firefighters

Prevention is better than cure.

One of the worst things that you and your family can experience is waking up to smoke and flames.

Over 370,000 fires and around 2,700 deaths occur every year, costing homeowners a collective $7 billion in property damage. All of this can be prevented.

You can keep your home and your family safe with just a little bit of preparation and planning, including creating a fire escape plan and testing equipment.

For more information on fire safety tips and tricks that you can apply in your home, read our complete guide below.

Home Fires

A home fire can become threatening in just under two minutes. If that fire lasts for five minutes, it can engulf your home in flames. Here are some quick facts on house fires:

  • Fire Is Fast.  A small flame can turn into a significant fire in under thirty seconds. Additionally, it takes only two minutes for hazardous smoke to fill a house.
  • Fire Is Hot.  The heat that you’ll experience is more dangerous than the flames themselves. Inhaling super-hot air caused by fire can incinerate your lungs and melt clothes to your skin.
  • Fire Is Dark. A fire quickly produces black smoke that can cause complete darkness.
  • Fire Is Deadly. The gas and smoke from fires are more deadly than the flames from fires. Fire produces gases that may cause you to pass out. The leading cause of fire deaths is asphyxiation.

Fire Safety Equipment

1. Smoke Detectors

Fire alarms are the number one lifesaver when it comes to fires in residences. Statistics show that two-thirds of all fire-related deaths happen in homes without a working smoke detector or smoke alarm. In most cases, deaths are the result of a faulty fire alarm (not correctly connected, no battery, dead battery).

Fire alarms seem like a small part of your home, and you may easily overlook them. However, they are one of the most critical pieces of hardware in your house. Take note of the following when it comes to fire alarms in your abode:

  • There are two types of alarms: ionization and photoelectric. Ionization alarms are best at detecting flaming fires, while photoelectric alarms are best for smoldering fires. Your best bet would be to purchase a dual-sensor signal that makes use of both technologies.
  • Make sure there is at least one fire alarm in each room. Also, be sure there is at least one alarm on every floor, including the basement.
  • Regularly test your alarms by pressing the “test” button. If the alarm doesn’t work, replace the batteries. If the alarm still doesn’t work after changing the batteries, replace the entire alarm.

2. Escape Ladders

If you live in a home with more than one floor, you’ll want an easily-accessible escape ladder.

For window wells, you can use a standard metal ladder that stands at around five feet tall. The ladder should plant in the ground a few inches and should hook over the well properly.

3. Fire Extinguishers

You should have fire extinguishers in your home, and you should know how to use them. It can be tempting to use a fire extinguisher for any fire in your home. However, you should be aware that you should only use fire extinguishers for small and contained fires. If a fire is quickly growing, evacuate instead of playing the role of the hero.

Read further on the next page.

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