More than 1.3 million fires were reported by fire departments in 2016, resulting in an estimated 3,390 civilian deaths and causing $10.6 billion in property damage.
Here are some tips that can help you become more safe and aware:
- Know your emergency exits and escape plan. If you’re at home, at work, at the movie theater or at dinner, look for all possible exits and have a plan of escape in mind in case an emergency were to occur.
- If you come across a small, containable fire, use a fire extinguisher to put it out. A good way to remember how to operate a fire extinguisher is P.A.S.S.:
- Inspect your fire extinguishers at least once per month. You do not want your extinguisher to be empty or not charged whenever it is needed to put out a fire.
- Test your smoke alarms at least once a month. Smoke alarms should also be replaced when they are 10 years old and there should be one in each room of your home.
- Check for warn out electrical equipment. Look for overheating, wear and tear, and overloading on electrical cords…all of which can cause a fire. If you see any of this, unplug and dispose of the cord immediately.
Matthew Steighner is the Risk Control Consultant for Gunn-Mowery LLC.