Fire Safety in the Home – What to do before & after a fire
Domestic fire safety is fundamental as up to 25,000 people die every year in domestic fires across Europe. Approximately 70,000 are hospitalised due to injuries caused by fire and smoke annually, and fire damage burns up about 1% of Europe’s GDP. Amazingly, many Europeans are not actively preventing fires from starting in their homes, and this infographic outlines some simple ways to keep your home safe.
The most important piece of fire safety equipment in any home is a smoke alarm. In a recent US study it was found that three out of five home fire deaths were in properties without working smoke alarms.The risk of dying in a house fire is cut in half in homes with working smoke alarms. To keep your home and family safe install smoke alarms and ensure they are in good working order by testing them every week, and replacing their batteries every year or when they are dead. Smoke alarm failures usually result from missing, disconnected, or dead batteries.
In order to prepare your family for a fire, you need to draw up an escape plan. This simple process makes all the difference when your loved ones know what to do in an emergency. Simply draw a map of your home highlighting all doors and windows. Visit each room and pinpoint two ways to escape, and ensure that all doors and windows open with ease. Assign a meeting place outside your home and then practice with your family regularly.
If there is a fire, what should you do? The important thing to remember is to ‘Get out – Get the fire brigade out – Stay out’. If you realise your home is on fire stay calm and raise the alarm. As you escape get down low to the ground in order to help you see and breathe as you exit the house. Check all doors with the back of your hand before opening them, as a warm door signals that there is a fire on the other side. If your escape is blocked, find an alternative and only open doors you need to escape through. Once everyone is out of the house call the Fire Brigade, and under no circumstances go back inside your home.
Dealing with the aftermath of a fire is difficult, but ensure that you secure your home against unauthorised entry, making repairs to prevent further damage and letting your local police force know the house is unoccupied. After you’ve found alternative accommodation and storage for your belongings you’re going to need to deal with your insurance. A loss adjuster will be sent by your insurance company to investigate and deal with your claim and agree the extent of the damage. You can appoint a loss assessor to compile an inventory and negotiate on your behalf. Once you have reached a settlement you can begin to put your home and your life back together.
For more information visit http://www.balcombes.ie/services/fire-damage/