March is fast approaching and summer is calling. While we are all still stuck in our homes and couldn’t go out much for beach and camping trips, now is the best time to prepare and make sure our homes are safe from fire.
Important documents and belongings
Gather all personal documents in one envelope and put all basic necessities in a bag. This way, everything that’s important can be easily rescued first in case of fire. Whether or not there’s time to come back and save more properties, at least the most important ones have been taken care of already.
Gadgets and appliances
Now that most of us are working from home, it’s not unusual to find our gadgets often plugged in. Simultaneous charging, combined with appliances that are also usually plugged in, may lead to electrical overload.
This is more likely to happen for bigger families or those living with several roommates or housemates. Be mindful of all the appliances currently in use; make a schedule for gadget charging so that not all of them will be plugged in at the same time; and make sure the wires are not entangled to prevent the occurrence of fire.
Before going to bed, double-check all gadgets and appliances that are still plugged in or in use. If something can be unplugged overnight, then do so. Leave the lights on only in necessary areas and turn off the rest. If, for some reason, you have lit a candle or a lamp, don’t forget to put those out, too. In case of brown-outs, ensure that the candles and lamps are in a safe position, will not fall or break, and cause fire.
For those living in condominiums and apartments, guarantee that the building complies with the fire safety regulations of the town or city. Familiarize yourself with the fire exit and fire extinguisher locations. Keep in mind not to use the elevator and stay calm in case of fire.
Talk to your family members, roommates, or housemates and formulate an efficient evacuation plan (including pets, if you have them) in times of emergency. You may also visit the Bureau of Fire Protection website for more information.
Starting from scratch
For those who are only starting to build their dream houses, make sure that your house has enough number of smoke detectors, exits (means of egress), and that these exits are wide and near enough, as per fire code. Fire retardants should also be applied properly on all wood components.
Sprinklers and fire extinguishers may also come in handy, but the need for these will depend on your requirements. Best to discuss this with your architect. Hire a trusted electrical contractor too to make sure all wiring materials and connections are of good quality.