What To Know About Home Fire Safety

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) estimates that a fire department in the United States responds to a fire every 24 seconds. One civilian fire-related injury occurs every 32 minutes. Fire departments in the U.S. respond to more than one million fires every year. Because of this, the occurrence of fire injuries and related fatalities has decreased, but many people still suffer because of injury or death from fires.

Besides fires caused by lightning and other acts of mother nature, many of them can be prevented by taking precautionary measures. In fact, most of the country’s fires occurring at home are preventable. Contact an injury attorney and discuss the incident with them. An attorney can discuss your options and help you take the right steps to secure financial support for you and your family.

Safety tips for your home

  1. Install, test, and maintain smoke alarms 

A properly functioning smoke alarm is your first line of defense against injury or death in a fire that might occur in your house. The NFPA estimates that 60% of home fires occur in houses that do not have properly functioning smoke alarms. It is best to have a smoke alarm on every level of your house.

The NFPA always recommends installing alarms inside bedrooms and near to the sleeping areas, either on the ceiling or high in the wall. Ensure you do not install the fire alarm very close to your kitchen to avoid setting them off each time you cook. Try to test your smoke alarm every month, replace your batteries every year, and replace the alarm after every 10 years.

  • Make a home fire escape plan 

When your smoke alarm goes off due to a home fire, you may only have a few moments to exit your home. You will not have time to think carefully about what to do next. Therefore, you should make a fire escape plan and practice it with your family so that they are aware of where they must exist in the event of a fire. You must include at least two exits for every room, usually a door and a window, and make sure that doors and the windows are working correctly. 

Prepare your house for several other options and contingencies like using a ladder for going down from a second-story window. If you live in a condo or apartment building, then your building should have an escape plan. You should avoid using elevators in the event of a fire. Make use of stairs always. Finally, select a meeting place that is in safe distance from your house, so that you can make sure everyone has made it safely.

  • Do practice fire drills

Preparing a home escape plan is necessary for fire safety, but it may not be effective at the time of a fire unless you and your family members practice the plan. Hold occasional fire drills with family. Some suggest running through a fire drill at least two times every year. 

Mix up your drill time and incorporate some realistic scenarios like lights not working, obstacles on the floor, and primary exits blocked. The more you are prepared for real-life situations, the better chance you have to avoid injury or death if there is a fire. You should even be able to perform the drill with your eyes closed and move by crawling as if you are in smoke.

  • Cook with all safety measures in place 

Cooking fires are among the leading causes of fires at home and related injuries. Unattended cooking often leads to home fires. In addition to focusing on what you are doing while cooking, you can take other precautions to avoid a kitchen fire. Here are few safety measures you can take while in the kitchen to avoid fires caused by cooking:

  • Always stay in the kitchen while frying, broiling, or grilling your food. These are some of the most challenging cooking methods, so you should turn your stove off if you leave the kitchen.
  • While simmering soup, boiling pasta, or baking something in the oven, make use of a timer so you will not forget that the oven or the stove is on.
  • Never wear loose clothing that can catch fire when you are cooking near an open flame.
  • Keep flammable items away from the oven or stovetop, including likely culprits like potholders, grocery bags, napkins, paper towels, food boxes and other packaging materials.

Some people injured in home fires may have their troubles compounded by the negligence of healthcare professionals. When a doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other healthcare worker provides insufficient or improper care causing your condition to worsen, you should contact injury Lawyer.

  • Teach your children about fire safety

Besides practicing fire drills for your family, it is important to teach your children about the risk of using heaters and other potentially dangerous home appliances. It is important to explain to them about household dangers and what to do and not do. Reinforce what appliances are safe to use and what are not. Never allow your small children to cook without adult supervision, at least until they are old enough to do so safely.

Every child is different, but in general, experts recommend that children should not be permitted to cook uncomplicated meals (e.g. toast) unsupervised until they are approximately 13 years old and only with the permission of an adult. Children should be trained to recognize an emergency situation and respond appropriately. Stop, drop and roll is still a valuable, easy-to-learn lesson for children to prohibit any burns if clothing catches fire.

Awareness is the key to safety!

When someone is injured because of a fire, they will need ample time to recover completely from all injuries. Burns are extremely painful and can take several weeks and sometimes months to recover. It is best to speak to a burn Injury Lawyer to review your situation. 

Home fires happen from time to time. You may be able to recover damages from your insurance company with the help of a knowledgeable attorney. People are also injured because of fires in commercial buildings, car accidents, or due to poor building maintenance. You can file a lawsuit against the party who is responsible for the accident. You should contact a burn injury lawyer at The Law Offices of Samuel Fishman.