Did you know that 372,900 fires occur in homes every single year? These fires cause 2,530 deaths, 13,125 injuries and $7 billion in property damage each year, according to the US Fire Administration. Shockingly, fire extinguishers were present in only 4% of these fires. If a fire occurred in your home, would you know the next steps? Reading the following safety tips will help you be ready.
Initially, you must know what type of fire extinguisher to purchase. For a home, select a multi-purpose extinguisher that is large, but not too heavy so that you can handle its weight. Make sure the extinguisher has an “independent testing laboratory” label. Keep the fire extinguisher close to an exit. If you have more than one floor, have at least one fire extinguisher on each level of the property. Go over the instructions to be familiar with how the extinguisher is operated.
If and when a fire breaks out, before using a fire extinguisher, make sure all of the building occupants have left the building and phone the fire department. If the fire is limited to a small space, operate a fire extinguisher to put the fire out. Remember to keep your back to a point of exit while using the extinguisher. That way you will have an easy escape if the fire gets out of control. If the fire begins to spread or fills the room with smoke, exit the property immediately.
The National Fire Protection Association advises to remember the acronym PASS when operating a fire extinguisher:
P = pull the pin. Ensure the nozzle points away from you and release the pin.
A = aim low pointing at the base of the fire.
S = squeeze the fire extinguisher lever slowly.
S = sweep from side-to-side.
For hands-on training, call your local fire department who might have fire extinguisher training classes.
On top of the importance of fire extinguishers, it’s also crucial to have working smoke alarms that have been tested regularly, along with developing and practicing a fire escape plan with your loved ones. Take a look at the NFPA Fire Escape Plan for safety advice on escape planning.
If you do experience fire damage to your home, please don’t hesitate to Call Paul! We’re available 24/7 with over 375 franchise offices throughout North America to carefully and effectively handle all of your property damage emergency service needs.
For added info about fire extinguishers and fire safety, please visit NFPA.