The devastating loss caused by fire is often a tragedy that proper fire safety could have helped a family or business avoid. Although some fires erupt because of elements out of a person’s control, such as a lightning strike that causes a forest fire, many other fires begin because of human negligence or poor fire safety habits.
Often, fire safety is something that people learn about only after they’ve experienced the trauma of living through a fire or seeing one destroy a home or business. It’s essential to take fire safety seriously, so here is some advice to boost the fire safety in your home or business.
Common Causes of Fires
An extraordinary percentage of fires start in residential homes, and there are many ways fires may begin inside a residential space that require advanced fireman tools to extinguish. In addition, businesses and outdoor areas may also experience fire due to a variety of issues.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) offers a concise list of some of the common reasons why fires start:
- Chemical fires
- Equipment fires
- Fireworks & holiday decorations
- Lightning strikes
- Smoking paraphernalia
When a dry area is impacted by lightning, and a fire starts after a strike, the blaze can burn out of control for days. Clearing brush around the home is one way to reduce the likelihood that a brush or forest fire might burn down a home.
Unfortunately, items like candles, cigarettes, and old kitchen equipment are also prime reasons why fires might start. Falling asleep with a burning cigarette, using candles near flammable materials, and cooking while inebriated are all common reasons why fires may start.
Boosting Safety with Essential Devices
One of the most important fire tools and safety devices in the home is the smoke detector, which is commonly paired with a system for detecting carbon monoxide. You’ve probably heard the suggestion that it’s important to check the batteries twice a year, but it can’t be stressed enough how important a working smoke detector is in keeping the family safe.
Remember: Successful escape from a burning building may depend on the noise of the smoke detector.
Creating an Evacuation Plan
It’s probably rather frightening to confront the possibility of fire, but even if you’re up-to-date on fire safety, it’s still important to create an escape route and destination for the family. Practicing that escape plan is also important.
Here are the steps you’ll want to take in creating a safety plan:
- Define at least two exits for every room.
- Map out escape routes within the home.
- Designate a meeting spot for post-evacuation.
The chaos and confusion caused by a residential fire often mean it’s impossible to tell whether someone is still in the burning building if you can’t see them. A meeting spot will help you determine if everyone has made it out of the house safely or if firefighters need to enter the home with their firefighting tools and find a family member.
Revisit Safety Each Year
Even if you don’t have young children in the home, it’s important to have a quick conversation with the family about things like the evacuation plan and general fire safety rules for the home.