Do you know where most fires start?
Stay safer with these tips to lower the risk of fires and burn injuries.
The risk of home fires increases during winter months – and almost three-quarters of burn injuries, one of the leading causes of accidental death and injury in the United States, occur at home.
Here are 10 ways to prevent a fire:
- Never leave cooking unattended in the kitchen.
- Get rid of electrical cords that are frayed or cracked. Don't overload electrical outlets.
- Keep anything flammable, including curtains, furniture, bedding and paper, away from fireplaces, candles, stoves and heaters.
- Don't leave candles burning when no one is watching. For added safety, use battery-operated flameless candles to create the same look without the danger.
- Make sure portable heaters have safety guards and automatic shut-offs in case they are knocked over.
- Check the wattage of lightbulbs. Don't use a higher wattage than recommended by the light fixture.
- Do not smoke in bed or on the couch. Better yet, don't smoke inside the house at all. Dampen butts and ashes before throwing them away.
- Make sure matches and lighters are kept out of reach of children.
- Have your heating system inspected. Yearly maintenance makes it more likely that safety concerns are identified before they become a problem.
- Clean chimneys. If you use your wood-burning fireplace regularly, have your chimney inspected and cleaned each year.
To protect your family if there is a fire:
- Install smoke detectors on every floor and in each bedroom. Replace batteries at least once a year and test alarms monthly. Working smoke detectors cut your chances of dying in a house fire in half.
- Plan your escape route. Each family member should know two ways to get out of every room in the house. Set up a meeting point outside. Practice your escape plan at least twice a year.
- Tell kids their first priority is to get out of the house – and stay out. Stress the importance of not spending time to find pets or gather favorite belongings.
- Check door handles. If the handles are hot, don't open the door.
- Practice stop, drop and roll. If your clothes catch on fire, this can help put out the flames.
- Leave the house first before calling for help. Once outside, call 911.