Fire safety protocol gives people the ability to get out of a building promptly and safely in the event of a fire.
Fires are unpredictable and can cause devastating loss of life and property. The U.S. Fire Administration states that, in 2017, there were 1,319,500 reported fires that resulted in 3,400 deaths and 14,670 injuries in the United States.
Travelers Insurance company advises people to develop a comprehensive fire safety plan, which can help save lives when used in concert with functioning smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. However, the National Fire Protection Association says only about one-quarter of households actually have developed and practiced a fire-escape plan or have taken measures to prevent fires around their homes.
Here are some ways to stay safe.
Repair or replace malfunctioning kitchen appliances promptly. Keep them clean and always use them according to manufacturer’s instructions.
Do not leave a room while cooking. The Consumer Product Safety Commission says that most kitchen fires, which can ignite in as little as one minute, start after someone left the room.
Keep a fully charged and functioning fire extinguisher on the premises, preferably one on each floor of a home or business.
Do not overload power strips with plugs, and have a licensed electrician inspect and suggest updates to antiquated wiring systems.
Teach children about the dangers of playing with fire. Keep matches and lighters away from children.
Pull together all members of an office or household to come up with an effective evacuation plan. Walk through the building and inspect all possible escape routes. Mark two ways out of each room. If a window exit is recommended, have a functioning ladder that can provide safe egress.
Choose an outside meeting place that is far away from the residence or building, but close enough that it can be easily reached by all.
Set up a buddy system so that certain members of the family or company will be responsible for helping elderly, young or disabled people exit the premises.
Practice identifying escape routes, and institute regular evacuation plans so that everyone can function quickly should a fire occur.