Can you believe that 372,900 house fires occur every single year? These fires result in 2,530 deaths, 13,125 injuries and $7 billion in property damage each year, according to the US Fire Administration. Astonishingly, fire extinguishers were present in just four percent of these fires. If a fire occurred in your house, would you know what to do? Knowing the following safety tips will help you be prepared.
Initially, you must know what type of fire extinguisher to buy. For a house, choose a multi-purpose extinguisher that is large, but not too big so that you can handle its weight. Ensure the extinguisher has an “independent testing laboratory” label. Keep the fire extinguisher close to an exit. If you have multiple floors, keep at least one fire extinguisher on each level of the home. Go over the instructions to become familiar with how the extinguisher functions.
If and when a fire occurs, before using a fire extinguisher, make sure all of the building occupants have exited and phone the fire department. If the fire is confined to a small space, use a fire extinguisher to put the fire out. Remember to keep your back to an exit while using the extinguisher. This way you will have an easy escape if the fire gets out of control. If the fire starts to spread or fills the room with smoke, leave the property immediately.
The National Fire Protection Association advises to remember the acronym PASS when operating a fire extinguisher:
P = pull the pin. Ensure the nozzle points away from you and release the pin.
A = aim low pointing at the fire’s base.
S = squeeze the fire extinguisher lever slowly.
S = sweep from side-to-side.
For hands-on training, call your local fire department who might offer fire extinguisher training courses.
On top of the importance of fire extinguishers, it’s also crucial to have working smoke alarms that have been tested regularly, along with having and practicing a fire escape plan with your loved ones. Take a look at the NFPA Fire Escape Plan for safety advice on escape planning.
If you do experience fire damage to your home, please don’t hesitate to Call Tougas! We’re here for you 24/7 to carefully and effectively handle all of your property damage emergency service needs.
For added info about fire extinguishers and fire safety, please visit NFPA.