A fire can occur due to various reasons and it’s not something that can be left to chance. The first step to protect your home and your loved ones is to have the right fire safety equipment in your home. Some types of fire safety equipment are designed to prevent fires; some detect fires; some are used to control fires; and some give you a safe passage. Fire safety equipment can give you precious seconds, either to control the fire or to evacuate to a safe place without getting hurt. Let’s take a look at some of the must have fire safety equipment for your home.
Smoke alarms: These are your first line of defense against fires. Statistical data has revealed that smoke alarms can reduce your risk of dying in a fire by almost 50%. Smoke alarms can detect smoke as well as invisible combusting gases present in the air. These can detect smoldering as well as flaming fires. These will allow you to take prompt action, wherein you can take measures to control the fire if it’s manageable, or evacuate the house and call for help. Smoke alarms need to be installed at strategic points in the home so that they are evenly distributed throughout the house. It’s essential to install these inside each bedroom and outside the sleeping area as well, since poisonous gases produced in a fire can induce deep sleep. All smoke alarms in a home should have battery-backup and these should be interconnected so that if one goes off, the rest go off too.
Carbon Monoxide alarms: Carbon Monoxide (CO) is usually described as the invisible killer since it is an odorless and colorless gas. It is produced due to incomplete combustion of certain fuels including wood, coal, gasoline, oil, natural gas, methane and propane. Various cases have been reported where carbon monoxide was produced from heating and cooking equipment used in homes. It can also be produced in cases where a generator or a vehicle may be running inside an enclosed space such as a garage. Carbon monoxide is extremely dangerous since it affects the nervous system, causing a person to become disoriented and lose his decision making abilities. Some smoke alarms come with carbon monoxide detectors, but it’s better to have the ones that are specifically designed to detect carbon monoxide. These need to be placed at a central location and also outside and inside sleeping areas. Exposure to carbon monoxide can be fatal; it can be due to either prolonged exposure to small doses of CO or short exposure to high levels of CO. If the carbon monoxide alarm sounds, immediately open all doors and windows, move outdoors and get help. Look out for symptoms of carbon monoxide exposure, which may include light headedness, headaches, nausea, shortness of breath and dizziness. Seek medical help immediately if you come across such symptoms.
Home Fire Sprinkler system: Automatic sprinklers are the best choice for homes, as they significantly reduce the smoke, flames, and heat that are produced during a fire. These act so quickly that the fire may be extinguished even before the fire department reaches the scene. One of the good things about modern fire sprinkler systems is that only the sprinkler closest to the fire will activate in the event of a fire. So, there’s very little risk of your entire home getting wet due to fire sprinkler system. Research data has revealed that fire sprinkler systems reduce the risk of your dying in a fire by almost 80%. The risk of property loss resulting from fire is also reduced by around 70%.
Fire extinguishers: These can be useful in controlling small fires and preventing them from spreading. Fire extinguishers can buy you some precious time by limiting the spread of fire and damage caused, till the time the fire department arrives. Various types of fire extinguishers are available to fight different types of fire. However, for home use, it’s better to choose a fire extinguisher that can be used to put out all types of home fires. Before using a fire extinguisher at home, ensure that the room is not filled with excessive smoke, the fire department has been informed, everyone has moved out of the house, and the fire is not spreading. You need to get some training prior to using a fire extinguisher, so that you can put it to good use in a real life emergency situation. Most home fire extinguishers empty out in a few seconds, so in case the fire does not go out, you need to get back to safety.
Safety ladder: This can be very useful for multi-level homes. These are foldable for easy storage and can be assembled quickly in case one needs to get out of the house when fire occurs. These are available for two or three-storey homes and can be easily fitted onto a windowsill.
Emergency escape mask: These can provide effective protection against smoke inhalation and other dangerous gases produced during a fire. It can also be used to rescue someone who might be stuck inside a home during a fire.
Fire evacuation plan: This should be known to each and every member of the family, especially the kids. You can conduct mock fire drills from time to time, so that everyone can be better prepared to face the situation when a real fire occurs. This is an essential part of fire safety for kids.
Burn injury first aid kit: Such kits can provide relief and help limit the impact of burn injuries, till the time you reach a hospital or medical teams arrive at the scene.