As a young child, I remember the frequent visits from local fire authorities to our school, accompanied with the famous slogan, "Stop, Drop, and Roll". The visits aimed to educate young children on fire safety. Now that you're all grown up in a home of your own, how much have you retained? Furthermore, with electronics becoming more and more intertwined in our every day life with each passing day, how does this affect the safety of your living space?
1. Electrical Cords
CORDS! Our households are laced with them. They power our flat screens, computer, lighting, tablets, phones, and appliances. You might innocently walk past them thinking they're safe and sound, but when was the last time you took the time to really inspect them? Checking your cords for wear-and-tear is one of the most simple ways to prevent an accidental fire. We all know that person who hangs on to that crippled and tattered iPhone charger for much longer than necessary. Other cords in your house are subject to the same degrade, which could potentially expose wires. Periodically checking that ball of cords mashed behind your entertainment center could potentially save your life. Also, be sure to utilize power surges correctly, check for outlet damage, and look for damages in the prongs of plugs.
2. Unattended Cooking
It's 2019. We are accustomed to doing a trillion tasks at once. Just look at your browser's tabs, you're all over the place between online shopping, bill pay, and social media. you're simultaneously multi-tasking on your phone as you multi-task in real-life! The kids, the pets, the cleaning- it's all managed at the same time and we are all guilty of spreading our attention a little too thin. Walking away from cooking- even to watch a quick YouTube video, is the number one cause for house fires in America. Even new-aged ranges equipped with motherboards are susceptible to error. In fact, now that we have the ability to remotely turn our appliances on or off with our phones (without actually being present), it creates an even higher risk for a house fire. Never leave food unattended or leave the house while any appliance is on, whether or not food is cooking. It's possible to access your appliance and preheat your oven while you're physically miles away- abstain from this practice! You could end up coming home to your house engulfed in flames. Keep a fire extinguishger handy, check for flammable items placed near a heat source (such as towels or boxes), and remember to NEVER put water on a grease fire.
3. Faulty Fire Protection Equipment
Smoke alarms are very important, but even I have been guilty of ripping one off the ceiling because it just doesn't pipe down. It's an awful heckler in the midst of another failed cooking attempt. You might even be lucky enough to have a sprinkler system in your home, but just because it's there, doesn't meant it's functioning properly. Have a professional check your systems and make the proper repairs. Faulty heads, incorrect system pressure, and leaky pipes inhibit the full potential of your fire suppression system. The same goes for your fire extinguishers, when was the last time it was inspected? Is it properly charged? Expired? IF you don't have any of these fire safety systems, GET THEM. Regularly checking these safety tools can help save your home and life in the wake of a house fire. Early detection is crucial to your survival, but also will limit the damage to your property.
These tips can save your life!