Nearly 12,000 people are injured in home fires each year in the United States. This is because of how quickly and unexpectedly fires can start and spread. Not all home fires are preventable, but you can improve your peace of mind by implementing the following fire safety tips for the home.
1. Fire Safety Tips for the Home When Cooking
The National Fire Prevention Association ranks cooking equipment as the top cause of residential fires in the United States. Often, a cooking-related fire occurs simply because a burner, grill, or other heat source is left unattended. The solution is to stay in the kitchen while cooking and keep any flammable items, like kitchen towels, away from the heat source.
2. Have Your Heating System Checked Regularly
Periodically check your wood stove or fireplace for signs of damage. Have your wood-burning appliance professionally inspected and cleaned at least once a year. If you have an HVAC system, have the furnace serviced by a professional every year.
Keep flammable items away from heat sources, including drapes, paper items, and furniture. Be especially mindful of space heaters, which result in approximately 6,000 hospital visits each year.
3. Keep Fire Sources Away from Children
Store matches and lighters away from children. Also, teach your children that matches and lighters aren’t toys. This also applies to any type of flame source, including grills and gas range tops. Use burner covers to discourage your kids from getting curious.
4. Manage Your Cords
Too many plugs in one outlet or extension cord can start a home fire. It is also dangerous to place a rug over power cords in an attempt to hide them, especially if a cord becomes worn enough to expose bare wires that may produce sparks. If you have cords that are showing this kind of wear, it is best to get rid of them.
5. Install Smoke Detectors
One of the most important of all fire safety tips for the home is to have a working smoke detector on each floor of your home and on either side of each bedroom door. Test them once every few months to make sure they are functioning correctly. An easy way to remember to change batteries is to do this on daylight savings.
It is a good idea to hold family fire drills from time to time. This way you can get everyone on the same page on how to leave the home and where to gather. The American Red Cross recommends planning a fire drill that can be completed in two minutes or less.