Fire Prevention Tips for the Home


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According to research conducted by the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB), the largest fire occurrences in the country are predominantly from residential areas, with the National Capital Region (Metro Manila) registering as the most fire-prone area. In recent years, it has consistently recorded the highest number of fire incidents. That same study has shown the the three most reported causes of fire incidents were faulty electrical wiring or connections, open flames left unattended, and electrical appliances or devices that were neglected.

It should be noted that for those residing in condominiums, more preparation is likely necessary and recommended especially if the building in question is a high-rise, as help may be more difficult to come by. And although most buildings have fire insurance, prevention is still the wisest and simplest course of action.

Here are a few safety tips to help prevent fires in your home.

FOR GENERAL AREAS OF THE HOME

1. A regular check of all electrical wiring is strongly recommended.

An annual schedule for checking electrical wiring is advised, or as you as you happen to notice some irregularities in the wiring. Statistics show that faulty electrical wiring and/or connections is among the foremost causes of fire incidents at home. Needless to say, frayed wiring, malfunctioning electrical fixtures, and damaged electrical sockets should be replaced immediately. Furthermore, it would be a good idea to make sure there are no electrical cords running under carpets or across doorways.

2. Avoid electrical overloading.

Extension cords that allow the use of several devices at a time are common in many homes. While no doubt convenient, these may also be potential fire hazards. Cheap extension cords could conceivably cause the sockets to overheat and possibly even cause a fire. Extension cords with built in surge protectors are advisable. However, your larger appliances such as refrigerators or air conditioners should have their own designated outlet as much as possible.

3. Install smoke alarms.

A large chunk of fatal home fires tend to occur at night when people are asleep. A smoke alarm will go a long way towards preventing this from happening, effectively waking people before they become trapped or are overcome by smoke.

4. Do not smoke inside the house.

Home with smokers may be at higher risk. Be sure to use an ashtray and make certain your cigarette stubs are thoroughly extinguished before leaving them. You may even want to douse them is water just to make sure, you can never be too careful.

5. Keep matches and other flammable objects out of your children’s reach.

While things like matches may be relatively essential, place them in a high place away from your children’s sight and reach.    

6. Keep the burning candles within your sight.

While there’s nothing wrong with enjoying scented candles around the house, using a candleholder specifically designed for candle use may be a good idea. Also, take care not to place them in place where they might easily be knocked over by children or even pets, and keep them away from things like curtains, books, or papers lying around.  

FOR SAFETY IN THE KITCHEN

7. Keep a watchful eye on your cooking.

A stove left unattended is another major cause of fire incidents within the home. If you must leave the room, it would be best to find someone who can watch it for you or even simply turn off the stove.

8. Store any flammable substance or any corrosive liquid a safe distance from the kitchen.

These may include household items like bleach, alcohols, or anything anything in a spray can to name a few. Store them in a safe and dry location away from the kitchen as much as possible. It might be helpful to label these items yourself as flammable to others don’t accidentally leave them lying around. This will ensure that, in the event of a fire, you won’t be making things considerably worse.

9. Doing a quick inspection of the kitchen before you go to sleep is also good practice.

You may want to check your Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) tanks and make sure they are turned off. Your tanks should also have the safety cap and security seal still intact. Make sure to use the proper type of hose and that the regulator is securely attached to the cylinder valve. An easy way to check for hose leaks is to apply a little soapy water and watch for any air escaping.

10. Have a fire extinguisher on hand.

There are different types or classes of fire extinguishers. The most common one to use is the Class A:B:C since it designed for ordinary combustibles like paper and wood (A), flammable liquids such as grease and oil (B), and electrical appliances (C).



 

Have emergency numbers ready.

It would be a good idea to have emergency numbers easily accessible. Place them in a visible location or better yet, near your telephone. You might also want to have these numbers saved in your mobile phone as well.

These are the hotlines to remember: Bureau of Fire Protection (NCR): (02) 426-0219 or 426-3812 Red Cross: 143 or (02) 527-8385 to 95

Don’t forget, you can also report a fire via SMS. Send a message to TXTFIRE Philippines, which is a non-profit organization that helps disseminate fire-related information (alerts and alarms) through their SMS dispatcher server. The numbers are 0918-6-888-888 (SMART), 0922-6-888-888 (SUN), or 0916-4-888-888 (GLOBE).

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