Home fires are most common during the fall and winter, peaking in December and January, but they can happen anytime. They’re also more common on the weekends, and most happen between 6 and 7 pm.
Top fire safety tips:
- Ensure that you have adequate smoke alarms installed and that the batteries are changed regularly.
- Make sure you have fire extinguishers on hand in easy to reach places. Most house fires start in the kitchen, so one there is very important. An inexpensive and effective alternative is spray fire suppressor. For most small house fires this is more than adequate. Because it is cheaper it is easier to keep several cans around.
- Talk with your family about a fire escape plan. When they are old enough, children should be taught how to break out windows to escape. Establish a safe place for everyone to meet. Practice your plan; in an emergency prior planning and practice can save lives.
- If you escape your home during a fire, don’t re-enter the house for any reason. While we often hear stories of courageous rescues by people who re-enter homes to save a child or pet, the much more common outcome is that both the potential rescuer and rescuee are lost. Let the firefighting professionals do their job.
- Remember to stop, drop, and roll if your clothes catch fire. Teach your children about this and have them practice.
Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires. In 2nd place? The day before Thanksgiving!
Tips for the Kitchen:
- Secure your fire extinguisher between the stove and the most likely exit from your
kitchen. That way you can grab the extinguisher but still be able to exit safely.
- A fire extinguisher will release a lot of pressure. Start at a distance and move
towards the fire. Starting too close could spread hot grease or other burning materials
and extend the fire.
Only fight a fire if:
- The fire is small and contained
- You are safe from toxic smoke
- You have a means of escape
- Check the expiration dates/pressure on your fire extinguishers. Check what type of fires they fight (not all extinguishers work on all fires).
- Practice P-A-S-S.,
- Pull the pin
- Aim at the base of the fire
- Squeeze the trigger
- Sweep side-to-side
(It is not recommended to actually discharge a fire extinguisher while practicing, but becoming familiar with the steps is useful).