By Patricia May P. Catan
Photos: N.S. Villaflor
IN LIGHT of fire alarms raised in Cebu quite frequently this year, precautionary measures need to be reiterated and the public must be educated once again when it comes to preventing fire. While there are a few common causes of fire, there is an abundance of fire prevention tips that the general public needs to take note. In this issue, we share knowledge that’s in line with the celebration of Fire Prevention Month. Here are 10 fire prevention tips that are helpful to every household:
1. Make it a habit to unplug all electrical equipment every night or when away from home.
One of the common causes of fire is faulty electrical wiring and the best way to avoid this is to make sure they are properly disconnected when not used.
2. Avoid octopus wiring.
An electrical outlet can only handle so much appliances and gadgets, so avoid plugging too many extensions in one outlet. Why? Because each outlet is designed to supply a limited amount of electricity, so you risk either overloading the outlet or circuit, if not cause wires or plugs to overheat and burn.
3. Be mindful of lit candles.
Always be extra cautious when handling fire such as lit candles. See to it that the candles are away from any combustible material that might cause unwanted accidents leading to a fire breakout.
4. Keep lighters or matches away from children.
Kids are ever so curious and will touch anything that interests them. Two of these eye candy objects are matches and lighters. Adults need to be responsible as well to safely keep these things away from the reach of children.
5. It’s not a good idea to leave the kitchen when cooking.
There’s an open fire in the kitchen and it’s never advisable to leave it unattended. If one must leave the kitchen, it’s important to turn off the stove and take the pans or pots off the heat. It’s better to be safe than risk it.
6. Never use water on grease fire.
Do not use water to put out grease fire when frying and the pan bursts into flames. The right action to put it out is to place the lid on the pan and cover it with damp cloth.
7. Dispose of combustible materials properly.
For everyone’s safety at home, combustible items and trash such as oily rags and newspaper must be disposed of inside a safe waste bag before being placed inside the trash bin for added precaution.
8. Be careful when handling inflammable liquids.
There are quite a few items that are inflammable in one’s household and it’s recommended to store them properly and avoid grouping them in large quantities.
9. Keep one’s place tidy and organized at all times.
Keeping one’s home clean and well-organized is actually helpful to preventing fire because when one disposes properly of his waste and learn to store materials properly, unexpected mishaps are not likely to happen.
10. Install smoke alarms and double check if they are working.
The first step to fire safety is installing smoke alarms around one’s home. Once installed, make sure the smoke alarms are fully working and don’t forget to change batteries every six months.
11. Keep a fire extinguisher for one’s house too.
Another equipment that’s helpful when there’s a fire emergency is the fire extinguisher. When getting a fire extinguisher for one’s home, it’s also a given that one must learn how to use it just in case.