At Front Range Injury Attorneys, we understand the gravity of fire safety, and we want to ensure that you have all the information you need to keep your home and family safe. Fires can cause severe damage and can be life-threatening. Therefore, it is crucial to take every possible precaution to prevent fires from happening or minimize their impact.
In this article, we will provide you with comprehensive information about fire safety measures that you can implement in your home to protect your loved ones and your property. We will also cover common causes of fires and what to do in case of an emergency.
House fires result in thousands of injuries and fatalities each year. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, there are more than 1.3 million house fires annually, causing nearly 15,000 injuries and 3,400 deaths each year. Home fire damage causes over $23 billion in property losses annually. These terrible events are often preventable. Homeowner carelessness and negligence are primary causes of home fires. Learning home fire safety can save your life and avoid a property loss claim. You may be familiar with fire safety equipment and procedures from your workplace fire safety but these tools and techniques can help you at home, too.
Prevention is the key to avoiding fires in the first place. Here are some measures you can take to prevent fires in your home:
Smoke Detectors: Ensure that smoke detectors are installed on every level of your home, including the basement and attic. Test them monthly, and replace the batteries at least once a year. Smoke detectors can alert you to a fire in its early stages, giving you enough time to evacuate.
Fire Extinguishers: Keep fire extinguishers readily available in your home, especially in the kitchen and garage. Make sure that everyone in your household knows how to use them. In case of a small fire, a fire extinguisher can help you put it out before it gets out of control.
Electrical Appliances: Check your electrical appliances regularly for any frayed cords or other damage. Unplug them when not in use. Avoid overloading circuits and using damaged appliances. This can reduce the risk of electrical fires.
Smoking: Smoking is one of the leading causes of fire deaths. Never smoke inside your home, and ensure that cigarettes are properly extinguished. Provide ashtrays for your guests, and make sure that smoking materials are kept away from flammable materials.
Candles: Avoid using candles, but if you must use them, make sure they are placed in sturdy holders and away from flammable materials. Never leave candles unattended, and keep them out of reach of children and pets.
Cooking: Never leave cooking food unattended, and keep flammable materials away from the stove. Most house fires start in the kitchen due to unattended cooking. Cooking is the cause of more than half of all home fires.
Basic preparation and simple preventative measures can significantly reduce the likelihood of a dangerous combustion or ignition in your house. You may save the life of yourself, family members and pets by taking these precautions.
Common Causes of Fires
Knowing the common causes of fires can help you take preventative measures. Here are some of the most frequent causes of house fires:
Cooking: Unattended cooking is the leading cause of house fires. Therefore, never leave the kitchen while cooking, and keep flammable materials away from the stove.
Heating: Portable heaters and space heaters are a common cause of fires, especially during the winter. Keep heaters at least three feet away from flammable materials, and never leave them unattended.
Electrical: Electrical fires are caused by faulty wiring, overloaded circuits, or damaged electrical appliances. Ensure that all electrical work is done by a licensed professional, and check your electrical appliances regularly for any damage.
Smoking: Smoking is the leading cause of fire deaths. Never smoke inside your home, and make sure that cigarettes are properly extinguished.
Candles: Candles can easily start a fire if they are left unattended or too close to flammable materials. Therefore, avoid using candles, or if you must use them, make sure they are placed in sturdy holders and away from flammable materials.
Emergency Preparedness-What to do if there is a fire in your house
Despite taking preventive measures, fires can still occur. Being prepared can make all the difference in ensuring the safety of your family. Here are some emergency preparedness tips:
Escape Plan: Develop an escape plan with your family and practice it regularly. Identify two escape routes from each room. Make sure that everyone in your household knows the plan and where to meet outside. According to the American Red Cross, your fire escape plan should allow all family members to exit the house in under two minutes. The longer you are in the home, the longer you risk a blocked path, smoke inhalation injuries, or a serious burn injury.
Call 911: Make sure that everyone in your household knows how to call 911 in case of an emergency
Fire Extinguishers: Teach everyone in your household how to use a fire extinguisher, and make sure that there is a working fire extinguisher in your home. If you cannot put out the fire using the extinguisher or if the fire is too large, evacuate immediately.
Smoke: If you encounter smoke, crawl on the ground to avoid breathing in smoke and toxic gases. Smoke rises, and the air close to the ground is safer to breathe.
Exit: If a fire occurs, evacuate immediately. Do not try to retrieve belongings or put out the fire. If possible, close doors behind you to slow down the fire’s progress.
Meeting Point: Designate a meeting point outside your home where you and your family will gather in case of a fire. This will help you ensure that everyone has made it out safely.
At Front Range Injury Attorneys, we want you to be safe and prepared in case of a fire. By taking preventive measures and preparing for an emergency, you can minimize the impact of a fire on your home and loved ones. Remember to practice your escape plan regularly, and keep smoke detectors and fire extinguishers in working order. If you have any questions about fire safety, please do not hesitate to contact our Denver law firm.