The unfortunate events of last week couldn’t have come at a more opportune moment such as this — the start of ‘Fire Prevention Awareness Month.’
Our marketing professional for the Reno Agency had a fire start in her oven due to one of her children placing a plastic dinosaur toy inside it without her knowledge. Come dinner time, when she turned on her oven to pre-heat, that toy dinosaur started a fire.
Would you know what to do in that situation with flames blazing inside the oven? Find out here.
Quick thinking kept her house from damage. When the fire continued to grow, she turned off the oven, kept the oven door closed to prevent oxygen from entering and fueling the fire, got her two young children and dogs to safety, and she called the fire department. Thankfully, by the time the fire fighters arrived, the fire had extinguished itself inside the oven and did not spread anywhere else. You don’t think these things will happen to you, but fires don’t discriminate against anyone.
If you have young children in the house, they don’t necessarily know the implications of their actions so it is important to educate them about fire safety once they become interested in fire. The NFPA provides a helpful tip sheet about addressing fire interest in children here.
Fire Safety Equipment
Two key items are ESSENTIAL in your home that can save your life in the event of a fire:
1. Working smoke alarms
Smoke alarms are more times than not your first warning to a fire in the home. Working smoke alarms reduce the risk of dying in reported home fires by half. This is why it’s so important to test your smoke alarms monthly to make sure they are operational. For more information about smoke alarms, what types are the best to use, how to maintain, etc., visit the National Fire Protection Association’s website.
2. Fire extinguisher
Fire extinguishers are great to have to put out small fires or to keep a larger fire from spreading until the fire department arrives. However, with that said, the most important thing to remember is your safety. So if the fire is getting out of control, or the room is filling with smoke, get out of the house quickly!
Did you know there are different types of fire extinguishers that battle different types of fires? Here is a list of the different codes to help you understand what type of extinguisher is best for your home or business.
If you are using a fire extinguisher to put out a fire, remember the word P-A-S-S.
P – Pull out the pin. Hold the extinguisher with the nozzle pointed away from you, and release the locking mechanism.
A – Aim low. Point the fire extinguisher at the base of the fire.
S – Squeeze the level slowly and evenly.
S – Sweep the nozzle from side to side.
Develop a Fire Escape Plan and Practice!
Only one of every three American households have developed and practiced a fire escape plan. Do you remember all those fire drills you did back in school or at work? You hold fire drills so everyone knows what to do in the event of a fire and so they can act quickly. Fires spread quickly and oftentimes, you have less than 6 minutes to escape your home before a fire becomes life-threatening, according to the National Fire Protection Association website.
So I encourage you to develop a fire escape plan, kind of like the ones you see on the doors of hotel rooms, and practice it with your family. I suggest that everyone know of two ways out of every room in case one exit is blocked. If you need help designing a fire escape plan, start here.