The most important home fire safety tip is prevention. More than 500,000 house fires occur each year, in all types of homes – site-built and manufactured, making it the second leading cause of accidental death in the home.
Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen and near your furnace. Make sure they're multi-purpose, dry-chemical extinguishers, suitable for class A, B and C fires. Teach all family members how to operate them. And keep them recharged so they're ready when you need them.
More than half of all fatal home fires occur while people are asleep. That's why smoke detectors are so essential. They can warn you before you see or smell smoke and give you time to get out.
If your home doesn't already have at least two smoke detectors, install one by your bedrooms and one at the opposite end of your home. Position them on the ceiling at least four inches from any wall. Or put them on a wall, six to 12 inches below the ceiling.
The two main types of smoke detectors are photoelectric and ionization, which detect smoke in different ways. It's safest to use a combination of both types of detectors.
If your smoke detectors are powered by electricity, add at least one that's battery powered, or has a battery back-up in case of power outages.
Faulty heating equipment plays a part in over 40 percent of winter home fires. You can help prevent fires by safely maintaining and operating your furnace, space heater or wood stove. Have a qualified technician inspect your furnace, water heater, fuel lines and gas pressure regulator every year.
Have a technician check the entire flue area each fall. Clean or change furnace filters and clear obstructions from the exhaust vent. Never store items or let debris build up near the furnace or hot water heater.
Supplemental heating units like electrical space heaters, fireplaces, kerosene heaters and wood stoves can be dangerous. Be sure each device is approved for use in a manufactured home and have permanent devices professionally installed.
Keep space heaters away from hallways and doorways where they can be knocked over. Also keep them away from bedding, clothing, draperies, towels, upholstered furniture and other flammable items. Unplug them before you leave or go to sleep.Tweet
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