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Fire Safe Your Home

By Evan Holmes

356,000 houses catch on fire each year. That is equivalent to 975 structure fires a day throughout the United States. Fires can start from a hot stove, which are easily visible, however, they can also start within your house’s walls. There are many simple ways to avoid house fires, and the current OC is here to help prevent these potentially life-threatening events.

Prior to any fire, there are steps that can be taken to prevent the situation from ever happening. This includes regularly checking your smoke alarms in your house. It is recommended that once a month you check the batteries on your smoke alarms to test if they are working. Also, make sure to have at least one fire extinguisher in the house. Keep this near your kitchen just in case a cooking fire begins.

If these steps prove to be not enough and flames begin to spread there are several things to keep in mind. The most important thing to do when flames start is to know where you can escape.

In each room it is wise to know at least two ways of exit. Make sure that all of your doors and windows are easily openable. When trying to get out test out each door handle before opening it. If any door is hot to the touch then do not try to open it. The heat means that there is a fire on the other side. While leaving the house, attempt to close doors behind you. This helps contain the spread of the flames.

Families should plan ahead by creating a meeting place, far enough from the house that they can meet at to make sure everyone escaped the fire. Once out of the fire, calling the fire department as soon as possible will reduce the damage, because their response time will give the firefighters more time to take out the flames.

There is nothing more important than safely escaping the flames. If the fire is growing at a steady rate, there is only limited time to get out. That being said, there is very little time to waste collecting valuables. In the event of an emergency, your brain is all over the place, making it hard to collect your thoughts. To prevent spending more time in the house, it is smart to have a to-go box that you keep your valuables in. Keep this in a secure place that you sleep near so if the fire happens at night, it is easy to reach while you escape. However, in any situation, your safety comes first over any objects.

Fires can be one of the most catastrophic events, but by being prepared these events can be prevented. From checking smoke alarms to having an escape plan, being ready is the biggest priority. Hopefully these key reminders spark a thought in your mind, generating the need to enhance your home safety.

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