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Home Fire Prevention and Safety Tips

It is said that the time to take action for an unexpected event it’s before it happens. Especially when you speak of home fires. Most fires and fire related injuries could have been prevented with little effort and minimal cost. To not find yourself in a dangerous situation, here is a few simple safety tips to prepare your home for an emergency, and teach your family how to escape in case of a fire.

Most Common Causes

One of the best ways to prevent a fire is to know what are the most common causes and what areas of your home are more prone to it.

The kitchen is the most common place where fires begin. In the kitchen you will find flammable items that, if too close to a source of heat, could catch on fire. The kitchen is also a great area to have a fire extinguisher on hand.

Many individuals leave electrical devices connected and unattended, which is a common source of fires.  To prevent any accidents take a moment to inspect the electrical devices and appliances in you home. Make sure there are no broken or exposed wires that can ignite a fire.

  • Do not run your appliances while away from your home.
  • Make sure dust and debris do not build up by cleaning out filters.
  • Don’t overwork an outlet with too many plugs.

home fire prevention tips

Is Your Home Ready?

Creating a safe environment and following safety procedures within your home can reduce injuries if a fire did occur. Small inexpensive modifications to a home can be the difference between getting trapped and safely escaping with your family.

Every home should have at Least one working smoke alarm. Functional smoke alarms can double your chances of survival in case of a fire. Smoke alarms themselves should be maintained; test it monthly, keeps it clean and replace the battery at least once a year. Replace them every ten years, or as recommended by the manufacturer.

Place fire extinguisher in key locations that are more likely to have a fire (kitchen, garage, or closets).  Some homes that are older and are constructed with more flammable materials could even consider installing a sprinkler system.

Know your local emergency numbers. Have stickers and magnets with emergency numbers on your refrigerator and every telephone in your home.

Inform Your Family

Make sure all family members know what to do in case of a fire. Create a plan with at least two ways of escaping every room. Make a drawing for each floor that shows important details: stairs, hallways and windows that can be used as fire escape routes. Think of the plans you see in Hotels.

Small children are naturally curious about fire. Many unattended children play with matches and lighters. Remind your children that fire is a tool, not a toy. Seniors are especially vulnerable because many live alone and can’t respond quickly.

Escape Plan

Have and practice an escape with your family. Teach everyone to stay low to the floor when escaping to avoid breathing harmful fumes and to never open doors that are hot. Select a location where everyone can meet after escaping the house.

It may seem odd to practice exiting your house when there isn’t an emergency.  But going through the motions with young children will help them learn the plan better.  This also gives you a chance to ensure that all exits and escape routes are clear and easily to use.

If You Get Caught in a Fire

If ever caught in a fire it’s important to try and stay calm. Call 911 if possible and let them know where you are trapped. Cover the spaces from around the door to prevent smoke from coming in. Stay by the window where people can see you and get to you.

If you do find yourself in a dangerous situation remember what you learned in school. If your clothing catches fire, Stop, Drop, and Roll until the flames are out. Keep far from objects that can easily catch fire or fall.

In addition to injury and material loss, the outbreak of a fire can lead to loss of life. For more information contact your local fire department to see how you can make your home a safer place.

How to Make Your Home More Secure

Home security is of paramount importance to all house holders and here are some great tips as to what to look out for and ensure you have covered to make your home as secure as possible.

1. Exterior

Take a good look at your home on the outside as if you are a burglar wanting to break in. What would help you as a burglar break into your property or aid them making an entry into your home?

Do you have large bins or crates that will help you get over a fence or gate? Do you have a fence that can be easily scaled? Do you have a gate with locks that are easy to open from the other side? Do you have a tree or dark area at the front or back of your house that can provide cover for an intruder? All of these things will make your home more attractive to a burglar.

Install high fences that make it difficult for intruders to climb over. Ensure you use anti-climb paint on your fences and gates and also use bolts on the top, bottom and middle of your gates and openings so that it makes it difficult for an intruder to break in. For sheds, fit padlocks so it makes it difficult for a burglar to get in. Don’t leave ladders, crates or large bins out in the garden or in an unlocked shed.

Security Lighting

2. Security Lighting

Sensory flood lighting that is triggered by movement is very cheap and effective to install at the back, side and front of your home. This type of lighting is likely to deter a thief walking onto your property and will stay on for some time, alerting you and your neighbours.

Another effective deterrent is to keep an exterior light on at the front and back of your home which has a sensor that turns off when it becomes daylight.

3. Locks and Doors

Most burglars will gain access to your property through doors, so ensure you have watertight, solid doors fitted that are certified to a high security standard. Fit your doors with a highly secure five-lever mortice lock and also get it fitted with an additional deadlock for added security. Also fit a chain to the door so that when visitors call you can open the door a small way securely to see who it is. If you have an open letter box opening, fit a letter box guard to stop intruders reaching to your inside door latch.

Some sliding doors can also be lifted up out of their frame for entry. Make sure that your patio sliding doors are fitted with anti-lift blocks to prevent this. You should also ensure that when your doors are closed, the sliding panel of the door interlocks with the fixed panel to prevent them being levered apart by an intruder trying to gain access.

Any external doors that have single glazing that can be easily smashed and should be swapped out with UPVC doors that are double-glazed or solid wood doors with no windows at all.

4. Windows

Your windows are another access point for intruders to easily get into your home, so ensure that all of your windows on all floors have window locks fitted.

