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Home Fire and Life Safety Tips During the COVID-19 Crisis

Fire and Life Safety Tips

The COVID-19 situation has resulted in many localities recommending or requiring people to “self-isolate” and, in some cases eliminate all social movement except for critical needs (going to the doctor, getting groceries, etc.).

The fact that many more people are in their homes for longer periods of time can present enhanced risks due to increased cooking, increased use of heating equipment and increased consumption of smoking materials inside as well as alcohol use. These activities, although they may be thought of as routine, can turn disastrous if not exercised with an attitude of prevention (there is already anecdotal evidence which points to a rise in residential fires over the last several weeks). In addition, the “normal” risks associated with target populations, notably the elderly and children, are still present.

This current situation presents an opportunity for families to review key prevention topics in order to reduce these risks and avoid a tragic emergency. Emphasis is recommended for the following areas:

  1. Home Exit Planning/Home Fire Safety Inspections
  2. Cooking Safety
  3. Proper Use of Smoking Materials
  4. Smoke Alarm Testing/Maintenance
  5. Carbon Monoxide Safety
  6. “Close the Door”
  7. Slip and Fall Protection
  8. COVID-19 Precautionary Information

Now would also be a time for homeowners to evaluate the benefits of installing residential sprinklers. Fires are burning faster than ever due to the large amount of synthetic materials in furnishings and fixtures, and the average escape time from a home fire has decreased from 10-13 minutes to an average 3-5 minutes.
Whereas this review activity should be undertaken by all members of the public, The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation wants to ensure the families of firefighters are protected while their loved one is on the job.

The following are suggested links which can be accessed in order to provide guidance on general fire and life safety topic (NOTE: There is unavoidable overlap in the suggested links):

General Fire Safety/ Home Fire Safety Inspections

Developing and Practicing Exit Drills

Cooking Safety (The leading cause of residential fires in the U.S.)

Proper Use of Smoking Materials (The leading cause of fatal fires in the U.S.)

Smoke Alarms

Carbon Monoxide Safety

Close Before You Doze

For the Elderly

For Kids

Residential Sprinklers

For Teachers (App for Home Fire Safety Inspections [available in multi-lingual format])

COVID-19 Resources