*This is a sponsored post that I wrote on behalf of the National Fire Protection Association.
When we think about keeping our homes safe, we usually think about keeping windows and doors properly closed or installing a security system. But there is another big danger that many do not pay attention to – fire. Most fire deaths in North America each year occur right in the home and burn faster than you might imagine. It’s not like in the movies. Once the fire is lit, you may have at least two to three minutes to get out safely by the time the smoke alarm goes off. We are partnering with NFPA in honor of Fire Prevention Week starting October 7The tenth through 13The tenth To give you some advice on what you can do at home to prevent a fire and the damage it can do.
Never cook and run away
Cooking fires are the number one cause of fires and injuries in the home, and most cooking fires involve the kitchen stove.
And if you get distracted as easily as I do, here’s a little wake-up call: Unattended cooking is the main cause of fires in the kitchen. I must admit that I am guilty of this. Does this sound familiar? You cook something for dinner and then you run out of the kitchen to do something maybe not that important. What was supposed to take only a few seconds turns into minutes, and then you go back to the kitchen only to find that what was now cooking has boiled or burned. Fortunately no fires. this time! To keep it safe, always stay in the kitchen while frying, boiling, grilling or grilling. If you have to leave the kitchen, just turn off the stove to keep it safe. And if you’re simmering, baking or roasting, be sure to check it regularly. Never leave your home while you’re cooking and use a timer for a friendly reminder.
Fire prevention tip: If you need to leave the kitchen while cooking, take a kitchen gadget with you to remind you that you have something on the stove and need to get back quickly.
Keep your cooking space clean and organized
Sometimes when we don’t care, our cooking space can easily catch fire. Things like oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, and paper towels or napkins should be kept at a safe distance from the stove. I find that as I cook in a more organized and cleaner manner as I get older, I am less likely to leave these kinds of things near my stove.
Be prepared in case of fire
Sometimes, even when we think we’re safe, things can happen. Therefore, for extra caution while cooking, keep a lid nearby that will properly fit the pot or pan you are using. If a small fire breaks out, use the hood to put out the flames and then turn off the burner. Leave the pan covered so you know the heat is off and the pan or saucepan has cooled completely.
If there is an oven fire instead, quickly turn off the heat and keep the door closed. If at any point you feel the fire is too much for you, get out of the house, close the door behind you to help contain the fire, and call 9-1-1 or your local fire department from outside your home. Don’t go back and let the professionals deal with it.
Always handle candles with care
Let’s face it: nothing sets the mood quite like candlelight. They create a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere and can smell very good. But despite their beauty, candles can be a major cause of house fires, and even death from house fires.
According to the NFPA, from 2011 to 2015, US fire departments responded to an average of 8,690 candle-lit home structures fires. More than a third (37%) of household candle fires started in the bedroom, and three in five candle fires started when they were left too close to flammable objects such as furniture, mattresses, bedding, curtains, or decorations. In 16% of those fires, candles were unattended or abandoned. And perhaps it’s not surprising, but Christmas, New Year’s Day, and New Year’s Eve have the most candlelight incidents of any year.
If you love candles as much as I do, there are a few things you can do to continue to enjoy them safely.
- Never leave candles unattended and blow them all out when you decide to leave the room or go to bed.
- Avoid using candles in the bedroom and other places where people may sleep.
- Keep candles at least 30 cm away from anything that might burn, including decorations or greenery.
- Always place candle holders on a stable, tidy surface, and use candle holders that do not tip over easily.
- Light candles carefully, and keep hair, sleeves, and loose clothing free of flames.
- Cut the long candle down to about an inch to keep the flames manageable. And be sure to extinguish the flame before it gets too close to the stand or container. You can use the candle holder cover to put out the flame gently instead of putting out the flame
- Have flashlights and battery-powered lighting ready for use during a power outage. Never use candles.
Make sure smoke alarms are working
When was the last time you tested smoke alarms? I do not remember? It may be time. Smoke alarms in your home should be cleaned of dust and tested every month. If it is not working properly, change the batteries immediately or replace the unit if necessary. Your home should have smoke alarms installed on every floor including inside bedrooms and hallways.