Disaster brought about by fire is never a thing we like to think of, however, we all need to be prepared for it. It is easier to take a preventative approach and be prepared to tackle a small fire (where safe) rather than have to deal with the devastation of a fast-spreading inferno and the fire damage it can cause.
Having the right equipment on hand will help you should a fire happen in your home or workplace and may save lives. Here are a few items that can help you in the event of a fire.
Smoke Detectors and Fire Alarms
It is important to install fire alarms around the house or office in areas more likely to have a fire break out. They should also cover every floor of the building. Ensure they are located near any fireplaces, stoves and near bedrooms in order that you can hear them immediately they go off. Check them weekly to ensure the batteries are working and change the batteries annually. Whilst smoke detectors and fire alarms won’t actually fight the fire, they are a warning measure that will alert everyone to the fire outbreak and give extra valuable moments in which to plan your escape.
Fire extinguishers are a vital inclusion in any fire safety toolkit. They should always be present and easily accessible in the home or office. As with smoke detectors and fire alarms, position them close to locations with a high chance of having a fire break out. Pick extinguishers that are easy to move, which are an ideal choice for the kitchen where small oil or grease fires are most likely to occur. The workshop and laundry rooms will also do well with large extinguishers. Placing a large multi-purpose extinguisher in a central point in the office or home makes good sense. Let everyone know where it is and teach them how to handle it.
Fire Escape Ladders
The hallways in the building may be rendered impassable during a fire outbreak and ladders may be a suitable solution to get people to safety. A rope, retractable or foldable ladder is a good choice and should be placed next to each room. Everyone should be aware of the location and how to use the ladder. Make sure anyone who is less able, such as a child or elderly relative, has someone assigned to help them in the event of a fire breakout.
Fire blankets come in handy when battling small fires such as those that occur in the kitchen. It is important to ensure that the fire blanket is stored in an easily accessible area.
Fire Escape Plan
Always have a fire escape plan and make sure that everyone in the house knows what to do in case a fire breaks out. The plan should have more than one escape route for everyone, such that they know which route to take in case one is rendered impassable by the fire. The plan should also include a central meeting point for everyone once they are outside of the building. Pick a familiar place at a safe distance from the house. A good way of ensuring everyone understands the escape plan, especially the children, is to draw up the floor plans for the house and have everyone memorize them as they walk them through what to do. Make sure everyone understands the need to be concerned about the safety of each other and to avoid carrying anything else with them out of the house.