The theme for the second week of National Preparedness Month was “Learn Life Saving Skills”. When it comes to fire safety, there are several habits you can learn to implement that will dramatically decrease your risk of fire-related emergencies. Once learned, these practices can certainly become life-saving actions by preventing greater fires from happening every time you use them. Here’s a few:
Learn How to Check Your Safety Equipment
Be sure to check your home smoke detectors once a month, and set a reminder on your phone or calendar so you do not forget! You can check the smoke alarms by pushing the small “test” button on each unit. If it beeps, it’s working! If it does not beep, or chirps when you are not testing it, that means it is either time to change the batteries or replace the entire smoke detector.
Businesses need to make sure their fire safety equipment, including fire extinguishers, fire suppression systems, and exit/emergency lights are inspected regularly by a certified fire safety specialist. Extinguishers and lighting need to be inspected annually at minimum, and kitchen fire suppression systems require semi-annual inspections. A business can call its local fire protection office to be added to their schedule any time and should prioritize doing so if has been over a year since the last inspection.
Learn How to Use a Fire Extinguisher
Knowing how to use a fire extinguisher is a skill that can save lives and property when applied correctly. When using an extinguisher, you need to remember the “PASS” method. PULL the pin out directly, which will break the seal, AIM the hose or nozzle at the base of the fire, SQUEEZE the handle, and SWEEP the hose side to side slowly. Remember, an extinguisher is a great help for a small flame, but the minute that the flame becomes larger, it better to escape safely and call the fire department.
Business can have a fire inspector teach their employees how to use extinguishers also, so that everyone is armed with this important skill.
Learn Little Safety Habits
From staying close to your pan on the stovetop to cleaning your grill on a regular basis, there are so many little habits that can prevent fires on a daily basis. You can check out our archives for safety articles on a variety of topics, from grill and cooking safety to household preparedness and unique fire hazards for Fall, there are a variety of things that seem small, but make a big difference when implemented regularly.
Some of the best life saving skills are those that prevent the dangers before they begin. Learning these habits will make more of a difference than you know, by stopping or minimizing the emergencies before they grow out of control. Be sure to let us know if you have questions, we are always here to help.