The best way to keep safe from fires is to prevent them from occurring. Statistics show that the number of casualties due to fires has dropped over the last few decades, but injuries and deaths still do occur.
Make an emergency fire plan for your whole family and practice the plan every few months. Make sure every bedroom has an “escape route” and that the occupant is very familiar with it. Children may not grasp the danger of fire. In school they are taught to Stop, Drop and Roll if their clothing catches fire. At home they need to be able to get to an exit quickly and calmly. If it is pitch black (power is out) and smoke is beginning to fill the area teach the children to cover their mouths and noses with their shirts and to crawl under the smoke to safety. Also remind children that if a door knob is hot they need to leave that door closed. Find an alternative route out of the home or wait for help. Your pre-defined meeting place needs to be a component of your fire drill.
Most fires are preventable. Check all of your plugs and cords and replace any that are frayed or broken. Make sure not to run wires under rugs because they can overheat and cause a fire. Cover any outlets not in use. These plug covers protect toddlers, babies or small children in the home. Portable heaters can cause fires. Never leave them unsupervised and use them according to directions at all times. Never smoke in bed and make sure any cigarettes are fully extinguished. Never leave candles unattended. Use stable candle holders made of material that won’t catch fire. Always blow out candles before you leave the room.
Store matches and lighters in a locked cabinet. Keep things that can burn like beds, curtains, blankets at least three feet away from heaters and fireplaces. Don’t leave cooking food or grills unattended. Keep things that can burn at least three feet away from the stove top (paper towels, dishtowels, plastic bags). Remember to roll up long sleeves around cooktops or ovens because these are highly flammable.
Test every smoke detector in your home by pressing the test button at least once a month. Change the batteries in your smoke alarm twice a year. A good way to remember when to do this is to change them when you change your clocks…Spring ahead, Fall behind.