, etc. It can take less than 30 seconds for the smoke to turn into fire. Grease-fires are especially common and responsible for 1 in every 5 house fire deaths.
Electrical fires can happen at any time and usually result in greater loss of property than other types of fires. Avoid running cords under carpets, or in places where they could be tripped over. Never overburden an electrical outlet or extension cord, and use common sense when inspecting old appliances. Old or worn-old plugs and cords can overheat, or cause sparks, and are not worth the risk.
Smoking is deadly, in more ways than one – it is the leading cause of home fire deaths. Take special care to dispose of cigarettes and other burning things carefully.
These few steps can greatly reduce your risk of house fires:
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Check your electrical cords, plugs, and outlets regularly
- Clean the lint tray of the dryer after every cycle
- Don’t place a space heater near furniture, curtains, or other flammable objects
- Get an annual chimney inspection
- Dispose of cigarettes with care
- Have a screen in front of your fireplace to catch embers
Creating a House Fire Plan
Always keep a fully-charged fire extinguisher. The only time you’ll need one is when you’ll really need one. Know what type of fire you’re dealing with. Never throw water on a grease or electrical fire.
Fire alarms (in every room and on every floor) should have their batteries tested monthly and changed yearly.
According to Esurance, 74% of families don’t have a fire escape plan. It’s time to make one.
- Have several escape routes planned – whether it’s a window or a backdoor, know how you can get out of your house quickly.
- Inhaling smoke can quickly disorient you. Stay low and cover your mouth.
- Remove yourself from the danger and call the emergency line as soon as possible
While everyone has keepsakes that are valuable to them, the only thing that can’t be replaced in a house fire is lives. Make sure you know how to reduce your risk of house fires, and have a plan for getting yourself, your family, and your pets to safety.