Use laminated glass at key entry points to your property. Laminated glass offers exceptional security and protection for your home as it cannot be broken and remains intact when smashed. An intruder trying to break through laminated glass will make a lot of noise and will have to keep smashing for a period of time, so it’s an effective deterrent.

Make sure there are no walls or railings near to your windows that will help a burglar step through your window or onto your window ledge. It’s also a good idea to plant prickly plants and bushes such as holly bushes, Pyracantha, blackthorn or roses in front of your lower ground windows so that this is an additional and challenging barrier for an intruder to get through.

Most windows will also have an opening distance maximum so that they cannot be fully opened to allow intruders in.

5. Alarm System

There are many alarm systems and home security services on the market ranging from simple home alarms with self-setting alarm features to fully monitored and managed alarm systems connected to centralised monitoring centres. Some services also connect to your local police station which is available for an additional fee payable to the police. You can also get a speech dialler service which calls pre-set numbers when the alarm goes off and leaves an automated alert that the alarm has been activated.

However, you will need to be careful about defective alarm systems and alarm systems that go off at the slightest movement. If the police are called too often to a false alarm, you will be struck off their register.

6. Home Safe

For valuable items, it makes sense to buy a fireproof safe for your home to lock all important documents and high value items in. Even if your home is broken into, the safe will provide additional security to keep precious belongings safe.

How To Prevent House Fires

Several days ago I was watching the news and noticed a story about a normal neighborhood that was shaken up because lightning struck a house and caught it on fire. It began to make me think about my own home and I began to wonder if I was prepared for something like that. Sure lightning probably won’t catch my home on fire but maybe a neighbors child will accidentally start a fire on my lawn.

Maybe someone will forget that they were cooking and a fire might break loose within my own kitchen. The point is that none of us ever know if an accident might be on the way for us and therefore we always need to make sure that we are prepared for a fire. Here are some tips to make sure that you and your family are prepared for a fire within your own home.

Prevent House Fires

1. Fire Extinguisher

When was the last time you took a good look at your fire extinguisher? Does it still work? Do you and your family members even know how to use the fire extinguisher? Water might not always be on hand so it is very important that your fire extinguisher is on hand and up to par to battle small fires within your home.

2. Insurance

The last thing that anyone wants is to have his or her home burn down or have significant damage from a fire that broke out. But at the very least homeowners have to be prepared for the worst and insurance is a must when it comes to the possibility of damage to an important asset. Does your policy cover your home well? Have you taken a good look at the fine print on your policy and will it take care of your home if things ever do burn down? Price is important when it comes to anything we purchase but the quality of the product we purchase is important as well. That is why quality insurance on your home is a vital part of preparing for a fire in your house.

3. Smoke detectors

Some of you might be bloodhounds that can smell smoke from miles away. But that is a rare group. Most of us might not be able to smell the smoke coming from different parts of our homes so it is absolutely vital to make sure that your smoke detector system is up to par. Make sure you replace the batteries regularly. One of the reasons why I chose Smith security as my security company is because their app gives me notifications to my phone when the smoke detector detects smoke and if I don’t respond to my phone then they alert authorities of a fire in my home for the safety of myself and my home.

The hope is that you never have a fire within your own home but in case you ever do you are now prepared for the worst.

5 Must Read Safety Tips To Furnish Your Kid’s Room

There’s no doubt about it: when it comes to decorating and furnishing your child’s bedroom, safety is the number one priority. Furnishing your son or daughter’s bedroom can be a fun bonding experience that allows your child to express his or her own creativity, and develop important planning and decision-making skills. However, a few easily-overlooked mistakes can compromise your little one’s safety.

Here are five safety tips to keep in mind when furnishing your kid’s bedroom.

1. Invest in cordless blinds

If you choose to put blinds over your child’s bedroom windows rather than curtains, it is worth your while to find a set that do not have a cord or drawstring. Having a cord or drawstring dangling from the blinds increases the risk of your child getting tangled up and possibly strangling himself. Even if you think that the cord will be too high to harm your child, it’s best to be safe and opt for cordless blinds or drapes.

Furnish Your Kid's Room

2. Keep nightlights away from fabrics

Many children take comfort in having a nightlight on while they sleep, and so a nightlight is an essential in many kids’ bedrooms. When arranging your child’s room, pick a spot to plug in the nightlight where it will be far away from drapes, bedding, and other fabrics. You will also want to make sure that the nightlight does not get too hot. If the nightlight does seem to grow too warm, you’ll need to buy a different nightlight, preferably one that is advertised as having a cool bulb.

3. Make sure the bedroom has a working smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector

Most children who are injured or die in household fires end up that way because they slept through the ordeal. For this reason, it is important to have working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in all childrens’ bedrooms. Change the batteries in both of these devices frequently and instruct your child on what to do if one of the alarms goes off.

4. Check that your child’s bedroom has several escape routes in case of emergency

In the event of a fire or other household emergency, your child will need to be able to escape his bedroom and possibly the house itself quickly and without any confusion. Make sure not to put any furniture, rugs, or decorative items in such a way as to obstruct the bedroom door. The path from your child’s room to the front door should be similarly clear of obstructions.

5. Tighten all bolts and screws in your child’s bedroom furniture

Even if your child’s bedroom furniture has already been assembled, find all of the bolts, screws, and other fastening hardware on each piece of furniture and tighten them as much as possible. If a piece is missing, order it directly from the manufacturer rather than risking an ill-fitting piece from the hardware shop.