On average, seven people die in U.S. home fires per day.
“Roughly one in every 320 households per year had a reported home fire during the five year period, 2007 to 2011. These fires caused an estimated average of 2,570 civilian deaths, 13,210 civilian injuries and $7.2 billion in direct property damage.” [Source: National Fire Protection Association.]
At work you have a detailed fire escape route. You also have a safety coordinator who trains employees. You practice fire drills so you know the escape route, where you meet up with your work group, and more
Fire safety is a priority in the workplace … and it should be equally important on the home front.
While almost 3/4 of Americans have an escape plan for their home, more than half never practice it.
The Hard Facts
“Every day, at least one child dies from a home fire and another 293 children are injured from fires or burns. Ninety percent of all fire-related deaths are due to home fires. Home fires can spread rapidly and leave families as little as two minutes to escape after an alarm sounds.” (Safe Kids, 2013)
When it comes to fire safety in the home, be as prepared as a Boy Scout. For instance, as we move into the colder months, prepare for fire hazards from things such as:
- Extension cords
- Overloading electrical outlets
- Portable fireplaces and space heaters
- Open flames such as candles during the holidays
Fire Safety in the Home
Are you and your family prepared? This Fire Safety in the Home tip sheet can help you plan for such emergencies.
The most important thing is to have an escape plan … one that you and your family practice on a regular basis. Other fire safety in the home tips for you and your family to practice include:
- Safe cooking. Keep pot handles on the stove turned in so they can't catch on shirts or sweaters. Don't leave your cooking unattended for any period of time.
- Use flat irons or hair dryers away from smoke alarms so the smoke or steam doesn't set off the alarm.
- Store flammables safely.
- During the holidays, don't decorate things like lamps.
Is your home prepared?
Do you have the necessary tools needed? Do you have a plan to keep these tools in working order?
Smoke alarms and Portable Fire Extinguishers.
Reports show that people have nearly a 50% better chance of surviving a fire if their home has the recommended number of smoke alarms.
- Know the age of your smoke alarm. If close to 10 years of age, replace it. That reduces the risk your alarm will fail to detect a fire.
- Have the right number of smoke alarms for your home. For new homes an alarm is required in each bedroom, one outside the bedroom area, and a minimum of one on each level of the home.
- For existing homes, the NFPA requires an alarm outside the bedroom area and then one on each level.
- DO NOT put alarms in places where smoke and dust abound.
- Test your alarms on a monthly basis and clean them on a regular basis to remove bugs and dust particles.
- Have at least one fire extinguisher on each level of the house.
- Know how to properly use a fire extinguisher.
Sprinklers. Adding sprinklers to smoke alarms as part of your fire safety in the home increases your chances of surviving a fire by over 97%. Sprinklers save lives, save property and are affordable.
The best thing to do is to treat each alarm as a real fire emergency. You don’t have time in a fire, so follow your plan to get out of your home safely.
This blog was originally posted October 13, 2013, but has been updated with additional sources.