Your home is your sanctuary. To keep it and your family safe, it’s essential for everyone in the house to understand the basics of fire safety. Each year, thousands of house fires occur across the U.S., many of which cause devastating damage and serious injuries or fatalities. Fortunately, fire restoration can repair much of the damage, especially if a blaze is stopped quickly. There are also precautions you can take to reduce the risk of a fire in the first place.
A Guide to Fire Prevention & Safety
1. Make a Fire Safety Plan
Establish a fire safety plan that can get everyone out of the house in two minutes or less. Have multiple escape routes, including a means to exit the top floors if the stairs are impassable. Instruct family members on how to remove window screens and open locks. Designate a meeting place away far away from the house where everyone can assemble.
Also, ensure everyone knows how to behave in a fire. Instruct everyone to get as low to the ground as possible and crawl to the nearest exit, checking that the doorknob is cool to the touch before opening it. If clothing is on fire, teach family members to stop, drop, and roll.
2. Have Safety Equipment
Fire extinguishers should be accessible to everyone, including older children who may be left alone at times. Teach them how to use the device, which typically involves pulling a pin, aiming the nozzle at the base of the fire, squeezing the trigger, and spraying in a side-to-side motion.
All homes should have at least one fire extinguisher, though one for each story of the house is better. Every house should also have multiple smoke alarms, particularly in bedrooms and the kitchen. Ensure the devices have charged batteries; check and replace these as needed.
3. Be Careful With Flammable Items
Ensure flammable items, such as gasoline, oil, and aerosol containers, are kept far away from items that get hot or create sparks. Gas should be kept in an airtight container, preferably outside of the house. Any flammable fabrics should also be kept at least three feet away from space heaters and furnaces or fireplaces.
4. Don’t Leave Lighted Devices Unattended
Never leave your cooking unattended and turn off the kitchen stove and oven when not in use. If you have a fireplace, have it serviced at least once a year to ensure smoke is properly ventilated away from the home. Never leave a lighted fire unattended.
If you have experienced a house fire, turn to the fire restoration specialists at SERVPRO of Greater St. Augustine / St. Augustine Beach. These professionals have helped hundreds of residents and businesses throughout the Greater St. Augustine, FL, area, providing a range of services including fire restoration, water extraction, and mold remediation, as well as storm damage restoration. Call (904) 429-4457 to schedule fire restoration services, or visit their website to learn more about how they can help you recover from an emergency situation.