Fire Safety Tips To Save Your Life


People have a tendency not to worry about dying in a fire. Many folks are more worried about dying in a terrorist attack, though the odds of death by fire are monumentally much higher. Furthermore, unlike a terrorist attack, people can prevent fires with their individual efforts.

  • Every floor in their house should have a smoke alarm that's periodically tested and never deactivated. The batteries should be changed every six months. The units themselves should be replaced every decade.
  • Home evacuation drills should be conducted regularly and at inconvenient times. Each family member should be assigned a role, such as getting the cat and baby out. Meeting outside is No. 1; then call 9-1-1.
  • Each room should have two planned exits, if possible. A folding ladder should be available for the second story.
  • Time the drills to always beat the previous record.
  • Teach your kids about fire safety. See if the local fire department has such instruction.
  • Never assume that if a child wants to get his hands on a lighter or matches badly enough, he'll find a way. This is a cop-out. Hide these materials. There's no way a young child can get into a locked desk drawer or one of those shoebox-sized safes. Or hide the matches in an empty can of green beans. What child will go near this? Don't just rely on threats of punishment. This will only make the curious child be more cunning.
  • Keep electrical cords safely bundled out of reach of kids and pets.
  • Never leave candles burning unless you're near them, inside the house and wide awake.
  • Have a cat? Fuzzball can start a fire by jumping onto the stove. Train your cat not to do this.
  • Never smoke in bed or when you might doze off. Make a point to stand while you smoke at home. If you can't, you're too tired to smoke.
  • Before tossing the cigarette butt, rinse it in water.
  • Always unplug heating devices when you're not using them, like a hotplate and flat iron.
  • Older heaters do not have automatic shut-offs if they're tipped over. Replace old heaters with newly manufactured ones, which have this safety feature.
  • Handling explosives is illegal for a reason. Do not handle them.
  • If there are embers smoldering in your fireplace, place them outside when you're done with the cozy fire-but not before you pour water on them.

Robert Siciliano personal and home security specialist to discussing burglar proofing your home on Fox Boston. Disclosures.

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