Home Fire Prevention Guide: Fire Safety Tips
Every homeowner wants to protect their loved ones and possessions from the threat of fires. Fires can strike at any moment, and failing to prepare for these emergencies can lead to dangerous consequences. Participating in house fire prevention is key to keeping your upstate New York or Connecticut home safe.
Taking fire safety precautions around the house can help your family be ready the moment a fire strikes. Start by knowing how to use and maintain fire alarms with these fire prevention tips.
The Importance of Fire Alarms
In fewer than 30 seconds, a small flame can grow into a dangerous fire. At the two-minute mark, it can become life-threatening in size. Within five minutes, the fire could engulf your entire home in flames. You and your family must know what to do if a fire ever strikes your home so you can keep a clear head and reach safety as quickly as possible.
Fire alarms can be the difference between life and death in such a time-sensitive emergency. People lived through house fires at a 54% higher rate in homes with working smoke alarms than in homes without them. Consider a fire combusting in the night when the home's residents are sound asleep. Since fires are often silent during their early stages, a working fire alarm better ensures sleeping household members will realize right away that their lives are at risk.
When every second counts in getting you and your loved ones to safety, you need a way to reduce response time and get into action before a fire can spread. The first step in this process is using fire alarms to their fullest potential.
Smoke Detector and Fire Alarm Safety Check
Consider the following checklist when installing fire alarms in your home:
- Install the right amount of fire alarms: You'll need more than a couple of fire alarms to warn you of fires in your home. Make sure you get at least one for each room and hallway in your house, although large rooms may need more than one fire alarm for adequate protection. If you're unsure, a professional security company can recommend the proper number of fire alarms for your particular home.
- Put them in the right places: Fire alarms are most effective when you put them in the right spot. Install them in the middle of ceilings or on walls a few inches from the ceiling and several feet from a corner. Avoid placing them too close to showers or kitchen appliances, as harmless steam and smoke from these areas can trigger false alarms. A professional can also recommend the alarms' ideal location based on your home layout.
- Maintain your fire alarms: Fire alarms won't last forever after you install them. Check your fire alarms by pressing the "test" button once a week. Then, replace their batteries once per year or whenever you hear the alarm signaling a low battery with a chirping sound. Consider replacing the whole alarm ten years after you install it.
- Have a plan in place if a fire alarm sounds: Many homeowners freeze in their tracks when they hear the fire alarm sound. Instead, you must have a plan in place beforehand to increase everyone's chances of getting to safety. Talk to your family about what to do and where to go if the fire alarm sounds. Practice this plan a couple of times per year to stay prepared for emergencies.
Fire Alarm Safety Devices
Several types of fire alarm safety devices are available to install in your house. They each have different ways of achieving the same goal — warning you of the dangers of fire within your home. Here are some of the available devices that make up a functioning fire alarm system:
- Smoke detectors: These common alarms alert homeowners of smoke in the air, which is usually a sign that a fire is nearby. They can have replaceable batteries or sealed 10-year batteries or exist as part of a wired system.
- Cameras: Installing security cameras throughout your home's interior and exterior can help you find the fire's location by checking your security camera feed. When you're out of the house, you can stream footage to your phone and call first responders if you spot a fire.
- Sprinklers: A sprinkler is an essential feature in a connected fire alarm system. When the smoke alarms sound, the alarm system can trigger sprinklers to cover the area in water. This feature can reduce the fire's damage or stop it completely before firefighters arrive.
How to Safely Use a Fire Alarm
Your fire alarm is a vital feature in your family's fire escape plan. Safely using a fire alarm involves taking the right steps before and after it goes off.
Here are some home fire safety tips to put in place before a fire ever happens:
- Blow out candles: Candles cause 15,600 fires each year. Always extinguish candles when you leave a room and before you go to bed.
- Turn off kitchen appliances: Switch off ovens and stoves after cooking. If you need to leave the room, turn them off in the meantime and switch them back on when you return. Avoid cooking under the influence of alcohol, which can impair your ability to remember to switch off your appliances.
- Give space heaters room: Avoid using space heaters near furniture, curtains or other combustible materials. Turn off space heaters when leaving the room.
- Never smoke indoors: Enforce a "no smoking" policy in your home. A small piece of burning ash or a cigarette that's still lit when its user falls asleep can lead to dangerous situations.
- Prepare with your family: Practice your fire escape plan with your family so that everyone knows what to do in a fire emergency.
Here's what you should do the moment you hear your home's fire alarms going off:
- Put the plan in action: Remember what you practiced and engage in your fire escape plan as soon as the fire alarm sounds.
- Gather at the specified location: Meet at the agreed-upon location and make sure everyone is present.
- Call 911: Call the authorities immediately to report the fire and get first responders on the scene.
- Never reenter the building: Resist the temptation to reenter the building as you wait for the firefighters to arrive, even if a pet or another person is inside. Let the professionals handle these acts of rescue.
Practice Household Fire Safety With Knight Security Systems
When you're ready to take the next step to achieve better household fire safety, rely on the experts at Knight Security Systems every step of the way. We have over 60 years of experience helping people in New York and Connecticut achieve better security from their homes. We'll even install your new fire alarm system and provide maintenance to make sure you're always ready for a fire.
With our 24/7 support, you can feel confident in your protection at any hour of the day. To learn more about home safety and fire prevention tips or ask about a new fire alarm system, contact us today. We look forward to helping you and your family.