Fire safety should be practiced by all family members. Awareness of potential dangers and preventive actions are preferable to even the fastest response. Keep these hints in mind when building your own fire prevention plan for you and your family.
Train Family Members
- Ensure that all family members know what escape routes exist in your home.
- Conduct a fire drill with family members.
- Test the smoke detectors to assure they function and so that everyone recognizes the sound. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for cleaning and servicing all of your smoke detectors.
- As soon as possible, teach young children how and why to dial 911.
- Have a general use fire extinguisher and instruct all family members in its location and use.
- Teach children the safe use of appliances such as irons and toasters.
- Store matches away from children and heat sources.
- Avoid smoking in bed.
- Avoid leaving small children home alone, even for a short time.
- Maintain appliances in a clean and safe working condition.
- Avoid overloading electrical outlets.
- Ensure that all electrical cords are in good repair.
- Use correctly sized fuses.
- Avoid having any flammable objects or materials near the stove.
- Keep the range hood filter clean to prevent a build-up of grease.
- Allow space for cooling around electrical equipment.
- Unplug the iron when it is not in use. Do not leave an iron that is on unattended.
- Use electric blankets with care, following manufacturer directions.
- Store volatile materials (paint, gasoline for the lawnmower, and so on) in appropriate containers, away from flames (such as pilot lights) or heat sources. Many trash collection services offer a means for you to dispose of hazardous items. Check with your service provider for details.
- Keep the barbeque clear of flammable objects and materials.
- If your home includes a gas fireplace, follow all directions and do not leave the fireplace unattended when it is on. If you have a wood-burning fireplace:
- Arrange for professional cleaning of the chimney at appropriate intervals.
- Maintain the spark arrester on the chimney.
- Never use liquid fire starters (such as for a charcoal barbeque) in an indoor fireplace.
- Use a screen or glass doors when a fire is burning.
- Confirm the fire is out before closing the flue.
- Do not leave the fireplace unattended while a fire is burning.
- During holidays, ensure that all cords and connections are in good condition and of appropriate capacity for electrical decorations.
- If you decide to remodel, finish the basement, or add to your home, obtain a building permit, and work with trained professionals. Ensure that all building department inspections occur and that the work complies with all applicable codes. This also applies to install a gas line for an outdoor barbeque, a gas fireplace, clothes dryer, and so on.