-Fires claim around 3,000 lives in the U.S. annually and cause another 17,000 injuries.
-On average, over 66,000 wildfires destroy around 7.6 million acres of land annually. Sadly, humans start 90% of them.
– 75% of all fire-related deaths are caused by residential fires:
- Cooking 51.6%
- Heating 9.1%
- Electrical Malfunction 6.5%
- Careless or Unintentional 7.1%
- Other 25.8%
Pets accidentally cause over 1,000 house fires a year.
Children under 5 accidentally cause over 100,000 fires a year.
With statistics like these, it’s easy to see why fire safety is so important. Especially, since most fire-related deaths are preventable. The following can help families prevent fires, stay organized, and act fast if the unthinkable should occur.
Quick Fire Prevention Tips
Install fire extinguishers and smoke detectors in several key areas of the house. Especially the kitchen, garage, and laundry room.
– If a gas leak is suspected avoid using switches as a single spark can ignite the gas.
– Regularly inspect water heaters and outside vents in home heating systems.
– Never leave pans on the stove unattended and make sure to cover stove knobs.
-Try using flame-less candles.
– Test smoke alarms regularly, and clean them by vacuuming the grilles.
– Consider using an RCD for electrical safety and never overload electrical sockets.
– Surround space heaters with 3-foot guards to protect children and pets
-Check electric blankets regularly.
-Keep matches, lighters, and flammable liquids well out of reach of children.
Plan Your Escape
Fires can start suddenly and spread quickly. A small flame can turn into a devastating fire in under 30 seconds, so preparation is key.
-Develop an evacuation plan and practice it regularly so everyone knows what to do if there is a fire.
-The best rule of thumb is to get out, stay out, and call 911.
-Try to wrap a moist towel around your head and face.
-Establish one main meeting place, as well as a backup area.
– It only takes minutes for a house to be completely engulfed in flames, but the thick, black, toxic smoke kills even faster. So, get low, and try to exit the house by staying below the smoke.