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Fire Prevention Planning Is The First Step To Fire Protection

This is a guest post by Dean K. is a freelance writer. If you would like to Guest Post, check out the Guidelines here.

Fire protection starts with fire prevention. The best protection we have against fires is to minimize the chances of a fire occuring. There are several simple but very effective fire prevention measures that can be used in the home.

1. Do not smoke when tired, in bed or on medication. This might appear to be a very basic suggestion but, in reality, the number of fires caused by lighted cigarettes is on the increase every year. Medication can dull the senses as can tiredness. The risk of a dropped cigarette on bed linen or furniture is greatly increased in this situation.

2. Get in the habit of performing a routine bedtime check. Develop the habit of ensuring that all electrical appliances are unplugged. Extinguish or block all open fires. Empty ashtrays. Close all doors in order to impede the possible spread of smoke and fire. Performing a routine safety check every night before going to bed could be the difference between life and death.

3. Smoke alarms should be placed in all rooms except for bathrooms and kitchen areas. Install heat sensors in food preparation areas. Smoke alarms should be checked regularly and the batteries changed every year. Check that appropriate fire extinguishers and fire blankets are easily accessible. The fire extinguishers should be serviced yearly.

4. All electrical appliances should be checked for faults. If faults are found the appliances should be repaired or replaced. Electrical sockets should never be overloaded.

5. Open fireplaces should have a fireguard in place at all times. Chimneys need to be cleaned at least once a year. Clothes should not be dried near open fires. Be careful with portable electric, gas or oil heaters. Never leave heaters on overnight.

6. Access to window and door keys as well as escape routes is very important. Make sure that keys to doors and windows are easily accessible and ensure that escape routes are free of obstructions both night and day.

Create an emergency escape plan.

It is always a good idea to have an emergency plan in place. The plan needs to be practiced regularly so that there is some sense of familiarity with the process if the need arises to use it. Choose a meeting place away from the home. Do not re-enter the building until fire services make it safe to do so. This plan should also include a back up escape route.

Create a safe refuge room.

Choose a room to act as a safe room if immediate escape from the building is not possible. Choose a room with a window as the refuge room and plan to stay by the window if a fire occurs.

Ensure that a phone or personal alert is in the this room. Phone emergency services and use a personal alarm if available. Speak clearly and calmly to the emergency services. Close the refuge room door. Place blankets and similar materials at the bottom of the door to prevent smoke from entering the room. If escape through the window is impossible, call out for help.

With the proper fire prevention measures, fire alarms and fire evacuation plans in place the risks of serious injury or death are significantly reduced. Performing an audit of fire protection needs and assessing what needs to be done can make any home safe and protect its occupants.

Author: Dean K. is a freelance writer and a regular contributor to with a keen interest in home security and fire prevention. He spends most of his time in Austin, and is married to Keandra, a stay-at-home mom.

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