When a fire strikes, several lives are turned upside down. In fact, according to the Department of Homeland Security, more than 4,000 people die in the United States, and 25,000 people are injured every year due to house fires. Sadly enough, many of these incidents could have been prevented with education and a plan.
Be sure you and your family are protected from fire and, in the event of a fire happening, your family is safe. Follow these 7 tips to help ensure your safety.
Install Working Smoke Alarms – Having smoke alarms in your home is one of the best defensive moves you can make in protecting you and yours from a fire. In fact, properly working smoke alarms increase your chances of surviving a fire by 50 percent. Be sure to place smoke alarms one every level of your home, including outside bedrooms on the ceiling, at the top of open stairways, or at the bottom of enclosed stairs. Keep one near but not in the kitchen, and be sure to test and clean your smoke detectors every year. Remember to always test the detectors and replace the batteries twice every year.
Come Up With a Plan – It is imperative to come up with a fire plan and review it with your family frequently. Teach your family members to keep low to the floor, and practice escaping from each room with your family. Ensure that the windows in your home are not nailed or painted shut in case you need to use them if there’s a fire. Consider purchasing escape ladders if your home has more than one level as well. Keep a fire extinguisher in an easily-accessible place, and teach all of your family members how to use it.
Take Care of Electrical Cords – Too many electrical cords in one space can overload your circuits and cause a fire. Remember to never overload your wall outlets and to use fuses that are the right rate for your home’s circuits. Never plug in frayed electrical cords! Instead, spend a few extra dollars to buy a new cord.
Be Cautious of Flammable Items – Keep gasoline, benzene, and other flammable liquids outside and store them in approved containers in a well-ventilated storage areas. Never smoke near flammable liquids! When it comes to your chimney, be sure that it’s at least 3 feet higher than your room and that no branches are hanging above or around it. Keep the chimney clean and swept as well.
Be Smart With Home Heaters – Wintertime will soon be upon us, and it will soon be time to break out the space heaters to keep us nice and warm. When you have space heaters in your home, be sure to treat them with care. Keep them away from drapes, furniture, and other flammable objects. As tempting as it might be to fall asleep beside a warm space heater, be sure to turn it off before you go to sleep.
Keep the Kitchen Safe – The kitchen is a common place for fires to start. Prevent fires by keeping your stove clean and free of grease and keeping flammable items including shirt sleeves away from the burners. Have a fire extinguisher nearby in case of a fire, and never, ever leave cooking food unattended.
Be Smart in the Event of a Fire – Sometimes prevention is not enough to stop a fire. Check closed doors for heat before you open them by using the back of your hand to feel the top of the door, the crack between the door and doorframe, and the doorknob before you open it; never use your palms or your fingers to check! If you cannot pass through the door, escape through a window. If that isn’t possible, hang a white or light-colored sheet or large cloth outside the window to notify fire fighters that you are trapped. If you can pass, crawl to the exit. If your clothes catch on fire, DO NOT run; instead, stop, drop, and roll until the fire is extinguished.
Be sure to protect your home as well. Home insurance can help protect you, your family, and your valuables in the event of a fire. If you’re in need of more information or a home insurance policy, call the best – Madison Mutual – at 1-800-766-MMIC or visit us online at www.madisonmutual.com! We will go over all the information and determine which policy is the best for you and your family.