Fires are one of the most common causes of unintentional injuries and deaths in the home, so please make sure you follow the guidance I gave earlier on installing alarms. In addition, the Federal Government, on its firesafety.gov website offers these tips on other things you can do to prepare for and deal with a fire at home:
– Make and practice a fire escape plan.
– Plan for two ways to escape from each room.
– Plan for everyone in your home – including babies and others who need help to escape.
– Pick a place to meet after you escape to check that everyone got out.
– Practice your escape plan every month.
– Practice getting out with your eyes closed, crawling low to the floor.
– Involve children in making and practicing your escape plan.
– Teach children to never hide during a fire – they must get out and stay out.
– Clear toys, boxes, and other debris from exits.
– Check that windows open easily. Fix any that stick.
– Be sure that security bars on doors and windows have a quick-release latch, and everyone knows how to open them.
– Never open a door that feels hot. Escape another way.
– Escape first, then call for help.
If some of these measures sound a bit dramatic, remember that a small flame can become a big fire in less than a minute, and a home will very quickly fill with thick smoke soon afterwards. And that last bullet point is critical. Not only should you get out fast but you also should never go back into a burning home. If someone is missing, tell firefighters.
I mentioned fire extinguishers in the previous [post], but you need to be wary about their use. If used on the wrong type of blaze they could make things worse. If used when the fire is already out of control, they could waste precious time and cost lives. In fact, the US Fire Administration (USFA) recommends using them only if you’re trained to do so.
Many of the tips I have outlined above apply also to businesses. Having a written plan and conducting regular practices are essential. You may also have special requirements if you handle or store hazardous materials. Speak to your local fire department and invite them to do an inspection and provide guidance.
You should check to see if your property is insured in case of fire; click here for a free quote for Tennessee Home Insurance.