Residential house fires are both dangerous and costly. Consider the following stats from the National Fire Protection Association, which assessed averages from 2006-2010. Each year, there was an estimated:
- 371,700 home fires
- 2,590 resulting deaths
- 12,910 resulting injuries
- $7.2 billion in home damage
While tragic, many of these house fires, and their subsequent harm, were preventable. So, how can you ensure that your home doesn't become one of these casualties, and that your family is kept safe? Based on our experiences as a provider of monitored fire services, we offer 10 prevention tips to ward off the flames below.
10 Surefire Ways to Prevent Flames
- Install smoke detectors on every floor of your house, and test them monthly to ensure they work properly.
- Never try and put out a fire on your own. Your first priority should be to get out of the house, be in a safe area and to call 911 (or the fire department) immediately.
- Invest in a monitored fire protection solution, in which smoke alarms also alert a monitoring center to dispatch help if you're not home.
- Inspect electrical cords, and replace any that are frayed, cut or damaged.
- Don't overload power circuits. Be especially careful when using power strips by following these safety tips from the Seattle Fire Department, including replacing strips that feel hot to the touch, using on only light electrical loads and more.
- Use space heaters wisely. Keep them at least three feet away from flammable materials, and turn them off before going to bed or leaving your home.
- Don't leave burning candles unattended, and follow candle fire safety best practices, such as keeping them at least 12 inches from flammable materials and only lighting them on sturdy surfaces.
- Keep matches, candles, lighters and other open flames out of reach of children.
- Completely extinguish cigarettes when smoking in or around the home. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, almost 1,000 people are killed in home fires started via cigarettes each year.
- Don't walk away from a hot stove, and watch for flammable materials nearby—your shirtsleeve or a towel, for example. Cooking fires are the leading cause of home fires and injuries in the U.S.
Image Credit: Loco Steve