Our home contains many treasures we want to keep, from loved ones to sentimental items. A fire can disrupt life’s routine and destroy what one has gathered over the years. It is important to practice prevention! It is wise to do an annual audit to see if you are putting yourself at greater risk of these common hazards.
Circuit overload: Appliances are designed to be plugged directly into an outlet. Extension cords are meant to provide temporary power. Having several items plugged into an extension cord drawing power can cause heat, and fire. Check appliance cords to make sure they are intact, and not frayed or showing separation from the end of cord. If the insulation has cracked, do not use it.
Lack of ventilation: Over time, a dryer vent can build up lint, or a chimney can build up soot.. and the fan over the stove can build up grease. When they get used, heat can build up and cause a fire. Clean them once a year (depending on frequency of use).
Cooking appliances: Not attending to the stovetop while cooking can cause a fire. Make sure all those who cook know that one does NOT put water on a fire in a skillet! They turn off the heat, smother it with a non-glass lid, or a lot of baking soda. Do not think a toaster can be neglected either. Houses have burned down from toaster that was being used that never popped up and the fire spread to the upper cabinet above it. Half of fires start in the kitchen.
Portable Heaters: These are designed for temporary personal comfort in a small space for people who are in the room while awake. It is not to be left unattended, or near any combustible fabric. Make sure to use only indoor heaters.
Candles: They should also not be left unattended, and not positioned where fabric can reach them (like curtain movement)
Faulty wiring: When it comes to installation of an outlet or lights, it is best left to the licensed pros.
Smoking: A fire caused by a smoker not being careful with the ashes from a burning cigarette is considered a more deadly type of fire that are the cause of 23% of fire deaths. It is best to not smoke, but if you do, smoke outside and use an ashtray.
Know that a fire in a home can spread very quickly. It can release toxic gasses which will cause mental disorientation while thick smoke will reduce visibility, so getting out as quickly as possible is important. Make sure each bedroom has a working smoke detector. If the alarm goes off while you are asleep, stay low to the ground. Feel the door and the doorknob to see if it is cool. If it is, crack the door and see if you can safely exit out of the home through the door. The best exit is the closest one, and it might need to be a window. Everyone should know how to quickly get out through their bedroom window in case of emergency. Get out and call for help even if you are not sure where the fire is originating from. It could be from wiring in the attic that you may not see at the time but can quickly collapse the ceiling. Have a designated spot to go to so all can be accounted for. Your safety matters.
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the one bringing good news, announcing peace, bearing good news, announcing salvation, saying to Zion, “Your God is King!” Isaiah 52: 7