According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), on average seven people died in U.S. home fires per day during 2010-2014. There was $6.7 billion in direct damage related to home fires in that same time period. It’s because of stats like those that October is Fire Prevention Month. However, fire safety in your home should always be on your family’s mind, not just in October.
During the 2010-2014 study, the NFPA found that cooking equipment was the leading cause of home structure fires, and injuries. That’s tied with heating as the second leading cause of death in home fires.
Heating equipment is the second most common cause of home fires, deaths and fire injuries. Only smoking was the cause of more. Electrical and lighting equipment was in the top five as well.
How you warm your home and use electricity can have a very big impact on your family’s fire safety.
Fire Safety Tips:
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside of sleeping areas
- Test smoke alarms every month. Change batteries regularly
- Sit down with your family to discuss a fire escape plan and what to do if a fire breaks out in the home. Practice that plan at least twice a year.
- Talk with children about the dangers of fire, matches and lighters. Keep those out of their reach.
- Keep anything that can catch on fire—pot holders, towels, plastic, clothing, etc.—away from the stove or anything warm.
- Keep items that can catch on fire at least three feet away from anything that can get hot (i.e., stove, space heaters, etc.)
- If you have to use a portable heater, turn them off when you leave the room or go to sleep.
- Do not allow smoking in the home.
Teach your family that when a fire occurs, they need to GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL 9-1-1. There should always be a second way out of your house, in case someone is trapped in a room after feeling that the door is hot (never open doors that are warm to the touch).
Should you or a family member’s clothing catch on fire, they should know to stop, drop and roll to stop the fire.
To ensure that your heating equipment is ready to safely handle the winter, call Weather Master for a furnace tune-up and safety check. With properly working furnaces and heat pumps, you won’t need to worry about using unsafe equipment such as portable heating units, making your home safer year-round.
Free download: Red Cross Fire Prevention & Safety Checklist