Did you know that an average of 42 fire incidents occurs in the Philippines daily? This amounts to around ₱4.65 billion worth of damage annually. According to the Bureau of Fire Protection, the top causes of fire outbreaks in the Philippines are faulty electrical connections, lighted cigarette butts, and open flames.
Since most of us are staying home with our families during this time, it’s our responsibility to ensure that our haven and sanctuary remains free from such health hazards. This Fire Prevention Month, educate yourself and your family on fire safety measures. Remember, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Here are five fire prevention measures you need to take:
Install smoke alarms
First things first: install a smoke alarm. These alarms can detect fire way before your nose can smell smoke. Early detection can save your house—and your loved ones’ lives.
Install smoke alarms on every floor, including inside bedrooms and living areas. Mount each unit on the ceiling or high up on walls. Don’t forget to test these out every month and change the batteries every year. You don’t want them to fail you when a fire actually breaks out. After ten years of use, replace each unit.
Try: X-SENSE Smoke Alarm, ₱1,500
Get fire extinguishers or blankets ready
Did you know that using water to extinguish fires isn’t fool-proof? Since oil and water don’t mix, using the latter to extinguish grease fires can actually cause it to spread. Additionally, water conducts electricity and you can get electrocuted if you try to douse an electrical fire.
Instead, invest in a fire extinguisher or fire blanket. Confused about which one to use? Smother smaller fires in the kitchen with a fire blanket. They’re less messy and won’t damage food items in your kitchen. For bigger, harder-to-reach fires, use a fire extinguisher. Make sure they’re available on each floor. Place them near the kitchen, garage, and any other exit routes.
Try: Daytech Fire Blanket, ₱489
Avoid open flames
Does your weekend pamper routine feature scented candles? Place your candles on a stable, heat-resistant surface, preferably at a distance from your bed, curtains, and other flammable items. To avoid flare-ups, light them far away from aircon vents or electric fans.
You might feel relaxed and ready for bed with soothing scents, but never doze off and leave your candles unattended. Consider switching to battery-operated candles if you have kids and pets who might accidentally knock them over.
Try: At Home LED Candle, ₱230
Keep all appliances in working order
If you’ve been squeezing the last ounce of life out of your old appliances, it’s time to put them to rest. You’re not saving money by continuing to use rickety appliances until they give out. The faulty machinery and frayed cables pose a fire hazard. A fire outbreak will end up being more expensive than a new appliance.
Most home fires start in the kitchen, so keep cooking appliances, in particular, functioning properly. For malfunctioning appliances, don’t attempt to use and call in a repairman as soon as possible. Replace if needed.
Try: Haier Cooking Range, ₱15,799
Create a fire escape plan
In the same way you practice fire drills at school or at the office, your family should craft its own home fire escape plan as well.
Establish primary and alternative escape routes from the house and pick at least two meeting spots in case family members get separated from each other. Teach everyone the Stop, Drop, and Roll method in the event that their clothes catch fire. Lastly, buy an emergency medical kit you can easily grab on your way out of the house.
Try: Mediplast Emergency Kit, ₱465
Keep yourself and your loved ones safe from harm with these doable tips. Taking such exhaustive measures might feel excessive, but as with everything else, prevention is better than cure. For emergencies, call the National Emergency Hotline at 911, or the Philippine Red Cross at 143.
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