In 2020, there were more house fires than the preceding year. Although this has changed in 2021, there are still numerous fires every day – many of which are fatal. This year, for Fire Safety Week, we are highlighting some tips that you and your family can adopt in order to stay safe.
If a fire starts in your home or office, according to the American Red Cross, you may have no more than two minutes to escape before the fire either blocks your way or makes it hard to breathe. After the 2-minute mark, the oxygen levels within the building will decrease significantly, which may impede your ability to think clearly.
It is very important to install fire safety equipment, especially smoke alarms and fire extinguishers, in your home or commercial building. Using smoke detectors will give you an early warning of impending disaster. In addition to safety equipment, it is important to create an evacuation plan and review it regularly with all of your family members.
Smoke alarms should be installed on every level of your home or office building. You should install a separate alarm for every room and sleeping area. They should be tested monthly. There is usually a test button on these units that you can press to check the alarm.
If the system isn’t working, immediately replace the batteries and test again. On average, an alarm battery lasts for up to 6 months, and the unit itself lasts up to 10 years.
Ready.gov recommends homes have at least one up-to-date fire extinguisher. This non-profit organization also recommends reaching out to your local fire department for training on how to properly use a fire extinguisher. Be sure to check the expiration date and the pressure meter to make sure the extinguisher is in good working order. Other fire safety experts advise having an extinguisher in the kitchen and near exits.
The most important piece of advice we can share with you is that before a fire breaks out, you should have a detailed discussion with all family members about fire escape routes. Devise a plan, and most importantly, practice the plan with some regularity. Under no circumstances should you go back inside a burning house or building once you are out.
You should wait for the fire department to arrive and call a fire damage restoration company to help you get your home and personal items restored after the fire.