There are many fire protection products out in the market, which you should install and maintain throughout the years to keep your home or business safe. Furthermore, check out our tips to prevent fires from starting in the first place.
Fire protection products include many items, which are outlined below.
When handling a fire extinguisher, remember the acronym PASS. This can remind you to do the following:
Pull the pin and have the nozzle point away from you
Aim low and direct the nozzle at the base of the fire
Squeeze the lever evenly and at a slow pace
Sweep the nozzle from left to right, as you get closer to the fire until the flames are extinguished
Remember to also keep a careful watch in case the fire reignites.
On your home fire safety checklist, make sure you inspect your fire extinguishers at least once every year. You can put them in areas where there is a higher likelihood of a fire starting, such as inside your kitchen or garage area. A fire extinguisher should only be used if there is a small fire in a confined space, and when there is no smoke in the room. Make sure to call the fire department ahead of time, and that everyone was able to leave home before you use a fire extinguisher. It is helpful to get training for each family member on how to use a fire extinguisher, and the proper inspection, too.
Smoke alarms should be placed throughout your home on each floor, in both inside and outside sleeping areas, and tested every month. You can check them by pressing the “test” button and listening for noise, and by using a particular aerosol can that disperses fake smoke. Double-check that the batteries are still working and change them out every year, or whenever it starts chirping, which means the batteries are running low. Moreover, smoke alarms should not be more than a decade old.
Carbon Monoxide Alarms
Carbon monoxide alarms should be placed throughout your home on each floor as well, both inside and outside sleeping areas. You can test them each month by pressing the “test” button and listening for noise. Similar to smoke alarms, if the battery starts chirping, that means they have to be replaced. Carbon monoxide alarms should not be more than seven years old. If the alarm sounds (and make sure the alerts can be heard from each bedroom), head outside and catch ample fresh air. Then, call the fire department and wait until help arrives, before re-entering your home.
Your home fire safety checklist should include fire sprinkler systems to spray water directly onto the fire. The cost of installing fire sprinklers is quite low, and it can reduce or extinguish a fire quickly by releasing 8-24 gallons of water per minute, often before firefighters even arrive at the scene. They are also less damaging than having a sturdy hose or fire extinguisher put out a fire. Regular maintenance and check-ups should be conducted every year, particularly for sprinkler heads, valves, pipes, and gauges. Scheduling annual fire sprinkler services and even five-year inspections can ensure your sprinkler systems are always in top shape.
Along with fire safety products, there are many things you can do to practice fire prevention.
Electrical and Appliance Safety
Check all electrical cords and make sure they are in good condition, without any tears or significant wears. Make sure outlets are not warm to the touch and use covers to prevent children from touching them. Ensure candles are not tipped over and are instead in a stable and safe location. Do not smoke inside, and alert children about the dangers of using matches and lighters in the house. Lastly, take the lint out of dryers every time you dry your clothes.
When cooking, be sure to keep miscellaneous items that can catch fire easily at a safe distance, such as plastic, towels, clothes, etc. Do not wear loose clothing while cooking. Stay in the kitchen whenever you are cooking food, especially when frying, grilling, boiling, or even if you only have the stove on. Position pot handles, so they are geared toward the back of the oven and use a timer to remind yourself of cook times. Turn off and unplug any unused appliances.
Make sure all portable heaters are turned off when sleeping or leaving your home. When using a space heater, place them on a level and nonflammable surface, such as a tiled floor. Do not put them on top of a rug or carpet. Keep all flammable items such as your clothing away. If you have a fireplace, keep it and your chimney clean and maintained regularly. Cover your fireplace with a screen, and only burn wood versus miscellaneous items that can fly away and catch other things around the house and cause a fire to start. Be sure that any fire has been completely extinguished before leaving the room.
Be sure to know at least two ways to escape a room in a house, whether it’s through a fire escape, window, etc. Family members should also plan a safe meeting spot outside their home, in case they get separated. If your clothes catch fire, recall the three steps: Stop, Drop, and Roll. Keep aisles and doorways clear, so nothing blocks your path. It is also handy to have flashlights on hand in case a power outage occurs, and always call 9-1-1. It is crucial to practice executing the fire escape plan with family members regularly.
It is essential to maintain fire protection products in your home, to raise an alarm of smoke or carbon monoxide. Having sprinklers and fire extinguishers in place can help mitigate and prevent fires from spreading. Overall tips to include in your home fire safety checklist comprise of being aware of how to use appliances in the home and knowing how to respond in case you need to escape your home due to a raging fire. Special hazard fire suppression systems should also be held in places with high-value items.
To learn more about your home fire safety checklist and protection services, contact the experts at APFE Corp. at (866) 489-7205. Our licensed professionals will be happy to answer any questions you have.