Would you know what to do if a fire started in your home? Would your kids? Take the time now to review fire safety facts and tips so your family will be prepared in the event of a fire emergency in your home.
Of course, the best way to practice fire safety is to make sure a fire doesn't break out in the first place. That means you should always be aware of potential hazards in your home.
Start by keeping these tips in mind:
Electrical Appliances, Cords, and Outlets
- Are your electrical appliances in good condition, without loose or frayed cords or plugs?
- Are your outlets overloaded with plugs from the TV, computer, printer, video game system, and stereo?
- Are you overusing an extension cord?
- Do the light fixtures in your home use bulbs that are the correct wattage?
- Does your home contain GFCIs (ground fault circuit interrupters) and/or AFCIs (arc fault circuit interrupters), which prevent electrical shock and fire by shutting off faulty circuits?
Look around your house for potential problems. And unless you're a trained electrician, be careful about do-it-yourself electrical projects. Studies have shown that many home fires are caused by improper installation of electrical devices.
- Replace or professionally repair any appliances that spark, smell unusual, or overheat.
- Don't run electrical wires under rugs.
- Make sure lamps and night-lights are not touching bedspreads, drapes, or other fabrics.
- Use caution when using electric blankets.
- Don't let kids use kitchen appliances by themselves and supervise any art or science projects that involve electrical devices.
- Cover any outlets that are not in use with plastic safety covers if you have toddlers or young children in your home.
The number of residential fires always goes up during colder months, peaking between December and February. Portable space heaters substantially contribute to this increase. Before plugging in your space heater, make sure you know how to use it safely:
- Carefully read the directions for its use.
- Never place a space heater where a child or pet could accidentally knock it over.
- Never place a space heater too close to a bed, especially a child's bed.
- Keep newspapers, magazines, and fabrics from curtains, clothes, or bedding away from space heaters, radiators, and fireplaces.
- Heaters should be at least 3 feet from anything flammable.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
© 1995-2009 The Nemours Foundation. All rights reserved.
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