House fires are a devastating occurrence. Each year, an average of 358,300 homes in the U.S. go up in flames. Fires can destroy a home, cause property damage, leave emotional scars, and upset living quarters. Here are ways to lessen the chances a blaze will impact your household.
Fire Safety Tips
Here are some fire prevention tips to help protect your home from a disaster.
Install smoke alarms. Put them on every level of your home and by sleeping areas. Test them once a month to make sure they are working. Change the batteries twice a year.
Create a family escape plan. You have less than 2 minutes to escape your home safely. Everyone should know two ways out of each room. Decide on a meeting location outside and practice your plan twice a year.
Stay outside. Never go back into a burning home. Once you get outside, stay there, and call for help. Everyone should know how to dial 9-1-1.
Have a communications plan. Each family member should know who to contact if they become separated.
Stop, drop, and roll. Teach family members what to do if their clothes catch on fire.
Home Fire Safety
Here are some fire safety Do’s and Don’ts to keep in mind to ensure your home and family stay safe.
Keep items that can catch fire at least three feet away from space heaters. Turn the appliance off when you leave the room or go to sleep.
Smoking materials are the leading cause of residential fire deaths in the United States. If you smoke, go outside. Never smoke in bed.
Talk to your kids about the dangers of fire, matches, and lighters. Keep anything flammable out of reach.
Inspect Your Home
You need to keep an eye on important items in your home. Check heating sources to make sure they are clean and working well. Many fires are sparked by poorly maintained furnaces, stoves, or chimneys with creosote buildup.
Inspect the electrical wiring. Fix or replace frayed cords, exposed wires, or loose plugs. Electric outlets should have cover plates and no exposed wiring. Avoid overloading outlets or extension cords.
Preventing Kitchen Fires
Cooking fires are the number one cause of house fires. Unattended cooking is to blame for 90% of them. Never leave food unattended while it’s cooking. Keep potholders, oven mitts, paper, and other flammable items away from the heat. Clean cooking surfaces regularly to prevent grease buildup. Always check the kitchen before bed to make sure the stove and appliances are turned off.
Recovering After a Fire
If you have suffered a house fire, take these steps to get back on your feet.
Find a safe place to stay. If family or friends don’t have room, talk to your local disaster relief agency.
Contact your insurance agent. You’ll need to start a claim to address your immediate needs.
Protect your home. Make sure it’s protected as much as possible from weather and unlawful entry.
Check your pets. Smoke can damage lungs and burns can hide under fur. Bring your pets to the vet for an evaluation.
Get a copy of the fire report. It will be helpful to your insurance company.
Address mental health needs. Adults and children can have difficulty coping with a disaster. Seek support if it’s needed.
Let Us Clean Up the Mess
If your home has suffered water, flood, or fire damage, Flood Department is here to help. We provide repair and clean-up services for homeowners and businesses in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C. We are dedicated to helping reverse the damage done by water, mold, sewage, smoke, and more. Contact us at 301-829-2600 or visit us online for more information.