A fire can spread in a matter of minutes. One moment, it is only a flame and the next, it has gone through the building, using furniture, belongings and other flammable items for fuel.
To prevent serious fire damage, the American Red Cross has tips to keep you, your loved ones and property safe.
Prevent a fire
To keep your home safe, follow these tips:
- Test your fire alarm and change the batteries regularly
- Keep heaters away from flammable materials and never leave them on when you are not home
- Ensure that your dryers are in working order and that you clean the lint screen after each use
- Do not pile junk around furnaces
- Try to give as many appliances as possible an outlet
Fire safety begins with you. Remember that anything that produces heat, such as your microwave, television or computer, should be far enough away from anything flammable. With microwaves, for instance, you never want to cover their vents. If you can, unplug your electronics when you do not use them.
If you have any flammable liquids in your home, keep them in sealed metal containers. If you own a grill, keep it at least 10 feet from your home.
Plan for an escape
If something does go wrong, it is up to you, as the homeowner to find a way out of the building. Every household should have a plan. There should be an escape route with two exits for each room and every bedroom should have at least one window. All escape routes need to remain free of clutter to avoid trips and falls.