Health and Safety News

Occupational health and safety news and guidance

Improving fire prevention in the home

Photo shows firefighters tackling a house fireFire prevention is very important to all homeowners both inside and outside of the home. More than 3,500 people are killed in house fires every year in America and over 18,000 are injured due to lack of preparation or improper maintenance of fire-preventing materials and tools (Source: USFA).

Install Smoke Detectors

There should be at least one smoke detector within earshot of every room in each home. This is the most important step in being sure that you are aware of a fire breaking out inside the house. Fire detectors outside the home are good to have as well, but more deaths and injuries occur inside than outside. There are special types of smoke detecting devices for those who are hearing impaired or deaf as well. Most detectors should be checked and have their batteries changed once a year. Most will also alert homeowners if the battery is low or dead by beeping and flashing.

Electrical Fires Can Be Prevented, Too!

The most common cause of fires inside the home is electricity. If too many plugs are being used in one outlet or if something heavy rests on an electrical cord, it can cause a fire by overloading a circuit or exposing wires within a normally safe cord. Have appliances inspected at least once a year and if your fridge, microwave, or any other appliance smells funny, smokes, sparks, sputters, or fails to work, it is likely that it is time to replace it. Outdoor electrical outlets should be covered and protected from the weather. No leaves, trash, or water should ever reach the inside of the socket, as a fire will almost certainly result.

Outdoor Fire Prevention

Outdoor fires are very common, especially when it is hot or dry. Make sure that your electrical tools for the yard are put away and unplugged after use. You should also make sure that you do not smoke and throw down lit cigarette butts as they can light the entire yard on fire when the proper conditions are present. Pine straw and leaves provide the perfect fuel for outdoor fires. If you are considering burning yard trash, make sure to do so in your community's regulation containers and that you have proper extinguishing materials at hand.

Individual Safety Plans

For inside and outside fire safety, a plan needs to be in place and practiced for your family and loved ones to get away from a burning house safely. A designated meeting point and escape route should be established for all adults and children that can comprehend instructions. For other smaller children or elderly residents, adults should have a plan for rescuing them as well.

Overall Safety Plans

Every home should be safe during a fire or other emergency, and a security system with fire warnings is a great way to make sure that everyone in the home gets out safely. You can look at a security website for more information on having a system installed, but make sure you shop around. Anyone in the home should practice the escape route at least three times a year to keep the procedure fresh in the mind.

Follow these tips and you and your family can be safer and more aware of your home and what to do during a fire emergency. You should do everything possible to keep your loved ones safe both inside and outside of your home. With a little planning and preventative action, you can have the safest home on your block when it comes to fire prevention.

Author by-line

Brian Jones has written for a number of safety and security providers including and many others. He typically focuses on topics that help homeowners and families stay safe.

Go Back