What are Some Fire Safety Tips?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

By observing basic fire safety tips, you can prevent a fire in your home and you can be more prepared for the outbreak of a fire. Make sure that everyone in your house is familiar with fire safety; the same goes for commercial buildings. As an employee, if you see an obvious fire safety hazard like boxes blocking an exit, speak up. You might feel foolish, but it could save your life in an emergency.

In a public building, exit signs should be illuminated, even during a fire or power outage.
In a public building, exit signs should be illuminated, even during a fire or power outage.

The first goal in fire safety is preventing fire, which means using common sense with things which can cause fires. Never leave stoves, heaters, candles, and other hot objects unattended, and always leave plenty of room around these things. Make sure that appliances like stoves are regularly serviced and checked by professionals to ensure that they are in working order. You should also replace frayed or damaged electrical cords.

Smoke detectors can help save people's lives from a home fire.
Smoke detectors can help save people's lives from a home fire.

Although preventing fire is the main goal of fire safety tips, you should also be prepared for the outbreak of a fire. Make sure to keep fully charged fire extinguishers readily available in your house, and regularly check smoke and fire alarms to ensure that they are working. The best choice for a fire extinguisher is a combination extinguisher which is rated to handle several different kinds of fires. You should also check doors and windows to make sure that they are easy to open; if you have window screens or shutters, check to be sure that they can be quickly removed in case of fire.

Having a fully charged fire extinguisher is one component of fire safety.
Having a fully charged fire extinguisher is one component of fire safety.

You should also establish a fire safety plan for your home and workplace. Make sure that everyone knows how to get out of the structure in a fire, and establish a safe meeting place. You may also want to designate a third party as a rally point in case you are separated from your family or coworkers. In your home, keep important documents and mementos in a fire-proof safe, as you will not have time to fetch these items in the event of a fire. Keep collars and leashes handy for big household pets like dogs so that you can quickly lead them to safety in the event of a fire. To rapidly evacuate small pets, you can use pillowcases or Evac-Sacks such as those used by animal welfare organizations.

Candles, which can cause fires, should never be left unattended.
Candles, which can cause fires, should never be left unattended.

If you are in a fire, try to stay calm. Stay as low to the floor as possible, and inhale minimally. If you have access to water, soak a rag and wrap it around your face to help you breathe while you get out. Test all doors with the back of your hand before opening them; if the door is warm, don't open it. Ideally, you should exit through a window, since this will get you away from the fire as soon as possible. If you are trapped on a high floor, hang something from the window to alert rescue personnel to your presence.

If a building has shutters, make sure they can be opened quickly.
If a building has shutters, make sure they can be opened quickly.

Familiarize the people in your home and workplace with fire safety tips. Although you might feel slightly dorky when you remind people to observe fire safety tips, your vigilance will keep things safer for everyone. If you work with children or you are part of a large workplace, you might want to consider asking a fire department representative to come in and give a brief fire safety lecture. Many fire departments also distribute brochures with fire safety tips and they offer free fire safety assessments of structures to ensure that their communities stay safe.

Making sure any residential fireplaces are secure is an important part of fire safety.
Making sure any residential fireplaces are secure is an important part of fire safety.
Fireworks should be set off in a large clearing to prevent a fire.
Fireworks should be set off in a large clearing to prevent a fire.
Cigarettes that are left unattended can start a structure fire.
Cigarettes that are left unattended can start a structure fire.
Homes should be equipped with fire extinguishers.
Homes should be equipped with fire extinguishers.
Ionized smoke alarms should be inspected frequently and the batteries should replaced at least twice a year.
Ionized smoke alarms should be inspected frequently and the batteries should replaced at least twice a year.
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Discussion Comments

Grivusangel

Fire safety is really, mostly common sense, in my opinion. Remember to turn off appliances, check your dryer vent for lint buildup, make sure cords aren't getting frayed or broken, keep fabric (like drapes) away from heaters and even electronics like computers and televisions. Heat can build up and catch these things on fire.

A working smoke alarm is also a great warning. Remember to change the batteries when the time changes twice a year.

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