How to Reduce Your Risk of Home Fires - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

How to Reduce Your Risk of Home Fires

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    Friday, October 4 2013 3:43 PM EDT2013-10-04 19:43:45 GMT
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The American Red Cross responds to approximately 70,000 disasters each year and the majority of those are fires. On average, the Red Cross responds to a residential fire every eight minutes.


Unlike other disasters, most home fires can be prevented.  Laura Vaughn, with The American Red Cross, visits FOX 13 to share how you can reduce your risk for home fires.

1.         Your home may be full of fire hazards that you aren’t aware of.

From your kitchen stove, to candles, to holiday lights, common household items can turn dangerous very quickly. Teach children how to be safe with any item that could ignite a fire.

Keep matches, lighters and other ignitable substances in a secured location out of the reach of children, and only use lighters with child-resistant features.

2.         Cooking fires are the #1 cause of home fires and home fire injuries.

Never leave cooking food unattended.

Keep anything that can catch on fire—pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels or curtains—away from your stove top and oven or any other appliance in the kitchen that generates heat.

If you must leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.

Keep kids away from cooking areas by enforcing a "kid-free zone" of three feet around the stove.

3.           Create a Home Fire Plan to Survive

Only 26% of families have developed and practiced a home fire escape plan.

The most important things to save in a fire are lives: you, your family and your pets. And the first step is knowing that a fire is occurring.

Learn how to install and maintain smoke alarms to help protect your loved ones.

When a smoke alarm goes off, will your family know how to escape?  Plan and practice fire escape routes- ideally, two exits from every room.

Make sure your fire safety and emergency escape plans include your children and pets.

Practice your home fire escape plan with your children several times a year. Also practice stop, drop and roll and low crawling.

Education, creating and practicing an escape plan, and installing smoke detectors are the best ways to ensure your family is protected from fire. 

One way that the Mid-South Chapter helps prepare children is by using the interactive Safety House to help teach children fire safety skills they can use at home. 

MORE: Safety House in action at Catholic Charities Love and Learn Camp. 

MORE: More fire preparedness tips from the American Red Cross

MORE: How You Can Be Prepared In A Disaster

MORE: Safe Summer Fun For Kids Guide

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