Safety suggestions for National Fire Prevention Week
Foundation Financial Group kicked off National Fire Prevention Week by offering fire safety tips to keep communities safe and informed.
This year's National Fire Prevention Week focuses on kitchen fires, which are the leading cause for home fires. In 2011, home fires caused 2,640 civilian deaths and cost $9.7 billion in direct damage. A home fire was reported every 85 seconds and a civilian fire death occurred every three hours in the United States.
Here are six safety suggestions for protecting your home and your family from becoming a national fire statistic:
Stay in the kitchen -- Unattended cooking is a factor in 34 percent of reported kitchen fires. Turn the stove off to walk away, or ask someone else to watch it for you. Set timers for reminders when food is baking or roasting in the oven.
Remove flammable clutter -- Place boxes, papers, and plastic bags as far from the stove as possible. Watch your clothing too, dangling fringe and sleeves can catch fire from contact with hot burners. Potholders, dishtowels, and curtains are also flammable.
Point handles toward the back of the stove -- This will help eliminate the chaos that comes with spilling hot food or liquids, not to mention prevent scalding injuries or worse.
Own and know how to use fire extinguishers -- Fire extinguishers sell for as little as $20. Of course having a fire extinguisher will not be very helpful if you do not know how to use it. Practice.
Regularly test your smoke alarms -- Properly functioning smoke alarms reduce your likelihood of dying in a fire. Test your smoke alarms once a month. Make sure your batteries are still working.
Practice fire exit strategies -- Your family should have exit strategies for a variety of emergencies. Review general fire safety tips like stop, drop, and roll. Practice evacuation scenarios where certain doors are unusable and see how quickly everyone adapts.
Should a home fire occur, you will need to report all damaged items to your insurance company. Insurance can only reimburse for the items that are reported.
To learn more about fire safety or statistics, visit http://www.nfpa.org.
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