In 2018, the most recent year statistics are available, 1,319,500 fires were reported in the United States. These blazes caused 3,430 deaths and 14,670 civilian injuries while costing more than $23.6 billion in damage! Though some fires are unavoidable acts of nature or unpredictable accidents, many fires in the home and workplace are avoidable. The following tips, courtesy of the National Fire Protection Association, can help reduce the likelihood of a fire in your business or home.
1 Watch your cooking - Stay in the kitchen if you are frying, grilling or broiling food. Never allow young children around the stove or oven, especially if they are not closely attended.
2 Give space heaters space - Keep space heaters at least three feet from anything that can burn.
3 Smoke outside - If you must smoke inside, have a sturdy, deep ashtray. Never smoke in bed.
4 Keep matches and lighters out of reach - Keep matches and lighters in high cabinets, preferably under a child lock.
5 Inspect electrical cords - Replace cords that are cracked, damaged, have broken plugs or have loose connections.
6 Be careful when using candles - Keep candles at least one foot from anything that can burn. Blow them out before you leave the room or go to sleep.
7 Have a fire escape plan - Make a fire escape plan and practice it at least twice a year.
8 Install smoke alarms - Install alarms on every level of your office or home and inside bedrooms. Interconnect them so they all sound at once.
9 Test smoke alarms - Test alarms once per month. Replace batteries once per year or as needed.
10 Install sprinklers - Sprinklers can help maintain and sometimes even extinguish fires, giving your local fire department a better chance of saving your property.