Every year, house fires in the U.S. cause thousands of deaths and injuries and cost billions of dollars. This article will discuss many ways that you can protect your family’s safety by preventing, extinguishing, or escaping from house fires. Many of these precautions came from the April 2016 issue of the AARP Bulletin. Not taking such precautions can lead to tragic family deaths and injuries as well as to devastating living disruptions and expenses. The money spent on preventing house fires will result in more safety and peace of mind for family members.
Consider the family member with a significant loss of hearing. Smoke detector alarms that are audible are appropriate only for other family members who have no hearing problems. For the hearing impaired family member, however, there should be a strobe light alarm in any room frequented by that hearing impaired family member. All of these devices can give house occupants precious extra seconds to extinguish a fire or to evacuate their house.
It also is a good idea to throw out old space heaters. Especially when these old space heaters are accidently tipped over, they can start house fires. Buy the new models of space heaters that turn off automatically when they are tipped over.
In addition, electric blankets and heating pads that are over ten years old` can become fire hazards. Throw them out even earlier if they show signs of wear and tear.
Nobody should ever smoke in bed. Those who smoke inside of their houses should make sure that the contents of their ash trays are completely extinguished before they throw the contents of their ash trays into trash baskets.
Every year, homeowners should have professionals check the safety of their fireplaces. If needed, homeowners should have them repaired or cleaned.
Electrical wiring in old houses might not be able to handle safely the electrical burden of modern electronic devices. Homeowners should either have electricians replace the old wiring with more sufficient wiring, or homeowners should decrease the electrical load on the old wiring.
Defective dryers can start fires, especially when they are clogged with lint. If there is any hint of a problem with a dryer, have it inspected. Also, clean out the lint trap on a regular basis.
Regularly check fire alarms. Hold a smoldering piece of paper close to the fire alarm to see if it works.
Make sure to turn off unattended appliances. They can burn down a house.
Everyone in the family must be informed about how to prevent house fires. Family members are like links in a chain. The family’s fire prevention efforts are as strong as its weakest link. A child playing with matches, for example, can burn down a house.
Family members, especially younger ones, should memorize these fire safety slogans:
Young and old, woman and man, Everyone should have a fire plan.
Check the door, then crawl on the floor.
Fires that are small, soon will be tall!
Put your hand on the door to feel if it’s hot, only open it if it’s not.