Who would want to lose everything they have: property, household goods, clothes or even loved ones? No one, of course! A fire could start anywhere so it is important to be careful, alert and able to respond quickly. Here are some simple steps to prevent fires from happening accidentally.
This simple mistake could result in losing your entire house and/or contents to a catastrophic fire. Be sure to use an appropriate candle stand and put candles at least 12 inches away from anything that could easily catch fire. Put candles out of the reach of small children and teach them to never touch candles that are lit. Never go to bed or go out without making sure all burning candles have been extinguished. As an alternative, use electric or battery-powered candle flames; they are bright, smell good, and look like candles but have no flame or smoke. In case of a power outage or brown-out, use emergency battery or re-chargeable lamps and flashlights instead of candles.
Never leave the door to your gas or electric stove open or on and unattended.
Always turn the stove off once you've finished cooking. When using a gas stove for the first time check for leaks. Do the "Soapy Bubble" test Apply some mild soap on to the hose and look for bubbles appearing anywhere along the gas hose.This could indicate a leak. Have a certified technician check your gas equipment regularly. If you smell gas, immediately turn off the stove and the gas supply, then telephone the emergency services (fire department).
Avoid getting distracted by the TV or a computer since your pots or pans could be damaged by boiling over or a fire could get started while you're distracted.
The house could fill with dense smoke, the fire rage out of control and destroy more than just your pans! Always use cooking appliances that are appropriate for what you are cooking and follow the manufacturer's instructions for using that equipment. Don't use lots of extension cables because these could overload the circuit. Choose appliances that have undergone testing and/or been approved by an independent testing facility.
Since electrical cords are subject to deterioration due to age and use, particularly if the cable is regularly touching something, periodically look at cables, especially those attached to washing machines, dryers, stoves, ovens or freezers.
If you notice cracks, fraying or any wear on the cables, call in a licensed electrician to replace the cable.
Aside from the hazardous effects on your health, smoking is the 3rd most common cause of home fires and fire deaths. A smouldering cigarette butt can cause a fire, particularly on a bed, in second. If you have smokers in the house, make it a house rule that they smoke outdoors. Use, and regularly empty, appropriate ashtrays. Do not smoke in bed. You can get fire safety cigarette (FSC) which have two bands of fire retardants that extinguish the cigarette more quickly. However, while FSC may slow the burn rate, they do not prevent flammable materials igniting when touched by the cigarette, so do not be lulled into a sense of false security.
If your clothes catch fire remember these 3 steps - STOP, DROP and ROLL. Stay calm. Since rapid movement will provide the fire with more air, causing it to burn more vigorously, drop to the ground, lie down, if possible cover your face, then roll to deprive the fire of oxygen so it goes out.
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