Continually, a push to bring awareness about fire awareness happens in the fall months by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). There is a push to educate parents, children and families about fire prevention and fire safety within homes and apartments. The United States has one of the highest fire death rates in the world. More than 4,000 Americans die in fires, more than 25,000 are injured from fires and more than 100 firefighters are killed while on duty, yearly. Many deaths and injuries are related to fires that begin in the home.
To make sure that you and your family are safe, use safety measures to safeguard your home or apartment. For this year’s Fire Prevention Campaign, the key message is to install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside a sleeping area and on each level of the home. The campaign urges to “hear the beep where you sleep.” Not only having working smoke alarms help with fire safety, but there are things to do for fire prevention inside you home.
Here are ways to make your home safer:
- Have a working smoke alarm in every bedroom of the home, on each floor and close to the kitchen.
- Test your smoke alarms regularly. Replace the batteries twice a year. Either when clocks move forward in the spring or back in the fall. Even the 4th of July and Christmas are a good timeframe.
- Only clean your smoke alarms with a vacuum cleaner.
- Three out of five home fire deaths are caused by home with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.
- Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in reported home fires in half.
Carbon Monoxide Alarms
- Carbon Monoxide is a odorless, tasteless gas formed by incomplete combustion of carbon.
- A carbon monoxide detector can detect the presence of carbon monoxide and will sound an alarm.
- Many new smoke detectors also have built in carbon monoxide detectors so that you don’t have to buy two products.
- Similar to smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors should be on each floor of the home and extra alarms in each sleeping area.
- Two of every five home fires begin in the kitchen.
- Never use the range or oven to heat your home. Ranges account for three of every five home cooking fire incidents.
- Never leave cooking unattended by an adult.
- Space heaters must be at least three feet away from anything flammable, such as upholstered furniture, clothing, mattresses or bedding.
- Use on the type of fuel specifically designated for your space heater.
Smoking Materials and Candles
- Keep matches and lighters away from children.
- Most death in home smoking-material fire were cause by fires starting in the bedroom.
- Never leave a candle unattended.
- An average of 29 home candle fires are reported per day.
- According to an NFPA survey, only one-third of Americans have both developed and practiced a home fire escape plan.
- Bring your family together once a year and form a few different escape plans and decide on a meeting location in case everyone gets separated.
- All electrical work in the home should be performed by licensed electricians.
- Almost half of home electrical fires involved electrical distribution or lighting equipment.
- Check your cords, outlets, switches and appliances frequently for frayed or exposed wires.
- Do not overload extension cords or outlets with too many devices or appliances.
- Never extension cords or electrical cords under rugs or carpets.
- Make sure outlets in the kitchen and bathroom are Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) protected.
- Keep fire extinguishers readily accessible in the kitchen, garage and on each floor
Get more safety tips and learn more about fire prevention safety on the National Fire Prevention Association’s website, www.nfpa.org.