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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

How to Be Prepared for a House Fire

4/26/2022 (Permalink)

Fires in the United States

In the United States, there is an estimated 358,500 house fires occurring every year. About 50% of these fires occur in the kitchen, 7% begin in the bedroom, and 6% are caused by chimneys, 4% start in the living room, and 3% occur in the laundry room. Most fires that happen in the kitchen are from cooking, either from grease or from leaving a dish unaccompanied for too long.  Other common causes are from heating equipment, faulty electrical distribution and lighting equipment, and smoking materials such as a cigarette. 

Follow These Steps

  1. Ensure that the correct number of smoke alarms are installed and regularly checked.
  2. Teach your children what a smoke alarm sounds like and what they should do if they hear one.
  3. Make sure all household members know at least TWO ways to escape from every room in your home and where the meeting spot is outside of the home.
  4. Create a household emergency communication plan and confirm that all members know who to contact if they cannot find one another.
  5. Practice the escape plan twice a year, which would include pressing the smoke alarm test button and yelling “Fire” to alert everyone.
  6. Teach every household member to STOP, DROP, and ROLL if their clothing catches on fire.
  7. Check and ensure that everyone knows how to call 9-1-1 and that they know the address in case there is an emergency.
  8. Have a running log or inventory of the items you own, with photo or video documentation.

Safeguard Your Home

  • Every level of your home needs to have smoke alarms, outside of every sleeping area.
  • A carbon monoxide alarm in a central location, outside each sleeping area.
  • Ensure that your house number is visible and readable from the street, especially at night.
  • Make sure that the heating sources in your home are clean and properly functioning. This includes furnaces or stoves, chimneys with creosote buildup, or cracked or rusted furnace parts.
  • Check electrical wiring of your home and avoid overloading outlets.
  • Only use kerosene heaters if permitted by law and always refuel them outside, after they have cooled.
  • Only purchase appliances and electrical devices that have the label of an independent testing laboratory.
  • Always store combustible materials in open areas and away from heat sources, placing rags used to apply flammable household chemicals in metal containers with tight-fitting lids.

Have you experienced a house fire? SERVPRO® of Columbia is ready and available to make fire damage "Like it never even happened.®” Call our office at 706-868-5441 to schedule a consultation today.

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