GNcareers, from Gulf News

Fire prevention and safety in the household

Prevention and safety at homeImage Credit: Supplied

Is your home fire safe? Poor maintenance of power boards and the incorrect use of electronic sockets and appliances can result in fires, which can cause considerable damage to properties and endanger the lives of many, including your own life and that of your family’s. It is, thus, wise to keep a safety checklist at home so you can be sure of your family’s safety the whole year round.

All of us find it necessary to have a microwave oven at home for easy meal preparation, but there are certain safety precautions we all need to remember. Plug the microwave oven directly on the wall socket. Do not heat food placed in aluminum foil, or metal or sealed plastic food containers as this can blow up when heated due to steam build-up. Look for “microwave-safe” containers instead.

Aside from securing your home, it is best to educate every member of your household, even the children, on how to prevent fire-related accidents. Ask the kids to stay away from stoves or portable space heaters. Keep aromatic candles and lighters from their reach while teaching them to remember that these are not toys. It is best to lecture them about the risks of playing with hazardous materials.

You can also install smoke detectors at home and test them regularly. The detectors must be installed on every level. There should be one in each bedroom and outside the sleeping areas. Look for interconnected smoke alarms so that when one goes off, they all sound to warn everyone.

Take extra care when using electric blankets, heaters or open fire during the winter season. When not in use, switch off all appliances and never overload power points. Keep in mind to use only highly recommended/rated fuses and install an electrical safety switch at home.

Store flammable chemicals and fuels in your shed/garage and check them regularly for leaks that may cause a spark when turning the lights, mowers or vehicles on.

Everyone should be aware of the fire exits. Make all house keys easily accessible by everyone, including the kids, in case of fire in the house. Discuss and practice a fire escape plan with your family. Once you get out, stay away from the burning property and dial 997 (UAE Fire Department) for everyone’s safety.

Handy Hints
• Educate every household member, including kids, about fire prevention
Fire alarm systems should be interconnected to warn everyone of danger
• Dial 997 to contact the UAE Fire Department in case of fire emergencies

Source: Cleofi-Krista Capili, Special to Properties