Six Preventable Fire Hazards In Our HomeBy Child Safety Specialist Jan 24, 2011 | 12:25:00 pmPosted in: Family, Fire Prevention
Fires are one of the leading causes of injuries in the home. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, about two-thirds of home fire deaths occur in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. In 2007, U.S. fire departments responded to 399,000 home fires that killed almost 2,900 people, approximately eight people per day according the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Here are some of the most important factors to keep in mind when trying to prevent a house fire.
• Kitchen stove – Cooking equipment fires are the leading cause of home structure fires, resulting in 40% of home fires. Never leave a stove unattended when you are cooking, always keep pot and pan handles turned in away from the edge of the stove, and never wear loose fitting clothing or your hair down while cooking. Also, keep items such as cookbooks, potholders and dishtowels away from the stove.
• Smoking is still the leading cause of fire-related deaths. Don’t smoke in bed and be sure that ashes from cigars and cigarettes are completely extinguished before placing in trashcans.
• Outlet covers – Little ones can and will stick anything into anything when they are exploring. Outlet covers protect things from getting in and sparking a fire. Electrical fires are also a leading cause of house fires, so make sure you keep an eye on all light fixtures, lamps and outlets.
• Gasoline – If you store extra gasoline for lawnmowers, snow blowers, boats or cars be sure it is locked away in a storage cabinet in the garage. Keep it out of reach of children, and in a safe place free from tipping over. Clean up any spills immediately.
• Fireplace – Make sure you have a strong and sturdy screen cover for your fireplace. Loose embers can and will burn, and while they may not ignite a fire on your living room couch, it will burn a hole right through it.
• Space Heaters - Keep space heaters away from furniture, blankets, loose clothing, curtains, and anything else flammable. Be sure that space heaters are never left on overnight and are always carefully supervised. According to the NFPA, heating-related fires are the second most common cause of house fires after cooking fires and the second most common cause of fire deaths after smoking-related fires.
Having a properly installed and working smoke alarm will help in saving your home if any of these tragedies occur. Also plan and practice an emergency evacuation plan so everyone in the family knows what to do in the event of a fire.
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