Philadelphia Fire Department Compiles Home Fire Safety Recommendations
December 30, 2016
The Philadelphia Fire Department has compiled a list of important, fire safety items for residents to use as a guide in their homes or apartments. The checklist details different types of fire safety hazards, such as housekeeping hazards, heating/cooking hazards and electrical hazards. There is also information specifically for parents to keep in mind when it comes to protecting their children, as well as information fire safety plans to help prepare all residents living under the same roof.
There is an array of different housekeeping hazards to look out for. It is common to have many combustible items in a house or apartment, therefore, it is important to keep anything like varnish, paint or anything else stored in a metal container tightly closed. When you are ready to get rid of old varnish or house paints, be sure you dispose of them properly. Remind your family members that it is unsafe to use flammable fluids of any kind, such as gas, for any type of indoor chores and duties. Lastly, as a general rule of thumb it is best to make sure that closets, attics and basements—the less visible areas of your home—do not contain any combustible materials.
It comes as no surprise that electrical hazards often contribute to house fires. One major risk is having long extension cords or multiple attachment plugs on the same power strip. This can cause an electrical fire; one way to avoid this problem is to install multiple electrical outlets in each room, making sure to not overload power strips. Certain home appliances, like washing machines or air conditioners should be plugged into special electrical outlets because of how heavy-duty they are. Even if you have special electrical outlets, it is still important to check them, and all electrical cords, to see if they are intact or in need of replacing. Weaving extension cords and electrical wires over nails can compromise the cord’s stability, leading to the need for more frequent replacements.
The last group of fire hazards tackled by the Fire Department are heating and cooking hazards. When it comes to cooking, it is necessary to keep your stove, broiler and oven clean from grease, because grease can contribute to starting a fire. When there are pots or pans on the stovetop, their handles should face inwards so that should someone knock into them, they are less likely to fall and cause an injury such as a burn, or even incite a fire. Because of these risks, make sure to never leave any cooking items on a stove without someone watching them carefully. There should not be flammable items near a stove, either. Electrical heaters can cause a fire, especially the portable type, so to inhibit risk they should not be left unattended, should be turned off whenever not in use, and should always be a minimum of three feet away from anything that is flammable, such as bedding or furniture.
Having a fire safety plan can be life-saving if the unexpected happens. Families can come up with a fire safety plan so that everyone is on the same page with how to proceed if a fire occurs. Kids need a bit of extra help and reassurance with fire safety, so they should not be able to easily access flammable items like candles, lighters and matches. It is also much safer to prohibit cigarette smoking inside of a house or apartment and instead to necessitate solely outdoor smoking.
The Philadelphia Fire Department put their checklist together to support the safety of men, women and children throughout the city, hoping to decrease the chances and risks for house and apartment fires that can cause severe property damages, injuries and even death. We believe that this is a very serious, important cause and urge you to assess your living space, making sure that it is as safe as possible for you and your family. Should you need any additional guidance on fire safety, please visit: https://www.freedomfromfire.com.
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