When it comes to fire safety at home, you and your family should be prepared in the event there’s a fire in your home. Fire awareness and prevention give your family the highest chance of averting or escaping a house fire. It’s up to you to make sure everyone in your home is prepared.

Follow These Five Tips to Start Practicing Fire Safety at Home:

1. Take Care of Your Smoke Alarms

Smoke alarms are your first line of defense against a house fire. At least one smoke alarm should be on each level of your home, and one inside and outside of every bedroom. Test the batteries in every smoke alarm in the house once per month and change them as needed, at least once per year. Make sure every member of your family knows what your smoke alarms sound like, especially children.

2. Create a Fire Emergency Plan

Fire safety at home starts with establishing an emergency plan. Each family member should know two ways to escape from every room in the house. Make sure that everyone knows to stay low to the ground under smoke when escaping a house fire.

Establish a communication plan. Designate one person in your family for everyone to call should you get separated fleeing the building. Make sure young children know your cell phone number and 911. Have a meeting place for everyone to go once safely out of the house.

Practice fire emergency plans twice per year. Fire drills will help everyone act swiftly and efficiently during an actual emergency.

3. Know Your Fire Extinguishers

If a fire can’t be extinguished with an extinguisher in 10 seconds, then it is too large for a fire extinguisher. Immediately evacuate your home whenever this is the case.

Make sure every member of your household knows where your fire extinguishers are stored and how to use them. If you don’t already own a fire extinguisher, the United States Fire Administration has this guide on their website to help you choose a fire extinguisher that will suit your needs.

Use the PASS Method to operate a fire extinguisher: Pull the pin, aim at the base of the fire, squeeze the fire extinguisher’s handle, and sweep back and forth until the fire is put out.

4. Never Overcrowd Outlets for Fire Safety at Home

A damaged or overcrowded outlet is only one spark away from starting a fire. If you need more space for your appliances, opt for a surge protector over an extension cord. Never run an extension cord under a rug or carpet, and don’t link one extension cord to another.

Keep an eye out for frayed or damaged cords. One of the best ways to practice fire safety at home is by replacing frayed cords as soon as you notice them.

5. Fire Safety at Home in the Kitchen

Fire safety is especially important in the kitchen. Never leave a saucepan or pot unattended. Grease and hot oil should always be handled with care. Never attempt to put out a grease fire with water. Once you are finished cooking, double-check that the oven and all burners are turned off.

Fire safety and prevention starts with you. By following these tips, you and your family will be prepared if disaster strikes.

Guardian Home Inspection Services provides home inspection services to Southwest Michigan. Contact us to schedule an appointment.