According to data from the United States Fire Administration, one million fires occur at homes every year, resulting in thousands of deaths and injuries. However, most of these fires are preventable, as they occur either by accident or as a result of negligence. With common sense and attention to detail, we can greatly reduce the amount of home fires annually.
The best way to prepare is to create a fire safety plan for your family, which will tell them what to do and where to go in the event of a fire. It’s also important for your family to be educated on what not to do during a fire, like breathing in dangerous amounts of smoke, one of the leading causes of deaths during fires. Here are a few tips for keeping you and your family safe in the event of a fire.
Fire Safety Tips For Your Home
Whether you live alone, with a roommate or with your family, it’s important to educate yourself on what to do in the event of a fire. You know what they say— better safe than sorry!
Fire-Proofing Your Home
There are a number of preventative measures you can take to make your home less likely to have a house fire, such as:
- Keep an eye on your pots: Whether you’re boiling water for pasta or sautéing onions for a sauce to go along with it, if anything is broiling, boiling, frying or grilling, stay in the kitchen.
- Cover your fireplace: Especially if you have kids, put a protective screen over your fireplace to protect sparks or embers from flying out into the room. Make sure that your ashes are completely cool before throwing them out (in a metal safe container, of course!).
- Don’t smoke inside: Even if you use fire-safe cigarettes, there’s still a chance that you could forget about it and leave it somewhere, resulting in a house fire.
Educate Yourself On What To Do During A Fire
We’ve all heard about stop, drop and roll, but that’s not the only thing you should do during a fire! There are many other tips you should know about, such as:
- Leave immediately: This may seem obvious, but some people might be tempted to run around and gather their possessions before leaving, a bad idea if you want to stay safe.
- Crawl out: Smoke rises, which is why you can avoid too much smoke inhalation by crawling on the floor on your way out.
- Never open a hot door: If a door is hot, it probably means that there’s smoke and fire behind it. After checking with the back of your hand, find another door if it’s hot, and only proceed slowly and carefully if its cool.
- Call authorities: Once you’re out of the house, call the fire department as soon as possible and explain the situation.
Prepare For Aftermath Of Fire
Experiencing a house fire can be pretty traumatizing and scary, but there are things you can do to make it easier on yourself and your family, like:
- Ask for help: Whether it’s from family and friends or a local relief center, there’s no shame in getting some outside support after a house fire.
- Talk to insurance: This is what insurance is for in the first place, helping you in times of emergencies. Be sure to make a plan with your insurance agent on how to keep your home safe until its repaired, clean up the damages and hopefully receive some financial assistance along the way.
- Call the IRS: Sure, this doesn’t exactly sound like the most fun thing in the world, but you may be entitled to some benefits from the Internal Revenue Service.
Recap of Fire Safety and Security for the Home
This is just a small sampling of things you can do before, during, and after a house fire to keep you and your family safe. To learn more, read our comprehensive guide to fire safety or leave a question below. We’re looking forward to hearing from you soon and remember, be secure!