2023 Fire Safety Tips: How to Prevent a Fire at Home

Fires and other accidents

In the Philippines, March is recognized as Fire Prevention Month, making it the ideal time to discuss and spread knowledge of fire causes, risks, and dangers, especially in homes. Fire safety is of utmost importance in any home—especially in 2023 when more people are working and living from home than ever before. Whether it’s a faulty appliance, an unnoticed spark, or just plain carelessness, fires can have devastating consequences if left unchecked. 

In this guide, we’ll look at some of the most important fire safety tips that you can use to help prevent a fire in your home. 

Why is fire safety important?

Fire safety is essential because a fire in your home can cause serious damage to your property and put your family at risk. A house fire can start from any number of sources, so it’s essential to be aware of the potential dangers and take steps to prevent a fire from starting in the first place. Additionally, if a fire breaks out, you need to know how to get family members out of the house safely and minimize the damage.

Define the different types of fires

There are three primary categories of fire: Class A, B, and C.

  1. Class A fires contain combustible materials like wood, paper, or fabric. They are the most common type of fire and can be extinguished with water.
  2. Class B fires involve flammable liquids like gasoline or oil. They require a different extinguishing agent, like foam or CO2.
  3. Class C fires are electrical and often occur when faulty wiring comes into contact with flammable materials. They must be extinguished with a non-conductive agent like dry sand or baking soda, as water only exacerbates the situation.

What are some common causes of fires in the home?

Fire incidents at home can be caused by various factors, including careless and/or reckless behavior, faulty wiring or defective electrical fixtures, smoking materials, electrical appliances, and combustible liquids or materials according to the national fire protection association.

Careless and Reckless Behavior

Leading causes of home fires include unattended candles, stoves, cigarettes, and other open flames are the leading cause of residential fires. Smoking materials like cigarettes and cigars can ignite furniture or bedding if left unattended or too close to flammable materials.

Faulty Wiring

Faulty wiring is a common cause of electrical fires. Poorly maintained electrical systems, ungrounded appliances, electrical overloading, and improperly installed light fixture sockets are a few causes of faulty wiring.

Smoking Materials

Fire accidents may also be caused by smoking materials that can ignite furniture or bedding if left unattended or too close to flammable materials.

Electrical Appliances

Electrical appliances, such as space heaters, can cause fires in homes when overloaded with electrical cords and used in locations where they cannot be adequately vented.

Flammable Liquids or Materials

Flammable liquids like gasoline, paint thinner, and cleaning solutions containing acetone are potential fire hazards. Combustible fabrics such as dryer sheets can also cause fires if they are spilled and left on surfaces.

Fire safety tips every homeowner should know

A house fire is one of the most devastating things that can happen to a family. Not only is it emotionally devastating, but it can also be financially ruinous. As a homeowner, it’s important to be aware of these fire prevention tips to avoid a fire from occurring in your home and keeping families safe. Here are some preventive measures at home.

  • Avoid electrical overloading. Don’t overload electrical outlets or extension cords. Use only one heat-producing appliance per outlet, such as a coffee maker or space heater. If you must use an extension cord, make sure it is heavy-duty and not frayed or damaged in any way. 
  • Keep flammable liquids like liquefied petroleum gas, kerosene, and cleaning solvents stored in safe, well-ventilated areas away from heat sources.
  • Keep flammable and combustible materials, such as lighters and matches, out of reach of children. Store them at a safe distance, preferably in a dry place.
  • Install smoke alarms or smoke detectors on every level of your home and outside all sleeping areas, and test them monthly to ensure they are working properly. Remember to replace batteries at least once a year too.
  • Invest in fire extinguishers and place them in areas where there is the presence of electrical equipment or flammable objects like the kitchen.
  • Have a fire escape plan in place and practice it with your family regularly. Teach children the importance of practicing home fire safety at all times. Create and practice a home fire escape plan or escape routes with two ways out of each room and a designated meeting place outside. If you have a multi-level house, it is wise to have collapsible ladders deployed at critical areas.
  • Never leave burning candles unattended. Extinguish them before going to bed or leaving the house.
  • If you must use portable generators, propane grills, or other gasoline-powered engines, operate them outdoors, away from windows, doors, and vents, to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Never idle these engines inside your home, garage, or carport, even if the doors are open for ventilation.
  • Only discard the ashes once they are cool. Put them in a metal container with a lid and store them away from your home or any combustible materials until you can dispose of them properly.

What to do if a fire starts in your home?

If a fire starts in your home, you should first call your local fire department. Then, you should extinguish the fire if it is small and contained and proceed to a safe location until help arrives. If the fire is large or out of control, evacuate the premises immediately.

When to call the fire department?

There are a few instances where you should call the fire department, even if you think you can handle the fire yourself. Some of these are if the fire is large, spreading quickly, or in an area that’s difficult to reach, you should call for help. You should also call if people are trapped inside the building or if you didn’t evacuate the premises safely. In any of these situations, it’s best to avoid caution and let the professionals handle it.

2023 Fire Prevention Tips

By following these simple fire prevention steps, such as keeping items that may catch fire away from heat sources, regularly testing smoke alarms, investing in a few fire extinguishers, and not leaving cooking unattended, we can all take proactive steps toward preventing a tragic accident from occurring in our homes. If you experience a problem or want to be extra safe, always contact your local fire department for assistance.

Compare listings