Fire safety is not to be taken lightly. While the government has stepped in a lot over the last few decades to tighten regulations in order to keep people safe, they haven’t eliminated all the risks. People still need to take the initiative to get involved with fire prevention and emergency planning all on their own. There are probably hundreds of thousands of unsafe homes across the United States that can be protected with just a few simple changes.
Do you have a fire extinguisher?
One of the most important things is a fire extinguisher. More than that, you need a working one. You should get your extinguisher checked out regularly, and if you have a large home you should have more than one on hand. Remember, these are usually considered unsightly and are therefore, tucked away in corners or cupboards. This is okay, providing that you and everyone else in the home know exactly where to get it from.
Do you have smoke detectors?
Smoke detectors are another important thing. Remember though, they are only useful after the fire has started. If you don’t have them in various spots throughout your home, they won’t do a lot of good. For instance, if you only keep a smoke detector near your kitchen, you won’t ever get alerted to a fire until the smoke reaches that part of the home. Incidentally, a lot of people get annoyed that kitchen-based smoke detectors go off while cooking. Don’t let that annoyance convince you to move it elsewhere.
Is your house properly wired for electricity?
Older homes are at the most risk when it comes to faulty wiring, but newer homes can have issues too. If your home is more than a couple of decades old, you should consider it mandatory to have things checked out. For newer homes, your concentration should be on whether or not you’re misusing power supplies. There should be surge protectors used whenever possible, and you should never have too many things plugged into one socket.
Have you created an escape plan?
You no doubt remember hearing about fire safety escape plans when you were in school, but have you carried what you learned with you and do you put it into use? When there is more than one person living in your home, it’s essential that you all know and follow the same escape plan should an emergency happen. This escape plan should be rehearsed regularly so that no one forgets. In the heat of the moment, this zealousness will have paid off.
Do you take seasonal precautions?
With the changing seasons, you will find that what was once fire safe may turn into a danger. Your front lawn can become covered with dry leaves, your porch can become an unsafe home to a BBQ, and Christmas lights will wind up in places once free of electrical appliances. Whenever any seasonal changes come, you should take a second look at your home.
For help on what you should be looking for, you don’t have to look very far. Government websites are filled with information on how to keep your home safe, but local fire departments can give out literature on the matter as well. Take advantage of these things as much as you can, and you’ll find that you end up with a very safe home.