Did you know that a house fire occurs every 87 seconds? And in just two minutes, a fire can be life-threatening. To protect your loved ones, follow these seven steps to prevent fire in your home.
- Test your smoke alarms. Check your alarms once a month by pressing the test button. Do not forget: You should also replace all smoke alarms that are ten years old (or when they do not sound if they are tested). To take it a step further, confirm that you have the correct amount of smoke alarms, according to advice from the US Fire Administration. Smoke alarms should be installed in every bedroom, outside every sleeping area and at all levels in the home (including the basement). For best protection, make sure everyone is connected.
- Identify fire hazards in your home. The oven cannot be avoided. But there are other things you may want to remove, relocate or re-evaluate. Did you know, for example, that glass decor displayed near a window can actually enjoy the sun and magnify its warmth on a rug or curtain nearby? Discover 14 household items that may be of concern and deal with them accordingly.
- Understanding Your Home Electrical System. Electricity makes our lives easier, but only if used correctly. If you are buying or renovating your home, it is important that the electrical work is inspected by a professional. After that, watch out for exposed wires and worn cords. If you ever have problems with your switches, a stinging sensation when touching an appliance, discolored or hot wall sockets, flashing or dimming lights or sparks from an outlet, contact an electrician immediately.
- Inspect your heat sources. Every year, a professional service your oven. He or she will be able to identify if it is not working properly, which may prevent fire. Are you using a space heater for even more heat? Keep it away from objects that can easily ignite, such as curtains and furniture. If you have a wood-burning stove, have your chimney inspected annually by a certified chimney sweep.
- Prevent kitchen disasters. Find out what you can do to prevent fires in the first place (such as cleaning crumbs in the toaster and disconnecting appliances when not in use). And what should I do if there really is a kitchen fire. Check out: How to avoid three common kitchen disasters.
- Store safe combustible material. Flammable products should always be kept away from heat. Enter a cool, dark cupboard or storage space for hair spray as well as cleaning and garden accessories. In addition, petrol, kerosene and propane should be stored outdoors in the original containers.
- Practice the safety of light. The National Fire Protection Association reports that there are an average of 21 home fires caused by light each day. Another study showed that 85% of light fires can be prevented. To make sure you know how to "turn on" with caution, read more about light safety.
Despite precautions taken to prevent a house fire, accidents sometimes still occur. To make sure you are prepared, you can learn in and out of fire extinguishers: which one or which ones you should have, where to keep them, how to use them and how often they should be replaced.
Bonus reads:  7 tips for a safe fireplace and 15 safety tips for the grill.
Hands as a small business owner? Prepare your workplace with this checklist – designed to help you promote fire prevention and protection.