According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) statistics, there was an average of 371,000 annual structure fires between 2006 and 2010. While cooking equipment is the leading cause of fires in the home, smoking materials are the leading cause of home fire deaths. According to the report, 15% of fires started in the bedroom, 24% of fires started in the living or family room, 15% of fires start in the kitchen with 11% starting in other rooms. It is important to practice the following fire safety tips to make sure that your home, especially your living room, is safe. There are many sources to find fire safety information for your home including the NFPA website. You can also check with your local fire department for their fire safety tips.
1. The most important starting point for fire safety in the home is to have family escape plan that everyone knows and understands. There should always be two escape routes from each room including doors and windows. Practice the escape plan to make sure that everyone, including young children, knows what to do in an emergency situation. Set a pre-designated meeting point out of the house and away from firemen to meet after escaping the fire in the home. This should be a safety zone away from the fire and not in the fireman’s way. This will allow your family to take a “head count” and inform the fire department if anyone is missing and might need to be rescued.
2. Make sure that there are properly working smoke detectors on every floor in the home. Change the batteries in the smoke detectors every year. The time change in the fall or spring is good times to change the batteries.
3. Fireplaces are decorative, help to provide heat and create a cozy atmosphere in a home. But, they can easily be a catalyst for a fire. Place a metal or fire proof screen in front of a fireplace to protect the room from ashes. Only use wood to burn in the fireplace. Make sure to have the chimney cleaned at least once year. Once the ashes have cooled, properly dispose of them in a metal container.
7. Place objects, such as furniture or drapery, at least 3 feet away from a heat source such as a fireplace or a portable heater.
9. Do not run electrical wires under rugs or carpet. Also, do not attach electrical wires with staples to a wall. The staples could puncture the wire.
Following these simple steps can protect your family in cases of a fire emergency in your home. For more fire safety tips see earlier blog posts from AKE Safety Equipment.