Simple Fire Prevention Steps That Save Lives in the Leon County Community.
Have you ever thought about fire safety in your home? Do you know about the handful of daily tasks that can put you at risk of a house fire? Do you know that cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home fire injuries in the United States?
Of course, home fires have a high likelihood of starting in the kitchen- more so than any other room in the house. The American Red Cross has reported a 10% rise in home fires in the past 20 years, and we expect to see a continuous increase moving forward. In fact, numbers show that every two and a half hours, someone is killed in a home fire, and over 20,000 people are injured in home fires annually.
How does a family meal turn into a cooking fire? Much easier than you would think! Unattended cooking is the most common cause, and leaving cloth items near a burning or hot eye once the meal is completed. It an be prevented with simple steps. It is the most effective protocol to make sure there is a tested, functioning fire alarm in the kitchen area, and even better to have a fire extinguisher near as well. It is said that having the smoke alarm in the home reduces the likelihood of death by fire by half.
Even so, the following steps can prevent needing to rely on the smoke alarm at all, and should be practiced in every home:
The first, and easiest practice to execute, is to never leave cooking food unattended.
It is imperative that someone stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. It’s understandable that you may need to multitask during meal times in today’s day and age, so if you must leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove make sure to ask someone to watch it or go ahead and turn off the stove. If you are cooking, check the food frequently and set a timer so that you stay within the cooking time frame needed and don’t fall into burning the dish, Try to wear cooking friendly clothes- meaning items that hug the body. It is proven that wearing loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking. Of course, you should always aim to keep children away from the cooking areas. Creating a “kid-free zone” in the kitchen area is a great way to do this. A three foot radius is best no matter how old the child is- ensuring a safe distance from heat to hands is always set in place. Be intentional in keeping items that can catch on fire, such as pot holders, mitts, paper bags, plastic packages, towels and curtains, away from the stove or any other appliances that can generate heat. Be sure to clean cooking surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease buildup as well. Regular deep cleans and kitchen checks are the best way to ensure safety over time.
The most important item to have in place, at the end of the day and all of the item checks, is the smoke alarm. Put simply, smoke alarms save lives. Install a smoke alarm near your kitchen, on each level of your home, near sleeping areas, and inside and outside bedrooms if you sleep with doors closed. Use the test button to check it each month. Replace all batteries at least once a year.
Keep up with disaster tips from our crew at SERVPRO of Central Tallahassee.