Did you know that 372,900 fires occur in homes every single year? These fires result in 2,530 deaths, 13,125 injuries and $7 billion in property damage annually, according to the US Fire Administration. Astonishingly enough, fire extinguishers were present in only 4% of these fires when non-confined. If a fire occurred in your home, would you know what to do? Knowing the following safety tips will help you be prepared.
First, you should know which type of fire extinguisher to purchase. For a home, choose a multi-purpose extinguisher that is large, but not too heavy so that you can handle its weight. Make sure 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. Read the instructions to become familiar with how the extinguisher is operated.
If and when a fire breaks out, before using a fire extinguisher, make sure all of the building occupants have exited and call 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 a point of 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 begins filling 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 may offer fire extinguisher training courses.
In addition to 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. Check out the NFPA Fire Escape Plan for safety tips on escape planning.
If you do experience fire damage to your property, please don’t hesitate to Call Paul! We’re available 24/7 with over 375 franchise offices throughout the US and Canada to carefully and effectively handle all of your property damage emergency service needs.
For more info about fire extinguishers and fire safety, please visit NFPA.