Fire Safety Tips You Should Know

An access control system has the functionality to do more than alert you of an intruder. It can save you from a fire. Today's technology gives extra layers of protection by integrating multiple devices. You can, in some instances, wirelessly connect smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to alert you of immediate dangers in the home. But, just because you have this equipment in the house doesn't mean you shouldn't follow a few safety tips to do what you can to prevent the start of a fire.

Have an Escape Plan

The first thing you should do is have an escape plan for fire safety. Every person and every room should be accounted for on the map. Review it with all family members to ensure they know what to do in case of an emergency. The plan should include a safe place to meet and practice at least once a month.

Get a Fire Extinguisher and Learn How to Use It

Every home should have a fire extinguisher. There are several types you can purchase. These devices can get heavy very fast. Get one that is large enough to tackle a small fire, but easy enough to handle with ease.

To Use: The first thing you want to do is pull out the pin. Once you've done this, you can squeeze the lever and move the nozzle side to side. Pressing should be done slowly so as not to distribute more than is necessary.

Put Out a Grease Fire Safely

When grease ignites, it's trickier to put out. Grease fires happen regularly while cooking. Be aware of how to extinguish one properly otherwise you run the risk of creating more issues. We are naturally inclined to believe that water will put out a fire. Yes, it does. But, not in this instance. The water will create a steam explosion, and the fire could spread. Don't swat it with a rag or towel either. The material could ignite as well. Instead, you should put baking soda or salt on it. Add these elements from above and not from the side of the fire. You can smother it with a pan, metal lid, or baking sheet. When all else fails, get out of your house and call 9-1-1.

Be Safe with Electrical Outlets

A licensed electrician should do all electrical wiring in the home. Even wiring in the garage, sheds, or other outdoor areas. Faulty wiring often causes house fires. Hire a professional to limit the chances of ignition. All large appliances and machinery should be plugged directly into a socket rather than an extension cord. These appliances include refrigerators, washers, and dryers. And, never hide an electrical wire under a carpet or rug.

Store Items Appropriately in the Garage

Any flammable material that might be kept in a garage needs to be stored with care. Cans of oil, spray paint, and other liquids need to be kept somewhere away from heat sources and out of direct sunlight.

Safely Use a Space Heater

During the winter months, many homeowners use a space heater for comfort. It can be safely used by checking that there aren't any cracks or that the cord isn't fraying. You should do this before you plug it into the socket. A space heater is another appliance that shouldn’t be plugged into an extension cord.

Sweep the Chimney

A house that is lucky enough to have a functioning fireplace should have it swept before use. Soot and debris accumulate throughout the year and settles in the chimney. They become a fire hazard very quickly. But, the good news is a good sweep will help. Additionally, watch what you store or keep next to the fire once it's burning. Ignitor fluid will help it get started, but once it's lit put the liquid in a safe storage space.

Burn Candles Appropriately

A burning candle should never be left unattended. Put candles out when you leave the room. Don’t forget to give the flame some space. All objects should be at least one foot away while it's burning. Placing it on a side or coffee table in the center of the room is ideal. The table should be sturdy as well as the candle holder. Keep it away from curtains, blankets, or other fabric.

Keep Doors Closed

According to the National Fire Protection Association, closing a door will slow the spread of a fire. Close doors before bed. Besides slowing the spread, it will give you time to pursue a plan of action that is necessary in the case of an emergency. Ideally, the plan of action will be articulated in the escape plan you've already drawn up.

Check the Batteries in Your Smoke Detector

A lot of devastating house fires could've been avoided if smoke detectors were working properly. Quite often the batteries have run out or were removed once upon a time. That's not helpful when you need to be alerted of a fire. Check your batteries every month or create a habit of replacing your batteries once a year. Interconnected smoke detectors talk to each other. A fire in the basement will set off the alarm downstairs and throughout the rest of the house. That means if you are upstairs in the bathroom you'll know that there is an issue somewhere in the home.

Also, If you have monitored smoke detectors, the low battery signal will notify you at your alarm panel. If you, the homebuilder or previous homeowner installed smoke detectors, the low battery signal will come directly from the smoke detectors.

Fire and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

You can up your level of protection by adding fire and carbon monoxide detectors to your home security plan. Many networks allow for the implementation of multiple devices that can be controlled from one access control device. When it's triggered you not only get an alert inside the home, but you have 24/7 support on the off chance local authorities need to come. Protection on that level is invaluable and something we take seriously at NCA Alarms.

Horton Admin