Keeping your family safe in the event of a fire is of the utmost importance, although of course, you’d probably also like to protect your home from undue damage, as well. While you almost certainly have insurance in place to cover the costs of repair and replacement in the event of a fire, there are things that simply can’t be replaced. So it’s in your best interest to do everything you can to prevent fire in the first place. But since this may not be possible for one reason or another, you also need to be prepared so that you receiver early warning should a fire break out in your home and you know how to react accordingly to save yourself and other members of your household. Here are just a few fire safety tips that are paramount for every homeowner.
- Outfit your home accordingly. The first thing you need to do is make sure your home is properly prepared in the event of a fire. For starters you need to install smoke detectors, and ideally, there should be one in every room in the house. Laws often dictate that you place smoke alarms in bedrooms and potential problem areas like the kitchen. But if you want to be safe, place them in hallways, bathrooms, and even the garage. In addition, you’ll want to place fire extinguishers at exits, keep roll-out ladders (that secure to a window) in upper-story bedrooms, and consider keeping an axe handy on each floor, as well, just in case.
- Check equipment regularly. It is imperative that your fire safety equipment is in good working order, and this means performing regular inspections. You should replace batteries in your smoke alarms every six months, and the best way to remember is to do it when the time change occurs. You also need to check your fire extinguishers at least annually and refill them as needed since pressure will drop over time.
- Create an escape plan. In the event of a fire, you want to have a plan that provides everyone in your family with an escape route. You should also plan for a safe meeting place in case family members are split up during evacuation. In addition, it’s not a bad idea to run safety drills so that everyone is familiar with the plan and can react to a fire situation without panic. It may seem like overkill, but setting off a smoke alarm in the middle of the night and forcing family members to run through a fire drill will give you the best chance of ensuring a speedy escape in the event of an actual fire.
- Talk to kids. Children need to understand the dangers associated with fire, and this requires you to discuss the prospect of fire safety with them. They need to know why playing with fire is not okay, why it is important to remember to turn of the stove, and what to do in the event of a fire. You should make sure that they know how to use a fire extinguisher and that they are prepared to call for emergency assistance.
- Update your alarm system. Many modern home security alarm systems offer extras in the way of sensors that provide fire protection services. If smoke or intense heat is detected in your home, these sensors will send an alert to your security monitoring service and potentially even your smartphone if you have wireless service set up. The monitoring service will then call in the appropriate authorities, helping to address the issue post haste and avoid damage if at all possible.