According the U.S. Fire Administration which collects data from a variety of sources, in 2011 there were 1,389,500 fires, resulting in 17,500 injuries and 3,005 deaths. In many cases these unfortunate fires are preventable. Here are tips to make both your workplace and home safer.
Manage the Risk of Workplace Fires
Often a fire risk assessment is required when purchasing fire insurance for your business. Have a licensed professional conduct a fire risk assessment to identify the fire hazards in your workplace, and to take the right steps to reduce fire risk. Other steps include:
- Make sure that fire extinguishers are easily accessible
- Install smoke detectors and test them regularly
- Store combustible materials in safe places, away from heat
- Develop a fire emergency plan and review it with your employees
Home Fire Safety Tips
Having an escape plan is an important step in fire safety. Create multiple escape plans and practice them with your family. Your plans should include escape routes from different areas of the house, tools for exiting your home (escape ladders, items to open, break out windows) and a designated meeting place. Just as important is to practice fire safety with your kids, with these important home fire safety tips:
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home. Familiarize your children with the sounds of the alarm(s). Test them monthly to make sure they work. Change the batteries every 6 months.
- Keep grills, cookers and fryers at least 3 feet away from your house and shrubs or bushes.
- Keep space heaters at least 3 feet away from anything flammable. Always turn off heaters when leaving the room or going to bed.
- Have your chimneys, fireplaces, wood stoves and central furnace serviced once a year.
- If someone in your home is deaf or hard of hearing, consider installing an alarm that combines flashing lights, vibration and sound.
- Store gasoline in a garage or shed in a container approved for gasoline storage.
- Close the lid on all flammable products and put them away after using them.
- Use ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) in all electrical receptacles (outlets) in kitchens, bathrooms and other wet areas.
- Store a fire extinguisher on every level of your home. They should have an ABC rating, making them usable for all types of fires.
- Never smoke in bed, and always extinguish cigarettes in a fireproof ashtray located away from all combustible materials.
- When cooking, you should always keep cooking appliances clear of combustible materials such as rags, towels and packaging materials, and keep children away from all cooking areas.
- Never leave burning candles unattended, If you do burn candles, always use sturdy holders on even surfaces, keep candles away from children, pets, upholstery or window coverings, and extinguish candles before going to bed.
At Virginia Beach insurance company WBR Insurance we offer a full portfolio of policies. We pride ourselves in establishing personal relationships with our customers to assist you in protecting what matters most. To get a free quote for your Virginia Beach insurance needs, give us a call at 757-340-0028 or visit our website www.WBRInsurance.com.