Fire Safety Equipment That You Should Have at Home
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Published by TOP4 Team
The last thing a homeowner would want to encounter in his house is a fire. It can be difficult to imagine that a fire that you saw happening in a different corner of the country on the evening news could also take place in your property, but the reality is that fires break out in residential areas quite often.
From forgetting to completely put out a cigarette, to causing grease on your frying pan to catch fire, to igniting the fireplace, gas furnace or dryer vents, to faulty electric wiring creating a spark, to lightning striking your property — there are plenty of opportunities for fire to break out where you live.
So the best thing that you can do to prevent this from happening is to be armed with the right knowledge and the right fire safety equipment that you can use in your home.
Here is a brief guide to some of the most important fire safety equipment you should have on hand or installed to protect you during times of emergency.
Fire extinguishers are classified into different ratings named A, B and C. The ratings indicate the type of fire that the extinguisher can put out.
The A rating stands for fires from burning wood, fabric or paper. B stands for fire caused by flammable liquids caused by oil and gasoline, and C stands for electrical fires.
Everyone in the household has to be taught how to operate a fire extinguisher. It's best to keep the acronym "PASS" in mind when using a fire extinguisher:
P - PULL the pin from the back of the fire extinguisher's handle
A - AIM the nozzle at the fire's base from a distance of about 6 feet
S – SQUEEZE the handle
S - SWEEP the stream in a side-to-side fashion
These fire blankets are ideal for use for common residential fires like stovetop fires caused by oil or fat. They are also crucial for times when a person's clothes have caught fire — the blanket can be wrapped around the person to smother the flames. The fire blankets come in different sizes to fit children and adults.
Residential properties are required by law to have a working smoke alarm installed as it is the most effective way to detect that a fire has broken out inside the house.
There are two types of smoke alarms. Ionisation smoke alarms detect invisible combustion particles that can come from cooking or oil heaters, for example. These alarms are excellent at detecting quick-flaming fires that have little visible smoke. However, it's not ideal for placement in the kitchen as it can be triggered by the normal kitchen cooking and heating functions.
Photoelectric smoke alarms, on the other hand, detect visible combustion particles, such as those produced by overheated electrical wiring. Dense smoke and fires that are already smouldering can be quickly detected by these alarms. Bedrooms would be ideal places for them, but keep them away from the bathroom, laundry and dryer rooms because they can be triggered by the usual steam coming from these areas.
Home sprinkler systems
Sprinklers can extinguish fires or contain 90% of a fire to the room where it originated, preventing the fire from spreading to other rooms. They activate quickly, typically once the operating temperature reaches 57 to 79 degrees Celsius. With sprinklers working, you and your family are enabled to escape from the harmful fire.
Smoke alarms for the deaf and hearing-impaired
If you have deaf and hearing-impaired individuals in your household, it is essential to have special smoke alarms to alert them of fires. These alarms come with a flashing strobe light as well as a vibrating pad that can placed under a pillow, which can activate when a fire is detected.