Fire – Awareness is key

May 18th, 2015 by Dave Sinclair

Fire!  A frightening word.  Fire is a destructive force of nature taking lives and destroying or damaging property every year.  It’s destruction can take an emotional and financial toll on families, communities, and business owners.
Common sense can be a great ally when taking preventative steps to protect your home.  Sometimes the easiest steps can be the most helpful.  An ABC fire extinguisher works well in the home because it is approved for all types of fires.  Ideal places to have an extinguisher in your home include the kitchen and garage or other work spaces.  Remember that fire can spread quickly and become very large in seconds.  If you can’t get to a home extinguisher quickly or if the fire is spreading you should call 911 immediately and exit the premise.
Keeping in mind that a large percentage of home fires are candle related, always think of a safe place for a candle to sit.  Never set a candle by any type of combustible material, i.e. fabric, paper, aerosol cans, etc.  Be sure to use a container/holder that can withstand heat such as glass, ceramic, or metal.  Finally, make sure that wherever the candle is sitting while it is lit is an area where the candle cannot be easily toppled over.  On a side note, remember that while hot wax may not cause a fire, it can still cause an injury.
Another common cause of house fires is the overuse of extension cords.  Extension cords should not be used with any appliance used for cooking.  The electrical cords on microwaves, griddles, toasters and toaster ovens, and coffee pots, to name a few, can easily overheat and overload electrical circuits.  This can in turn result in a fire in your home.
A useful tip that may be overlooked by many people is to always strike a match first prior to turning on the gas if you are lighting a fireplace or space heater.
Smoke alarms are a valuable home protection tool.  They should be installed on every level of your home and it is important that they are mounted in areas such as bedrooms and/or hallways that are near bedrooms or sleeping areas.  IMPORTANT!!  Smoke alarms need to be tested periodically and of course are in most cases battery operated.   Remember to test your alarms monthly and change or check the batteries on an annual basis.
Finally, don’t be fooled!  A flame on a match is small but it is still fire.  Treat fire with respect and caution. A small flame from a match or candle or an ember from a fireplace can quickly change your life forever.  Be fire aware.