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Imagine it is 10pm on a Tuesday and you are standing outside watching flames engulf your home or property as smoke billows into the air. You know that all of your possessions are being destroyed by the flames, and you wish you could do something to make it stop. OR, better yet, that you could go back in time to prevent it. According to FEMA, an estimated 482,500 fires occur in residential and commercial buildings each year. Though we may not want to actively think about the potential for a devastating fire, it’s important to be realistic and plan for one. Doing so puts you in a position of preparedness that can help prevent one from happening or, if one does occur, leave you equipped to minimize the damage … and save lives.

Top Fire Prevention Tips

1. Test smoke detectors (at least) twice a year.

You’ve been hearing this since you were a small child in school, but it always warrants repeating. Smoke detectors are your first line of defense against the threat of a fire. Be sure to regularly verify that each smoke detector in your home or office is functioning, and make it a point to change their batteries on a regular basis. An easy way to remember this is to swap out the batteries twice a year, each time you adjust the clocks for Daylight Savings.

2. Plan an escape route.

Not only should you be ready with a customized disaster plan in the event of a fire, you need to make sure your family and/or colleagues are familiar with it. If a fire occurs, you may not be there, so everyone should know what to do. This means not only distributing the plan, but also practicing it on a regular basis. Repeat drills more frequently at the office, since you’re likely to bring on new staff members over time, and they will need to familiarize themselves with the procedure. Did you know that business and property owners can create and maintain effective emergency action plans using SecureCore’s cloud-based disaster-planning software? It’s easy to do and makes sure everyone is prepared.

3. Never leave the stove unattended.

Cooking is the top cause of residential building fires in the US. It may seem obvious, but one of the easiest ways to accidentally cause a fire is via an easily preventable kitchen fire or cooking mishap. And the quickest way to usher in said mishap is to get distracted and leave an active stove or oven unattended. Liquids can boil away or mistaken flare-ups can happen, leaving the severity of the repercussions to increase if you aren’t present to respond. In addition to staying vigilant while cooking, always keep a fire extinguisher (1A 10BC rating) handy … and know how to use it.

4. Be mindful of burning candles.

Everyone knows (or should know) that we shouldn’t go to bed or leave the house with candles burning. It’s just asking for disaster. In addition to that, mind the placement of your candles. Keep them away from flammable objects and make sure whatever surface you put them on is fire resistant.

Fire safety and prevention in the workplace and at home doesn’t always have to be front of mind. We don’t expect for you to be in a constant state of worry 24/7. But that’s why making wise decisions and having a general plan of action in case of a fire is so important. So you can go about your business, knowing you’ve put yourself in as good a position as anyone can be.

If your home or workplace has suffered smoke or fire damage, hire a professional restoration contractor. RestoreCore delivers emergency services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Contact us, we provide water removal, dehumidification, and many other smoke damage restoration services in NJ, DE, PA, and MD!