Prevent is better than cure. To keep your home safe from fire and protect youself and your family, here are few things you must have to do:
*Where to place: install at least one in your kitchen or corridor. If you are living in a multi levels house, make sure every floor of your home have at least one fire extinguisher.
*Placed in open: Have your fire extinguisher out in somewhere clearly visible, not hidden behind cabinets/doors/curtains, best to mount on the wall at shoulder level, so it can be easily reached in an emergency.
*Choose wisely: Look for ABC dry powder or multipurpose extinguisher which can be used on carbon-based material, oil and electrical equipment.
*Service it: Inspect your fire extinguisher annually, make sure it is always ready for use.
Fire blanket – A safety device made out of fire resistant fabric used for extinguish starting fires. Ideally locate it near kitchen exit or between the stove. It should be replace once used on fire.
Smoke Alarm –It’s important to have minimum one smoke alarm be installed on the ceiling inside every bedroom, kitchen and stairwell.
*Don’t install smoke alarms near windows, doors or ducts where drafts might interfere with their operation.
*Don’t paint your smoke alarms. Paint, stickers, or other decorations could keep the alarms from working.
*Do test your smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button.
*Do make sure everyone in your home understands the sound of the smoke alarm.
Fire insurance – It is about avoiding risks. Fire insurance provides coverage against financial loss or property damage caused or destroyed by fire. Review your insurance policy for adequate coverage.
Escape plan– Create a fire escape plan and make sure everyone in the home knows the escape route. Practice it with your family (including your pets).
Open from inside – All doors, windows and grilles must open easily from inside.
Where’s the key? – Maintain your key storage location. Make sure all the family members know where keys are kept.
Check & Clean
De-clutter – Kitchen is the leading cause of fire in home. Make sure to clean all cooking surfaces regularly, and avoid leaving the kitchen while cooking. Store flammable material such as hair spray and mosquito aerosol repellent away from fire source. Highly combustible things such as papers, old-magazines and old clothes are hidden dangers in home too.
Outside the Home – If you are living in a landed property, keep grasses in your garden short and watered. Clear the view of your house, so it can be easily seen from the street.
Electrical Appliances – Make sure electrical cables used in home meet the required standard. Used only electrical equipment which are approved and certified by SIRIM.
*Don’t have more than one electrical appliance using the same socket.
*Don’t charge your mobile phone, powerbank or other tech gadgets overnight.
*Do switch off power sockets when not in use.
*Do keep lighters and matches away from children.
What to do when there is fire?
- Stay calm and sound the alarm/ shout to alert everyone in the house.
- Using pre-planned escape route, get everyone out of the building ASAP.
- Stop collect any possessions or look for pets.
- Stay low and crawl on the floor if the room is filled with smoke and visibility is poor.
- Do a head count once outside the building, inform the rescue team if anyone is missing.
- Don’t get back into the building to save others or pets, you’ll prevent the rescue team from doing what they need to do.