The bedroom can be a person’s sanctuary. But, it can also be a room where home fires can start. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, 600 lives a year are lost to fires that start in bedrooms. These fires can be caused by overloading extension cords, frayed electrical wires, or portable space heaters being too close to combustible items in the room. Bedrooms are the room where more electrical fires start, especially in the winter months, when homeowners use space heaters to add warmth. Other causes of fires in bedrooms are: children who play with matches or lighters, careless smoking in bed, and arson. Children will take lighters and matches and go into hiding places like bedroom closets and under beds to play with them. Be diligent with your children and teach them not to do this!
Below are 10 fire safety tips to keep you and your family safe from possible fire hazards in the bedroom:
1. Keep matches and lighters locked up and away from children.
2. Do not smoke in bed. Make sure to put cigarette ashes out in water.
3. Remember the 3 foot rule. Keep any combustible material at least 3 feet away from a space heater. This includes clothing, curtains, books and magazines. Also do not allow children or pets near portable space heaters.
4. Use lab approved electric blankets and warmers on your bed. Make sure to check the cords for fraying. Lab-approved means that the product has been tested and approved for fire stafety standards by Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
5. Have working smoke detectors on each level of your home and practice the fire escape plan with your family.
6. Do not plug too many items into extension cords or extension plugs into a wall outlet.
7. Do not put electrical cords against the walls or around door frames. Heat can build up and cause a fire.
8. Move electrical cords that are running beneath rugs or upholstery. The heated cords could cause a fire. Check to see if the cords feel hot to the touch. If so, they could be too thin and need to be replaced.
9. Do not put furniture or larger objects in front of doorways or windows. They can hinder escaping from the room in the time of an emergency or prevent firefighters from entering the room.
10. Make sure all waste baskets are clear of heat sources. The contents of waste baskets, such as paper can cause a fire.