National Fire Prevention Week is an annual reminder to ensure your whole family knows how to prevent fires inside your home. A fire can devastate lives and property in a matter of minutes, but with some basic knowledge and proactive steps, you can reduce the risk of a fire breaking out in your home.
If you DO have a fire at home, get to your designated meeting place and call 911. We’ll get your local fire department dispatched to you as soon as possible.
Here are 10 fire prevention tips to keep you and your loved ones safe.
- Install Smoke Alarms: Smoke alarms are your first line of defense against fires. Make sure you have working smoke alarms on every level of your home, and regularly test and replace the batteries to ensure they are always operational.
- Create an Escape Plan: Develop a detailed fire escape plan with your family. Ensure everyone knows multiple escape routes and a designated meeting point outside the home. Practice fire drills regularly to ensure everyone is familiar with the plan.
- Keep Fire Extinguishers Handy: Invest in fire extinguishers and place them in key areas of your home, such as the kitchen and garage. Ensure that your family knows how to use them, and that they are regularly maintained and in good working order.
- Maintain Electrical Safety: Faulty wiring and overloaded circuits are common causes of house fires. Regularly inspect your electrical systems and replace frayed or damaged cords. Never overload outlets or power strips.
- Be Cautious in the Kitchen: The kitchen is a common area for fires to start. Always supervise cooking, keep flammable materials away from stovetops, and have a lid or fire blanket handy to smother grease fires.
- Properly Store Chemicals: Store flammable liquids and chemicals safely in a cool, dry place away from heat sources. Use and store them according to the manufacturer's instructions.
- Monitor Heating Equipment: Ensure heating sources like fireplaces, wood stoves, and space heaters are well-maintained, and keep flammable materials at a safe distance. Have your chimney cleaned and inspected annually.
- Check Your Dryer: Clean your dryer's lint filter after every load and regularly inspect the dryer vent for lint buildup. Accumulated lint is a significant fire hazard.
- Store Matches and Lighters Securely: Keep matches and lighters out of the reach of children and in a secure location. Educate children about the dangers of playing with fire.
- Be Mindful of Candles: Use candles with caution and never leave them unattended. Consider flameless candles as a safer alternative.
By following these fire prevention tips and teaching them to your family, you can minimize the risk of a devastating fire in your home. Find more tips and resources at fpw.org.