Home Fire Safety

Home Fire Safety refers to practices intended to reduce the risk of fire at home. Safety measures denote practices designed to lessen the likelihood of fire or reduce the extent of damage in case it starts. Fire is one of the main causes of accidental deaths and injuries in the world. Many fire hazards exist in the home. Each risk of fire has its mitigation measure. Fire mitigation measures include the use of smoke detectors, use of fire extinguishers, adoption of a family fire plan, keeping the home clean, proper maintenance of electrical wiring and electric appliances, maintenance of heating devices, and prominent display of house numbers.

Smoke detectors permit early detection of fires. It ensures that fire is put off before it spreads and causes extensive damage. When installing smoke detectors, homeowners can follow the recommendations of the local fire department. At least one smoke detector per floor offers proper protection. Smoke detectors are either battery powered or powered by the main power supply of the building. The homeowner can choose either based on the prevailing circumstances. Devices connected to the house’s electrical system offer some degree of convenience. When installing smoke detectors, avoid areas that may obstruct smoke detection. After installation of the devices, batteries need to be checked and replaced at regular intervals. The interval could be one year, or it may be as short as six months. Some ideal places for smoke detectors include stairways, near kitchens, outside or close to bedrooms, ceilings, and walls. In addition to installing smoke detectors, fire extinguishers must also be put in strategic places in the house.

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The occupants of a home need to acquire and mount fire extinguishers at home. Place fire extinguishers in easily accessible areas. The kitchen needs to have a working fire extinguisher. When purchasing fire extinguishers, it is important to consider the multipurpose types. Those that fight paper, wood, cloth fires, flammable liquids, flammable gasses, and fire of an electrical origin should be prioritized. The homeowner must also know how to use it.

Additionally, each home should develop a fire plan. The fire plan helps the family mitigate the effects of fire like death. The whole family should go through and practice the plan regularly. Within the plan, each room in the house should have possible escape routes. At the minimum, there should at least two escape routes per room. The plan should also include a convenient place where the family assembles and takes a head count of members. It can be practiced in the form of a fire drill. The plan should be reviewed from time to time. Display of house numbers and keeping the house clean supplement the fire plan.

The house number is crucial during a fire outbreak. It should be visible from a certain distance. It facilitates fire response by enabling the firefighters to locate the affected home promptly. The house number must be checked regularly. For instance, it can be tested during fire drills or while carrying out other routine maintenance activities.

Trash is a principal cause of fires. In case a fire starts, trash sustains and accelerates the rate of spread. The family should not let trash accumulate anywhere in the house. Trash like waste papers must not be placed near open flames or electrical heaters as they can easily ignite. Flammable liquid spillovers must be cleaned immediately using the right cleaning method. Benzene, kerosene, and other flammable liquids need be utilized with sufficient caution in the house. Some other flammable liquids like petrol are volatile and should never be used indoors. All flammable liquids can easily ignite when in contact sparks of any origin. Rugs soaked in flammable liquids ought to be stored in airtight nonflammable containers. For example, they can be put in metallic containers before they are disposed of. Caution must also be exercised when discarding the rugs outside the house. Fire starting outside can spread.

Electricity and heating devices are other common causes of a fire at home. Leading causes of electrical fire include short-circuiting, overloading, poor connections, and excessive thermal insulation (Babrauskas, 2008). Electrical heaters that generate dry heat can cause a fire when they come in contact with flammable material like papers, flammable liquids, and flammable gasses. Faulty appliances can also start a fire. Broken appliances need to be repaired and tested by a qualified technician before reuse. Exposed and worn electrical wires and plugs must be replaced as soon as they are discovered.

Heating devices include furnaces, stoves, and electrical heaters. Faulty heating devices are a frequent cause of a fire at home. Regular maintenance of the devices reduces the risk of fire. For instance, furnaces and other heating devices can be cleaned at least once a year. The occupants of house or home need to handle all heating devices with caution regardless of the heat source.

In the case of fire at home, assess the situation and take an appropriate step. Try to put out the fire that is just starting. However, if the fire is already out of control or getting out of control one should not attempt to put it off. Instead, getting all occupants to safety should be a priority. The local fire department should be alerted immediately. While escaping a house on fire, crawl as the air near the floor is safer for breathing. It is relatively free from smoke and hot gasses.

Before escaping, check the exit door for heat. If the door is hot, an alternative escape route like the windows should be considered. In case it impossible to exit, use a signal to pinpoint your location and shout for help. Meanwhile, other safety measures like preventing smoke from entering the room must be initiated. Pieces of clothing soaked in water and placed at the door gaps may temporarily shield the room from smoke. The space under the door should be sealed first.

After a fire, entry into the damaged property is restricted. Only authorized persons should enter the house. Those who enter the house must be aware of the structural damage. In case the house is not extensively damaged, a qualified technician should check the electrical wiring before reconnecting electricity. All fire safety measures should also be restored before the occupation of the house. All food and drinks that may have escaped damage should be discarded. The specific types of fire require a separate approach when fighting them. The specific types include electrical fire, flammable liquids, and flammable gasses.

Putting out with a fire caused by electricity is challenging. A fire extinguisher is preferred for this kind. The main power supply should be switched off before water is used to fight the fire as it may cause electrocution. When dealing with flammable liquid fires, cut off the source of the flammable liquid where possible. Put off the fire using fire retarding materials. They include soil or sand, rugs, and fire extinguishers. Water is not effective in fighting these kinds of flames. Flammable gasses are a frequent cause of the household fire. Cut off the supply where possible. The recommended firefighting materials include fire extinguishers, water, and sand or soil. Flammable gasses pose a great danger as they can cause an explosion.

Home fire safety measures refer to practices intended to reduce both likelihood and the damage of fire at home. Causes of fire at home include flammable gasses, flammable liquids, accumulated trash, faulty electrical systems, and faulty heating devices. Fire safety measures include installation of smoke detectors, acquisition of fire extinguishers, adoption of a family fire plan, and maintaining a clean indoor environment.

 

Reference

Babrauskas, V. (2008).Research on electrical fires: The state of the art. Retrieved from

http://www.iafss.org/publications/fss/9/3/view/fss_9-3.pdf.