Whether you own or rent your home or apartment, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself and your family in case of a fire. Being prepared can significantly reduce the damage and protect your life. Therefore, consider these tips.
Purchase and Maintain Fire Extinguishers
Your first task should be purchasing fire extinguishers. Because there are multiple classes, be sure to place the right extinguishers in each area. For example, a Class B extinguisher, which helps with oil and gas fires, should be placed in the garage and kitchen.
Just like the city has to conduct a regular Hydrant Flow Test on local fire hydrants, you need to have your fire extinguishers tested at least once per year. The flow and integrity of the extinguisher will be tested, and a professional can determine whether yours need to be refilled or replaced. They can also guide you on which classes should be placed in which areas.
Install Smoke Detectors
Your next task should be installing smoke detectors in every bedroom and on every floor of your home at least. The Red Cross suggests that these alarms be hard-wired into your home’s electrical system and interconnected so that if one detects smoke, they all go off.
Your smoke alarms require maintenance as well. Each month, you should test every alarm to make sure it is working properly. Your batteries should be replaced at least once per year. In addition, the Red Cross suggests that your alarms be replaced at least every 10 years.
Create an Escape Plan
You and your family should also create a plan to escape your home if a fire ever occurs. For example, any floor above the first story should be equipped with ladders, and every window in the house should be checked to ensure it opens easily. Set a safe location to meet in case you are separated. Teach your children to feel for heat on the doors and cover their mouths and noses and crawl to an exit to protect them from the smoke. Determine who will call emergency services when you leave the house.
Once you have done all you can to prevent fires in your home, prepare yourself and your family in case a fire does occur.