From Prevention to Preparedness: Defending your homes from fires
Fire incidents can be devastating, not only causing damage to property but also posing a serious risk to the lives of your loved ones. In the Philippines, fire safety must be a priority for every household. The following tips will help you establish a safe environment at home by minimizing the risk of fire and ensuring that you are well-prepared in case of emergencies.
- Keep emergency contact information readily available
Place the phone numbers of the nearest fire station beside your telephone and save them in your mobile phone for easy access during emergencies.
- Practice good housekeeping
Eliminate combustible materials by disposing of wastes such as papers, rubbish, and other materials that can easily catch fire.
- Store matches safely
Keep matches out of children’s reach by placing them in a high location, away from your children’s sight.
- Use open flames cautiously
Place oil lamps, gas lamps, and candles away from curtains and other flammable materials. Use candleholders specifically designed for candle use, and ensure they are not in a position where they can be knocked over. Extinguish all open flames before going to bed.
- Store flammable materials properly
Avoid keeping flammable materials like disinfectant spray, bleach, gasoline, alcohol, and paint inside the house. Store them in a safe, dry location, and label them as flammable products to prevent accidental ignition in the event of a fire.
- Inspect electrical installations regularly
Check your electrical installations regularly and have all frayed wiring, defective electrical fixtures, and damaged sockets repaired immediately by a licensed electrician. Schedule inspections annually or whenever you notice any irregularities.
- Avoid overloading electrical circuits
Do not overload electrical circuits by plugging in too many lights and electrical appliances. Assign separate outlets for big appliances, such as refrigerators and air conditioners, to prevent overheating and potential fires.
- Use appropriate fuses
Replace blown fuses with the correct type and never use wires or other metal objects as makeshift fuses.
- Be cautious with smoking materials
Never leave a lit cigarette, cigar, or pipe unattended. These can fall on flammable materials, such as clothes, curtains, furniture, or paper, and start a fire.
- Prepare a first aid kit
Always have a handy first aid kit available in your home, especially in areas prone to accidents, such as the kitchen.
- Prioritize kitchen safety
Never leave cooking unattended, as neglected stoves are a leading cause of house fires. Use a timer to remind yourself that you are cooking, and inspect your kitchen before going to sleep. Make sure to turn off your Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) tank valve and check for leaks by applying soapy water.
By following these fire prevention tips, you can create a safer and more secure environment for you and your family. Remember that vigilance and proactive measures are crucial in minimizing the risk of fires and protecting your loved ones. Stay informed, regularly review your safety practices, and prioritize fire safety in your Filipino home.