Every single year in America, over 2,500 people lose their lives from injury from a fire, while another 12,000+ are injured in fire emergencies. Despite these shocking statistics, little attention is paid by the general public on the dangerous posed by fire risks, as well as how they can protect themselves and their family from injury from fire.
There are several things that you can do for home fire protection, including securing your home to minimize the risk of a fire and adequately preparing your family and home in case a fire does occur.
This is especially important for parents of small children and with pets. Before a fire breaks out into your home, it is important to discuss the proper evacuation and action procedure that your family should take should a fire break out. It is important to make sure that your family can effectively espace your home with the essentials in less than two minutes, and that you are consistently able to meet at a prearranged location.
You can also prepare for a fire emergency by testing your home’s fire alarms at least once a month to verify that they are operating smoothly. You can do this by holding a burning match below the sensor. If the sensor goes off without a hitch, you are all set. If the sensor does not work properly, you will need to change the batteries at minimum, and potentially even replace the fire alarm itself.
If a fire does break out in your home, you may not have time to reach your children before the fire does. If the fire does reach your children or their room before you are able to, it is important that they know how to stop, drop, and roll in case a piece of their clothing catches fire as they try to evacuate.
The leading cause of house fires in the United States is lit cigarettes and refraining from smoking indoors is the single most important home fire prevention step that you can take. Even if you are a responsible smoker, it is entirely possible to fall asleep with a lit cigarette and wake up in a ball of fire. Similarly, many smokers will empty their ashtrays in the garbage, thinking that the ashes have long burnt out, only to find that their trash can is on fire and smoking. In order to avoid causing a house fire, it is best to keep all smoking outdoors and several feet away from the house.
Another important home fire safety tip is to check electronics, such as stereos, computers, and especially Christmas lights, for frayed wires, broken hardware, or sparks. These can easily cause a raging house fire and are very common sources of residential fires.
One of the most important steps that you can take to secure your home is to install a home fire alarm that also connects to your home security system and which will alert your home security company to contact the police if smoke is detected, even when you are away from home.
While the above article laid out several important steps that you can take to secure your home, installing a monitored home security system is still the best option. Read our comprehensive how-to guide on selecting a home security company for more information. Plus, check out our review of the top home security companies.