Prevent fire and fire safety
Unattended cooking frying -- is the primary cause of home fires. The National Fire Protection Association warns to not leave the kitchen when doing any sort of cooking, rather than to cook while drowsy or tipsy.
Don't smoke inside. Smoking is another major source of fires. Even in case, you can't stop, at least do not smoke within the house... and never, ever, ever smoke in bed.
Prevent dangerous overload; locate an electrician to improve your breaker panel if you use a lot of appliances and electronic equipment. Inspect electrical items for issues: frayed cords, melted or blackened sockets, and damaged plugs. Connect space heaters directly to the socket, to not an extension cable.
A home insulating material, normally a great thing, becomes insecure when installing too close to recessed lighting fixtures and other electrical devices. For security, add a cylinder of flashing 4' or more wider than the fixture.
Modern materials such as engineered wood and synthetic upholstery can be toxic. Assess furniture fire resistance; certification by the Upholstered Furniture Action Council or California Bureau of Home Furnishings means it is less combustible than the norm. Position 3' from open flame or heat source.
Clean your chimney and fireplace at the beginning of the season. This helps eliminate flammable materials, such as creosote deposits or animal nests, which might cause a chimney fire.
Dual sensor home fire alarms detect smouldering fires in addition to flames. They may alert you using a voice warning (which wakes sleeping kids more faithfully than a simple beep or siren) or a low-frequency noise or strobe lights (for hearing-impaired family members). Evaluation alarms monthly and replace batteries twice a year.
Install a house sprinkler system. Installing a sprinkler system in your house cuts down on fires, smoke, and heat if a home fire occurs. The NFPA reports civilian death rate from fires drops 81 percent in houses with fire sprinklers. Injuries to our heroes, the firefighters, will also be substantially reduced.
Use smart home technology. Set up an early warning to your cell phone for dangers like sudden extreme climbs in indoor temperatures (which may indicate a house fire), flooding, or intruders. Connect to your local first response channel. Also useful: a motion-sensing device which switches off the cooker when you have left the kitchen.
Scan birth certificates, house deed, or homeowners insurance not kept in a safety deposit box, then save securely on the Cloud. This simplifies replacement if fire destroys the originals. Register your will online with your private or state will registry service.
Keeping bedroom doors closed at night dramatically slows the spread of home fire. The UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute's public awareness campaign encourages everyone to"take the pledge" to shut their door. I have taken the pledge.
Keep exits clear. Every sleeping area must have a minimum of two doors or windows to get out (or allow first responders in). Store an emergency ladder near every upper-story bedroom window.
Make sure your house number is easily visible. Make sure that the digits are isn't faded, obscured by dirt or paint, or covered by foliage. This may shave all-important seconds off emergency personnel's response time.
Keep a fire extinguisher available for small, contained fires, like trashcan flare-ups. Educate your family the PASS formula:
- Pull pin.
- Aim nozzle in fire's base.
- Squeeze trigger.
Sweep nozzle side-to-side.
Get out quickly. Do not stop to catch prized possessions -- your life is worth more. Have a family evacuation plan, reviewed via routine fire drills. Call the fire department as soon as you're safely out.