Fire safety is the set of practices intended to reduce the destruction caused by fire. Fire safety measures include those that are intended to prevent ignition of an uncontrolled fire, and those that are used to limit the development and effects of a fire after it starts. Threats to fire safety are referred to as fire hazards. A fire hazard may include a situation that increases the likelihood of a fire or may impede escape in the event a fire occurs. There are many reasons of fire at home some common reasons are mentioned below:-
When a pot or pan overheats or splatters greases, it can take seconds to cause a fire. Stay in the kitchen when cooking, especially if using oil or high temperatures; most kitchen fires occur because people get distracted and leave their cooking unattended. Keep combustibles
(for example: – oven mitts, dish towels, paper towels) away from heat sources).
Improper use of heating equipment like heaters and other heating equipment may cause of fire at home. Reasons of fire by heating equipment are high voltage or forget to turn off and short circuit etc. Keep portable heaters at least one meter away from anything that can burn (including curtains, furniture, and you), and don’t use your heaters to dry shoes or clothes. Install a carbon monoxide alarm to alert you to deadly carbon monoxide gas.
Make the bedroom off-limits to smoking, and supervise smokers who may become drowsy (i.e. on medication, drinking) or forget to extinguish their cigarette. Use large, deep ashtrays; never place an ashtray on or near anything that will burn; and check furniture for fallen cigarettes/embers (a butt can smolder for hours before causing furniture to burst into flames).
Whenever use of electrical equipment ensures the following:-
- Electrical appliances don’t have lose or frayed cords/plugs.
- Outlets aren’t overloaded with plugs.
- You’re not running electrical wires under rugs or heavy furniture.
- You’re not overusing an extension cord. Be careful about do-it-yourself electrical projects; many home fires are cause by improper installation, so use a licensed electrician.
Keep candles in a sturdy holder on a level surface, away from combustible materials and out of the reach of children or pets. Blow them out before leaving the room.
Children Playing with Fire
Children cause fires out of curiosity (what happens when something burns) or mischief (they’re angry, upset or destructive, and fire is a major taboo to break). Kids may be involved in fire play if you find matches or lighters in their room/possession, smell sulphur in their room, and/or find toys or other personal effects that appear the melted/singed.
Older homes and apartments can have inadequate wiring – a fire and an electrical hazard. Some warning signs:
- You have to disconnect one appliance to plug in another.
- You have to use extension cords or “octopus” outlets extensively.
- Fuses blow or circuit breakers trip frequently.
- Lights dim when you see another appliance.
Flammable liquids – fuels, solvents, cleaning agents, thinners, adhesives, paints, and other raw materials – can ignite or explode if stored improperly. The vapors can easily ignite from even just high temperatures or weak ignition sources (one spark of static electricity). Don’t store flammable liquids near a heating source but, ideally, outside the home in a cool ventilated area, in approved containers.
Decorative equipment Keep away from all heat sources, including radiators, furnace ducts, television sets, and fireplaces. Check decorative lights before placing them on the tree, and discard any frayed or damaged lights/cords.
As part of regular maintenance, clean removable parts (inside and out) with soapy water. Spray the connections with soapy water to check for potential leaks; watch if bubbles form when you open the gas. Use barbecues away from your home, deck rails, tablecloths, and tree limbs. Use barbecues outdoors, never indoors (including garages).
Prevention of Fire at Home
The following are things you can do to protect yourself, your family, and your property in the event of a fire:-
- Install smoke alarms because properly working smoke alarms can decrease your chances of dying in a fire by half.
- Place smoke alarms on every level of your residence, including the basement.
- Install a working carbon monoxide detector in the common area of the bedrooms
- Test and clean smoke alarms once a month and replace batteries at least once a year. Replace smoke alarms once every 10 years.
- Never leave cooking unattended.
- Always wear short or tight-fitting sleeves when you cook.
- Keep towels, pot holders and curtains away from flames.
- Never use the range or oven to heat your home.
Escape the fire
- Have an escape plan. Review escape routes with your family.
- Make sure windows are not nailed or painted shut.
- Teach family members to stay low to the floor, where the air is safer, when escaping from a fire.
- In high-rise, never lock fire exits or doorways, halls or stairways. Never prop stairway or other fire doors open.
- Place space heaters at least three feet away from flammable/combustible materials.
- Use only the type of fuel designated for your space heater.
Matches/Lighting and smoking
- Keep matches/lighters away from children.
- Never smoke in bed or when drowsy or medicated.
- Inspect extension cords for frayed or exposed wires or loose plugs.
- Make sure outlets have cover plates and no exposed wiring.
- Make sure wiring does not run under rugs, over nails, or across high traffic areas.
- Do not overload extension cords or outlets.
Safety precautions during the fire
If your clothes catch on fire you should Stop, drop, and roll until the fire is extinguished.
Escape a Fire
- Check closed doors with the back of your hand to feel for heat before you open them.
- If the door is hot do not open it. Find a second way out, such as a window. If you cannot escape through a window, hang a white sheet outside the window to alert firefighters to your presence.
- Stuff the cracks around the door with towels, rags, bedding or tape and cover vents to keep smoke out.
- If there is a phone in the room where you are trapped, call the fire department again and tell them exactly where you are.
- If the door is cold slowly open it and ensure that fire and/or smoke is not blocking your escape route. If your escape route is blocked, shut the door and use another escape route.
- If clear, leave immediately and close the door behind you. Be prepared to crawl.
Safety precautions after fire
- Once you are out of the building, STAY OUT! Do not go back inside for any reason.
- If you are with a burn victim or are a burn victim yourself call fire safety department, cool and cover your burns until emergency units arrive.
- Only enter when the fire department tells you it is safe to do so.