Most house fires occur during the winter months as we turn on the heaters to keep warm and use the kitchen for lots of hot, hearty meals. Being prepared for fire is essential to protect your home and family this winter.
In the kitchen
Almost half of all house fires start in the kitchen so this is one area where it pays to be prepared. A fire blanket is an inexpensive way to be fire ready. They smother a fire and starve it of oxygen, putting it out before it gets hold. Keep one in a handy spot near the stove and make sure everyone in the house knows where it is.
Install smoke alarms or if you already have them, test them to make sure that they are still working. At a minimum alarms should be placed on every level of a house, usually between living and sleeping areas. Putting alarms in every bedroom can provide additional protection in case a fire starts and a closed door blocks the smoke.
Fire extinguishers are another important fire safety tool. The best type to get for use around he home is a dry powder extinguisher. It is suitable for cooking fires involving fats and oils and also electrical fires, which may occur in other areas of the home. The kitchen is a good central point to store your extinguisher. For double storey homes, store another one on the upper level so you don’t waste precious seconds getting your extinguisher while a fire takes hold. Make sure everyone in the house knows how to operate the extinguisher so all can act quickly if required.
Make a plan
Don’t wait until there’s an emergency to figure out what you’re going to do. Have an escape plan prepared with at least two exit points in case fire blocks one. Go through the plan with your family so everyone is aware of what to do in case of fire. Have an assembly point prepared outside the home so you can quickly do a head count and find out if anyone is missing.