As a homeowner, it’s important to practice fire safety in and around the house. House fires cause devastating damage every year. Plan for an emergency situation so you’ll be better prepared if a fire does break out in your home. Below are some safety tips that you can use to keep your family safe in case of a house fire.
Create an Escape Plan
The first step in keeping everyone safe in case of a fire is to make a plan for exiting the building. Each room must have a detailed escape plan, ideally with two options for exits. Your fire escape plan should include a meeting area safely away from the home. Practice the designated escape routes out of the house several times until everyone knows them.
Inspect Smoke Detectors
Regularly inspect and test smoke detectors as part of your home maintenance checklist. Don’t deactivate alarms, even if they are set off accidentally when cooking. If false alarms are happening often, move the detecting device a few feet farther away from cooking appliances. Test your smoke detectors every month and replace the batteries twice a year.
Have Fire Extinguishers on Hand
Equipping your home with fire extinguishers can make a difference in the amount of damage done by smoke and fire. It only takes a few seconds to grab an extinguisher and put out a small household fire.
Keep extinguishers throughout the house, but especially in the kitchen, basement, garage, and near the backyard grill. Make sure they are easy to access and that your family knows how to use one.
For Safety, Install Fire Escape Ladders
Install escape ladders in second and third-story rooms. This is especially important in bedrooms, which often have only one exit. Equipping your home with fire escape ladders will make it easy for anyone who’s not on the ground floor to safely get out of the house.
Clean the Chimney
Regular chimney inspections and cleanings are important for fire safety and prevention. Clogged and dirty chimneys are one of the leading causes of home fires. Wood-burning fireplaces cause soot and creosote to build-up, depending on the type of wood used. The creosote that collects in the chimney can ignite and cause a fire.
Teach Your Family Fire Safety
Review the basic concepts of fire safety with your family, especially young children. Teach children how to use the fire extinguisher in case of an emergency.
Make sure all family members know to test a doorknob to make sure it isn’t hot before exiting a room. They should also know that if the smoke is too thick to see, crawling on the ground will be a safer way to exit the building.