Keep your home and your family safe from fires by stocking up on the right equipment.
March is Fire Prevention Month, and it’s around this time of year when fire prevention experts are starting their “stop, drop, and roll” lectures and giving tips for preventing accidental fires. As important as it is to heed these warnings, it’s just as necessary to equip your home with the right tools to prevent a fire or keep it from spreading. Here are some fire safety tools that every home should have:
1. Fire extinguisher – This should be at the top of your list of must-haves. It doesn’t need to be a full-sized variant; a small one will do. When you get one, find out 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.
2. 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 your family of the fire. 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 replace the batteries regularly to ensure that they’re always in working order.
3. 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. If the fire is small enough, you can use this to put it out instead of operating the fire extinguisher.
4. Long garden hose – When you go to the hardware store for a garden hose, be sure to get one that’s long and durable so you can use it not just for watering your plants but also for dousing fires from almost any point in the house.
5. 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.
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. However, should a fire spread faster than you can control it, don’t hesitate to leave everything behind and get everyone out of the house. Nothing is valuable enough for you to risk the safety of you and your family.
In the event of a fire, please dial the emergency hotlines 757 or 116. For other fire-related concerns, you can also contact the Bureau of Fire Protection through (632) 729-5166; (632) 410-6254; (632) 407-1230.