How to protect your home from dangerous fires

We’ve all driven past the scene of a house fire, and wondered what caused the fire in the first place, and then we hoped that no one was hurt as a result. Then, if we are honest, we probably say to ourselves: "That won’t happen to me."

But the statistics are undeniably grim. In the US, household fires cause nearly 3,000 deaths and more than 12,000 injuries nationwide each year. 

The truth is that many residential fire-related deaths can be prevented. FOX 5 real estate expert says there are four points that we all need to know to help avoid a home fire tragedy.

1.  Fire is fast

In less than 30 seconds a small flame can get completely out of control and turn into a major fire, and thick, black smoke can fill a house in minutes. If you wake up to find your home on fire, there is no time to grab valuables – there is only time to evacuate.

2.  Fire is hot

In fact, heat is more threatening than flames. Inhaling super-hot air will scorch your lungs and the heat can melt clothes to your skin. In five minutes, a room can get so hot that everything in it ignites at once: this is called flashover.

3.  Fire is dark

Fire isn’t bright, it’s pitch black. Fire starts bright, but quickly produces black smoke and complete darkness. If you wake up to a fire you may be blinded, disoriented and unable to find your way around the home you’ve lived in for years.

Image by Николай Егошин from Pixabay 

4.  Fire is deadly

Fire uses up the oxygen you need and produces smoke and poisonous gases that kill. Breathing even small amounts of smoke and toxic gases can make you drowsy, disoriented and short of breath. The odorless, colorless fumes can lull you into a deep sleep before the flames reach your door. You may not wake up in time to escape.

Adams says the bottoms line is that it's extremely important that you install smoke alarms on every level of your residence - putting them high on the wall outside of bedrooms. 

A properly working smoke alarm can decrease your chances of dying in a fire by half.

Test and clean smoke alarms once a month and if your model uses a 9-volt battery, be sure to replace the battery at least once a year when you set your clocks back to Standard Time each fall. 

The life you save may be your own.

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