Top Tips for Fire Safety. Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. Test smoke alarms every month. If they're not working, change the batteries. Talk with all family members about a fire escape plan and practice the plan twice a year.
Keep Your Family Safe From Fire
Cooking and heating are the leading causes of home fires and fire injuries, and winter months are the peak time for fire-related deaths. Now is the perfect time to review and practice fire safety.
Minimize Your Risks
The good news: Over the past several decades, deaths from home fires in the U.S. have steadily gone down – from 5,200 in 1980 to 2,710 in 2017, according to Injury Facts.
But even one death from a preventable fire is too many.
While fire doesn't discriminate by age, it is the third leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 14. In 2017, 127 children in this age group died from fire and smoke inhalation.
When cooking, make fire safety a priority by keeping these tips in mind:
Be alert; if you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, don’t use the oven or stovetop.
Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, boiling or broiling food.
When simmering, baking or roasting, check the food regularly, remain in the kitchen while cooking and use a timer.
Keep anything that can catch fire away from your stovetop.
Heating is the second leading cause of home fires. Follow these tips from the American Red Cross:
Keep all flammables, like paper, clothing, bedding, drapes or rugs, at least 3 feet from a space heater, stove or fireplace
Never leave portable heaters and fireplaces unattended; turn off heaters and make sure fireplace embers are extinguished before leaving the room.
If you must use a space heater, place it on a level, nonflammable surface, like ceramic tile, not on a rug or carpet.
Keep children and pets away from space heaters.
When buying a space heater, look for models that shut off automatically if the heater falls over.
In addition to cooking, other top causes of fire include smoking, electrical problems and candles. To minimize risks:
Institute a “no smoking” policy in the house
Check all cords and replace any that are frayed or have bare wires.
Switch to flameless candles.
Keep matches and lighters high and out of children’s reach in a locked cabinet.
Working Smoke Alarms Are a Must
About three out of five fire deaths happen in homes with no smoke alarms or working smoke alarms.
Smoke alarms are a key part of a home fire escape plan providing early warning reducing your risk of dying in a fire. The National Fire Protection Association recommends you:
Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas on the ceiling or high on the wall.
Keep smoke alarms away from the kitchen, at least 10 feet from the stove, to reduce false alarms.
Use special alarms with strobe lights and bed shakers for people who are hard of hearing or deaf.
Test smoke alarms monthly.
Replace batteries annually, and change the batteries in your carbon monoxide detector at the same time.
Replace smoke alarms that are 10 or more years old.
Make an Escape Plan.
Please visit https://www.nsc.org/home-safety/safety-topics/emergency-preparedness/fire for more information.