Every home owner fears the risk of fire. Some properties present a greater fire risk than others. For example with an extensive use of wood in the structure, panelling or decor. Yet there are ways to manage the risk and protocols to follow should fire break out.
Manage the fire risk at home
Consider the age and structure of the building when you decorate your home and install new appliances. Minimise rise wherever possible. Eliminate use of open gas flames and use of live candles in the home. Never leave a fire or candle unattended. These are the absolute basics in fire prevention at home. Plus look up Seton.co.uk for any first and safety equipment you might need around the house.
What to do if a fire breaks out
Fire is one of the most destructive forces known to man. Tearing through everything in its wake, it can bring down entire buildings and massive structures in a matter of minutes, and thousands of house fires break out in the US and else where every single year, causing untold damages and tragic loss of life in the process.
There are plenty of useful tips you can follow to try and prevent fires from occurring at home. You can install smoke alarms on every floor of your home. Ensure there are fire extinguishers ready to use in case of emergencies. More especially keep a close eye on appliances like gas ovens. These can be the triggers of fires, and be careful when using candles, lighters, and matches too. All this is even more important if you have flammable materials include wood panelling on the walls inside or out.
However, even with all the homeowner care and preventative measures in the world, there’s still a real risk of fires happening. Nobody can predict when an accident might occur that leads to the breakout of flames inside their own home. Knowing what to do in this kind of emergency situation can make a real difference to life or death. So here are some tips to keep in mind when fires happen.
Get out and stay out
If the fire risk becomes a live fire, ensure you take action quickly. The first and most important tip for dealing with a fire in the home is to make sure you get out and away from the property fast. Move as quickly as possible. When fire alarms start to sound and smoke is building up, you need to simply get yourself and your family outside, not worrying about trying to save any precious possessions or making attempts to douse the flames.
The key phrase to remember here is “Get out, stay out, call 911”. You should follow these instructions to the letter. Get yourself out of the home via the main exit if possible or secondary exits such as windows if the main exit is blocked. Then move a distance away from the property to avoid any risks of smoke inhalation or damage from falling debris. Call 911 or your local emergency number and wait for firefighters to arrive.
Dealing with flames and smoke
Getting out of your home may be simple if the fire hasn’t yet grown too big. When it grows it can block exits. There are many situations where people find themselves trying to escape a burning building and having to navigate flames, smoke, and more. If you see lots of smoke, stay low. Instruct your family members to do the same. Staying low will allow you to breathe more comfortably without inhaling too much of the smoke. It gives you a better chance of escaping the building more easily.
If handles and doors are hot to the touch as you try to open them, avoid opening them entirely. Look for another exit. If you are completely blocked off, stay in a room with doors closed. Try to get a wet towel and place it beneath the door, and call 911 or your local emergency number. Then open a window and wave or signal from it to alert the first responders of your location.
Practice using fire extinguishers
Fires often start small, perhaps breaking out in a pan on the oven or near one of your appliances, growing bigger and bigger over time. If you’re able to catch the fire early on and the flames haven’t grown to dangerous levels that block exits and put your life in danger, it may be possible to use a fire extinguisher to put out the fire and prevent serious damages.
Assess the situation with care, and if you feel any threat to your safety, simply get out of the home, but if you are able to use a fire extinguisher or need to use one to try and clear some space to get out of the property, be sure to follow the instructions. The Red Cross also recommends using the ‘PASS’ acronym to remember what to do: Aim low, squeeze the lever slowly and sweep from side to side.
Final word on fire risk and what to do in the event of a fire
Having to escape a fire in your own home can be one of the most panic-inducing and scary experiences. It is essential you manage the fire risk in every possible way. It’s perfectly normal to react with stress and fear if fire actually breaks out. However, being able to remain level-headed and taking the correct course of action will give you and your loved ones the best chance of survival. So make sure to keep these tips in mind and act quickly and carefully if ever a fire breaks out in your home.
FURTHER READING FOR HOMEOWNERS & PETOWNERS
At Housesitmatch.com we like to offer useful and practical articles on topics for our readers. In this selection we offer you a number of suitable pieces from our own blog on renovating and decorating a home.