House Fires can spread quickly, and within minutes a home can be engulfed in flames. In the United States, approximately 2,500 people die annually in house fires, and another 12,600 are injured. The most common fires are a result of cooking, space heaters, smoking, electrical malfunctions, and arson. In any case following these house fire preparedness steps can increase your chance for survival.

Heat and smoke from the fire are more dangerous than the flames themselves, and the speed at which fires can spread leaves no time to do anything but evacuate. When a fire is overtaking your home, it is hot & dark, and you can’t see because of the blinding smoke. Smoke inhalation makes it hard to think straight and relying on a predefined and rehearsed fire evacuation plan, can make all the difference in a life or death situation.

Fire Preparedness

Here are some key fire safety supplies every household should possess to ensure that your family is prepared in the event of a fire in the home.

Smoke Alarms 

Approximately 60% of house fire deaths occur in homes with no working smoke alarms. The majority of these fatalities occurred while people were sleeping; making awareness your best chance at survival. Most alarms these days have dual sensors to monitor for ionization and photoelectric smoke, so that they detect both flames and thick smoke. Smoke alarms should be installed on every level of your home, including the basement, and inside and outside of every sleeping area. Smoke alarms can also come with a strobe light for the hearing impaired, as well as a strobe light outside the home to alert neighbors.

Interconnected smoke detectors are best suited for waking the entire house when a fire occurs in a single room or area. When selecting a smoke detector, it is worth considering smoke alarms that also detect carbon monoxide.

Fire Extinguishers

Most home fires start in the kitchen, so it is extremely important that every home have a fire extinguisher close to where cooking takes place. If your home is multilevel, you should have an additional extinguisher on each level of the house. If there are other heat sources in your house, you should have one near there as well.

Collapsible Ladders

Make sure that collapsible ladders are available for all upstairs rooms. When choosing ladders for your home, look for one that will deploy quickly, is strong, tangle free, and easy to use. Make sure to measure the distance from the ground to the upstairs window. Fire escape ladders typically come in 13 feet or 25 feet lengths.

Whistles

These are good to keep in each room so that family members and fire fighters can easily locate children. Blowing a whistle can help you to be found despite the billowing smoke and can be louder than shouting.

Fire Blankets

Accidents can happen like a pet knocking something flammable over onto a burner. In cases where the fire is small, a blanket made of fire-retardant material can be thrown over the fire to extinguish it. Fire retardant blankets can also be used to pull over yourself as you evacuate to avoid any possibility of getting burnt by the flames.

First Aid Kit

Every house should have a first aid kit, not only for cuts and burns. Having a first aid kit on hand can help stabilize someone who has been injured until further help can arrive.

Informational Stickers

You can alert the fire fighters to pets in the house by placing pet fire rescue stickers in the windows. Informing the fire department about pets in the home helps protect them in the event a fire occurs when only the animals are home, or in the case of an emergency evacuation and the animals are still inside.

Fireproof Safe

Keep key items and documents stored in a fireproof safe in your home. Important papers that should be stores in here include birth certificates, social security cards, marriage certificate, insurance information, vehicle title information and mortgage information. Take an inventory of all your belongs that absolutely need to survive a house fire. Put your items in a container to gauge how big of a fireproof safe you will need. Often times a fireproof box will suffice. Knowing that your important belongs are protected from the fire will enable you to focus on what is important when a house fire happens unexpectedly….. evacuating.

Evacuation Bag

If your house catches on fire, you won’t be staying there for awhile. Whether you shack up with family, friends or neighbors, you will be in need of some essentials belongs. Having an evacuation bag packed and near the primary evacuation exit to quickly grab on the way out can reduce some of the stress that follows evacuating your home due to a house fire.

Fire Evacuation

House fire preparedness is only the first step. Once you have collected the necessary fire preparedness supplies, create a fire escape plan and practice it with your family. It is recommended to practice your evacuation twice a year. Add a fire evacuation drill to your calendar and repeat every six months.

Fire Prevention

The best type of house fire preparedness is prevention. Practicing fire safety in the home at all times can prevent fire emergencies from every happening. Follow these fire prevention tips to decrease the chance of a fire in your home.

Thank a Firefighter

When house fire arises, the occupants of the home or building are not the only ones put at risk. Firefighters and their families are placed at risk while responding to the emergency. So if you know a firefighter do something nice for them. If you want to support your local fire department, reach out and find types of support most impactful for your local department.

Be Safe!




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