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Fire safety equipment your home needs

by Jillian CariolaPublished: March 1, 2013Updated: June 29, 2017

Keep your home and your family safe from fires by stocking up on the right equipment.

Whether it is March—a.k.a. Fire Prevention Month—or not, emergency preparedness experts are constantly relaying their “stop, drop, and roll” lectures and giving tips for preventing accidental fires, as they should. But as important as it is to heed these warnings, it is just as necessary to equip your home with the right tools to prevent a fire or keep it from spreading. Whether you live in a house, condo, or any type of dwelling, these are some fire safety tools that you should never do without.

 

Fire safety equipment your home needs MyProperty Philippines emergency preparedness extinguisher
Fire extinguisher. Photo via Depositphotos

Fire extinguisher

A fire extinguisher should be at the top of your list of must-haves. It does not need to be a full-sized variant; a small one will do. There are various types of fire extinguishers and they are distinguished by letter—A, B, C, D, and K—depending on purpose, but Types ABC or ABCD are usually sufficient for home use. Learn how to properly use it and be sure to teach everyone in the family too. Keep the extinguisher in the kitchen, since this is the place in the house that is most susceptible to fire.

 

Fire safety equipment your home needs MyProperty Philippines emergency preparedness smoke alarm detector
Smoke detector. Photo via Depositphotos

Smoke detector

As small as a smoke detector can be, it can do a lot in protecting your family. In the event that a fire breaks out in an empty room, the detector will sense the smoke and emit a sound that will warn everyone, even if they are in different areas of your home. It would be best to get one for every room in the house, but one in the kitchen and each of the hallways will also do. Remember to test your alarms every month and replace the batteries at least twice a year to ensure they are always in working order.

 

Fire safety equipment your home needs MyProperty Philippines emergency preparedness number firetruck
Emergency number. Photo via Depositphotos

Fire department number

The government’s emergency number—911—is easy enough to remember, but it would still be prudent to stick it to the wall near the phone or onto the refrigerator, basically any place where everyone at home can see it. For other fire-related concerns, you can also contact the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) through (632) 729-5166; (632) 410-6254; (632) 407-1230.

 

Fire safety equipment your home needs MyProperty Philippines emergency preparedness safety signs
Fire exit sign. Photo via Depositphotos

Safety signs

During a fire, people will panic and lose concentration, which is dangerous if you only have a few minutes to either contain a small fire or escape a big one. A way to help people focus is by ensuring that you have clearly visible and glow-in-the-dark signs indicating where emergency items and escapes are. Put a “Fire Escape” sign near a window that also serves as your backup escape route to guide people towards it, and to ensure that no one will put any object that will block it and make an evacuation difficult. Affix an “Emergency Supplies” sign on a cabinet or drawer containing the fire extinguisher, fire blanket, burn kit, and other similar items. Next to or near the fire department number, stick a sign that clearly explains the proper use of the fire extinguisher. Create a detailed fire escape plan that everyone can study and remember and post it on a wall.

 

Fire safety equipment your home needs MyProperty Philippines emergency preparedness blanket
Fire blanket. Photo by JonathanLamb (Public Domain) via Wikipedia

Fire blanket

A fire blanket is a sheet of flame-retardant material used to smother starting fires. Fire blankets used for the home are normally small and made of fiberglass or Kevlar, and are able to withstand up to 900 degrees. If the fire is small enough, you can use this to put it out by smothering it instead of operating the fire extinguisher, which might be tricky to someone who has never used one before.

 

Fire safety equipment your home needs MyProperty Philippines emergency preparedness garden hose
Garden hose. Photo via Depositphotos

Garden hoses

When you go to the hardware store for a garden hose, be sure to get one that is long and durable so you can use it not just for watering your plants but also for dousing fires from various points in the house. If possible, put one long hose at every exterior part of the house where there is a faucet for easy access and a longer reach.

 

Fire safety equipment your home needs MyProperty Philippines emergency preparedness portable climbing rope ladder
Rope ladder. Photo via Depositphotos

Portable ladder

If you live in a two-story house and you need to evacuate the house because the fire has become uncontrollable, you want to make sure you have a way to get to the upstairs windows if someone gets trapped in one of the rooms. Conversely, the ladder can also be used to escape out the window from an upper floor to the ground floor. A rigid metal ladder would be good for accessing windows to rescue those trapped inside upper-floor rooms, but an emergency rope ladder can be rolled for safekeeping within the home, and can be used later on by anchoring it onto a window ledge and climbing down.

 

Fire safety equipment your home needs MyProperty Philippines emergency preparedness smoke hood mask
Smoke hood. Photo by Slowking4 (CC BY-SA 3.0), via Wikimedia Commons

Fire escape masks

A smoke hood will keep you from breathing in smoke as you maneuver your way through a fire. Since it covers your entire head, it will also help you see through the smoke so you can quickly find an exit. You can also get an emergency escape mask or a respirator, which will let you breathe without letting smoke into your mouth and nose, albeit for a shorter amount of time.

 

Fire safety equipment your home needs MyProperty Philippines emergency preparedness fireproof storage safe
Fireproof safe. Photo via Depositphotos

Fireproof storage

Fire-resistant safes, document bags, and filing cabinets will keep birth certificates, business documents, heirlooms, and other important items safe from a fire. This way, you and your loved ones can escape your burning home with the secure feeling that your most vital possessions will remain unharmed.

 

Fire safety equipment your home needs MyProperty Philippines emergency preparedness first aid burn kit
First-aid kit for burns. Photo via Depositphotos

Burn kit

Getting burned is sometimes unavoidable when escaping a burning structure, so having a first-aid kit containing items specifically for treating fire-related injuries is essential. Make sure that your first-aid kit at home contains sterile and non-adhesive bandages or clean pieces of cloth and medical tape, as well as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, naproxen, or any other over-the-counter pain reliever to soothe the resulting discomfort from the burn. Burn ointment, soothing lotions, and other similar products can be included, but keep in mind they are usually applied only as home remedies to minor burns. Bad burns should be treated by a doctor.

 

Having the right tools for fire safety will give you peace of mind, knowing that the things you need to put out a fire is at arm’s reach. But having these is not enough; you also need to make sure everyone in the family is aware of their presence and how to use them in case of an emergency.

Should a fire spread faster than you can control it, do not hesitate to leave everything behind and get everyone out of the home. Nothing is valuable enough for you to risk the safety of you and your family.

 

Sources: roswellfire.com, marsden-fire-safety.co.uk, mainesecurity.com, inquirer.net, lazada.com.ph, safelincs.com, webmd.com

 

Main photo via Depositphotos

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