The following are ten important fire safety tips that everyone should know, whether you live in an apartment building or a house in the suburbs. Even if you’re not in danger of starting a fire by accident, fires can be started by others and affect you, your family, and your home whether you’re present at the time or not. Knowing how to safely put out a small fire can save lives and property—take these tips seriously! You can also check fire alarm requirements for offices.
Test your smoke alarms monthly
Make sure to test your smoke alarms monthly to ensure they’re working. If you have a battery-operated model, change the battery at least once a year. In general, fire departments recommend installing at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home, and in each bedroom. Ideally, there should be one on every wall of the living area. Install them high up on the ceiling or near an upper window. Smoke rises, so installing them high up or near an upper window is important.
Create and practice a home fire escape plan
It’s important to create and practice a home fire escape plan that can help you get out of the house quickly if there is an emergency. You should know two ways to get out of your home, and in case one is blocked, you should know how to use another way. Make sure all windows are unlocked before leaving the house so that you can jump or climb out as needed. Keep a phone by your bedside with an alarm set for at least five minutes after you go to sleep.
Keep flammable and combustible materials away from heat sources
It’s important to keep flammable and combustible materials away from heat sources. This includes clothing, paper, cardboard, wood, plastic, gasoline, and other fuel. Be careful when you’re cooking too – if you have an open flame on the stovetop or in the oven it can ignite any nearby flammable material. Also, don’t smoke while you are cooking as this is a major fire hazard as well. And of course, be sure to unplug your space heater before going to bed or leaving home.
Make sure your pets and family members know about the dangers of kitchen fires too.
Never leave candles unattended
Don’t leave candles unattended; always keep them away from anything that can easily catch fire. Candles are a leading cause of home fires, so take precautions to ensure the safety of your family by keeping them away from furniture, curtains, and other flammable items. If you must use a candle in a room with something that can easily catch fire, make sure there is nothing nearby that could be accidentally knocked over or blown out by an open door or draft.
Don’t overload electrical outlets
One of the most common causes of home fires is overloaded electrical outlets. It’s easy to overload an outlet, especially if you’re charging more than one device. When you plug in your devices, it can be tempting to push them back into the wall socket as far as they’ll go. However, this will cause a fire risk and can lead to a power surge that could damage the devices or worse—cause a fire.
Keep lighters and matches out of reach of children
Keep lighters and matches out of reach of children. Lighters are not toys and should never be used by anyone under the age of 18. Matches must be kept in a safe place where they cannot be reached by children, pets, or anyone else who is not responsible enough to use them without causing harm to themselves or others.
Never smoke in bed
It may seem like a harmless activity, but smoking in bed is extremely hazardous to your health and the health of anyone else in the home. Smoking next to a mattress increases the risk of fire by three times and nearly doubles the risk of fatality. Even if you’re not smoking, chemicals on your clothes and hair could ignite as they come into contact with bedding or other combustibles.
Don’t use portable generators indoors
Portable generators are necessary for power outages, but they should not be used indoors because they can produce carbon monoxide and cause fires. If you’re using a generator inside, it needs to be in a well-ventilated area with a carbon monoxide detector nearby. Generators should also never be refueled when they’re running.
Have your chimney cleaned annually
A chimney is one of your home’s most important fire safety features. Have your chimney cleaned annually to ensure it’s operating at its peak performance and that it’s safe for use.
Install and maintain carbon monoxide alarms
Carbon monoxide alarms are important because they are the only way to detect carbon monoxide in the air. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas that can cause injury or death. You should install an alarm in any room with a fuel-burning appliance like a furnace, water heater, stove, or fireplace. Be sure to check your alarms every month and replace batteries as needed.