Fireproofing the home is a great way to be proactive and protect your family against a home fire. There are different measures to take when fireproofing a home depending on the needs of the individuals in the home. For example, do you have young children or elderly parents staying with you? The elderly will have different fireproofing concerns than young children. Also, with the dangers of the summer wildfire season, you can consider incorporating some extra precautions and measures into your home fire prevention preparation.
According to the American Red Cross, child-playing fires are the leading cause of fire deaths among preschoolers. In addition, about 300 people per year are killed and $280 million in property is destroyed in fires attributed to children playing with fire.
Keep matches, lighters and other ignitable substances in a safe and secure place away from children. Also, purchase lighters with child-resistant features. It’s important to also talk with your children about fire safety and the dangers of starting a fire. Teach your children to tell you or a responsible adult when they find matches or lighters at home or school.?
Practice a fire escape plan at least twice a year with your children. Make sure they know to stop, drop and roll and how to low crawl. Familiarize children with the sound of your smoke alarm and what to do when they hear it.
Teach your children not to be scared of firefighters. Take them to your local fire department to meet them and learn about fire safety.
Elderly people can struggle with sight, and hearing issues,’mobility, etc. and these can affect their ability to detect and escape a home fire. Sadly, elderly are more likely to die in a home fire than the rest of the population. Here are some measures to talk to help your aging loved one avoid a home fire and stay alive if a fire disaster does occur.
Talk to your loved one about their smoking. Make sure that they never leave cigarettes unattended and inspect their ashtray to make sure it’s fireproof by being deep and sturdy with wide rims. Also, no one should ever smoke in bed or smoke where medial oxygen is used. In addition, never discard cigarettes in potted plants, landscaping or anything that could ignite easily. Also, talk to your aging loved one about refraining from smoking if sleepy and/or drowsy from medication.
It’s important to practice routine fire drills with your aging relative. Their mobility may be impaired so someone in the home should be assigned to assisting them if a fire should occur. If they live alone, practice fire escaping scenarios so that an effective escape becomes a part of their muscle memory. Check to see if all the doors and windows are easy for the elderly person to open. It’s also a good idea to store an escape ladder or rope on the upper floors of the home.
This program is sponsored by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Fire Administration. The program provides these services:
*Home assessments to help identify existing fire hazards and determine where there may be a need for smoke alarms and detectors.
*Smoke alarm installation.
*Fire safety education to make sure elderly adults and their families are all on the same page with regards to safety practices.
*Follow-up service to make sure the smoke alarms are still working and to determine the level of fire safety knowledge retained by older adults, as well as to observe any changes in their behavior or understanding that may indicate the need for increased care.
Unfortunately, this is the season for wildfires. If you live in an area vulnerable to wildfires, there is not much you can do to stop a wildfire once it occurs. However, you can take measures to help keep your home and property resistant to the fire.
Grass, leaves and branches can give fuel to a fire. If any of these can reach from the ground to a crown of a tree, it is called ladder fuel because it provides a ?ladder? for the fire to climb from the ground to the crown of the tree. You can eliminate this by mowing tall grass, pruning all the lower branches of the tress and trimming shrubs.
There are great products on the market that are fire-resistant. You can build your home with insulated concrete forms that are fire-resistant. This is one of the most fire and heat resistant? construction materials on the market; reportedly, they can withstand a fire for up to four hours. In addition, you can get fire-resistant decking, fire-resistant? framing, fire-resistant roofing, fire-resistant siding and fire-resistant insulation.
Consider building a pond near the home. This could be a useful safety net to distinguish any fire threats.
For additional fireproofing tips, you can use the Monthly Health Challenge provided by Wellsource, Inc.