March isn’t just graduation month, for it is also Fire Prevention Month here in the Philippines. Why March you may ask, well, this is because a lot of fires tend to happen during summer due to the rise in temperature and humidity. Thus, the government decided to make March as the month for fire prevention to raise consciousness about the dangers of fires and how to avoid them. With this in mind, here are some tips for kids and parents to help them identify fire hazards and avoid burning down the house.
Keep Fire Hazards Away from Children
This seems like a simple task, but quite frankly, we tend to forget the little things. I can’t stress enough that flammable objects such as matches, candles, and lighters should be placed in areas where children can’t easily access them because they may mistake them for toys. Kids, please DON’T play with fire, EVER. Remember, it only takes one small spark to bring down the house, and we don’t want that now do we?
Be Aware of Other Potential Fire Hazards within your own home
Matches, candles, and lighters aren’t the only fire hazards within the home for there are more subtle hazards present. Some examples of these objects are vegetable oils, bundles of straw, and even compost piles. How do they become fire hazards?
Well, when the temperature of a place becomes too high for these materials to handle, they may ignite on their own. This is called spontaneous combustion, and this could lead to fires in areas where the temperature is particularly high.
Unplug all electrical equipment not being used
Another simple way that kids can help with fire safety is by unplugging unused appliances to prevent electrical overload. People, especially kids, nowadays tend to forget to unplug their appliances when not being used, probably because so that they would not need to do so again when they need to do so again. This could lead to the devices, particularly things like chargers and cellphones, to overheat and explode, particularly in hot days.
However, if you are using a power strip, simply switch off the corresponding outlet, or unplug the strip, to open the circuit and prevent overloading.
Check Your Wiring
Another common cause of fires in a home is faulty electrical wiring. So please, make sure the insulation in your wiring is not frayed, to avoid any electrical issues.
Also, NEVER use extension cords to plug more things in a single outlet. Remember, octopus connections can lead to electrical overload, so spread out your plugs, OK?
Check your LPG for Leaks
This one is for parents but could also be for kids who love to cook, always check your LPG canisters for any leaks as a single spark could cause an explosion. To avoid this, regularly check your LPG canister for any leaks so that you can ensure its safety. Remember, any funny smells mean that your canister has sprung a leak.
Of course, we don’t want it to happen, but in the case that a fire breaks out of your house it is important that you know what to do in order to put it out quickly or evacuate your family to safety. Know which areas in your house are most vulnerable to fires as well as where to go to be able to quickly evacuate your house in case of a large fire. It also helps if you can teach all your family members on how to put out fires themselves so that smaller fires don’t grow into bigger ones.
Remember, only you can prevent community fires.