The old saying goes- a home is built not with bricks and stones but with dreams. It is where we spend the most cherished moments in our lives with our families and see the children grow. We all like to spend quality time with our friends and families at home, but it is important to understand, recognize and act upon dangers like fire hazards that can possibly pose a threat to our residences. Fire hazards can occur at homes and there are many potential areas of risk, like kitchen, heating equipment, flammable liquids or festive celebrations like Diwali. With some due care, we can ensure that all such causes of concern are suitably addressed and do not mar the joy of our families or ourselves. Keeping a portable fire extinguisher handy can minimize the danger of a fire hazard to an absolute minimum. It ensures that even if a fire does break out in unprecedented circumstances, magnitude of the damage caused is greatly reduced.
Fires at homes- Causes:
Fires hazards at homes sometimes occur and cause damage to life and property. It is but provident to take the required precautions and ensure the safety of our loved ones.
Fires in Kitchens while cooking or using electrical equipment:
In homes, most fire hazards occur in kitchens while cooking when a pot or pan may splatter oil. Electrical equipment like toasters and ovens are also vulnerable to fire and connections must be handled very carefully. Loose plugs or wires and wiring that pass under rugs or furniture can lead to fires and an electrician must be consulted to keep the connections proper. One must stay within the kitchen while cooking and keep flammable substances like fabrics away from cooking equipment.
Well maintained electrical equipment and circuitry to prevent fire hazards:
Apart from kitchen, bathroom or all places where heating equipment like geyser or heater are kept make a home vulnerable to a potential fire hazard. Especially in older homes, electrical circuitry which is outdated poses the risk of a fire hazard. If the lights dim on usage of electrical appliances or if the circuit breakers trip often, these tell tale signs should be paid heed to and electrical connections should be updated.
Storing flammable liquids properly:
As a precautionary measure against fire hazards and even explosions, all flammable liquids like fuel, solvents, paint etc should be placed in proper containers and in well ventilated spaces, preferably outside the home. Care should be taken to keep these away from heating sources and electrical connections as even a single spark can cause flammable liquid or vapors emitted from the same to catch fire.
Diwali crackers and lighting:
Maximum numbers of occurrences of fire related mishaps take place during festive seasons like Diwali and Dussehra, and children are most vulnerable to such accidents as they are fond of playing with crackers. These accidents can be prevented by making sure that we enjoy the festivities with our families in a safe manner and the children are always under scrutiny of their parents while firing crackers or lighting candles or diyas. Precautions also need to be taken at all times when crackers are lighted like at marriage festivities or other local functions. Some simple cautions that should be taken include keeping the crackers in a closed box and away from sources of fire. These should be opened only in open spaces and lighted while keeping them at an arm’s length.
Crackers should never be put in the pocket or lighted under a tin can or a bottle for sound effect and children should be spoken to before Diwali so that they know about the necessary precautions that should be taken and the potential dangers that exist. One should be extremely careful about the way in which he lights or handles crackers and a cracker should never be lighted on hands. The candle or the incense stick should be held in hand for lighting the fuse of the cracker but the cracker should never be lighted by holding it and bringing it to the wick of the candle. Similarly when one lights Diyas, they should never be placed near flammable material like cloth or wood.
Making sure that one wears cotton clothing, preferably heavy cotton clothing while lighting crackers is yet another very important step that can prevent injury. And if in an unforeseen situation, one’s clothes do catch fire on Diwali, he should drop to the ground and roll. In case of an injury, splash water repeatedly on the injured area and rush the victim to a hospital immediately. Alternately, buckets of water, a blanket or a portable fire extinguisher can come handy in case a fire does break out.
Fire safety at homes is a must and should never be compromised upon- each one of us vulnerable. One needs to take care and recognize that while loss of property is still acceptable, injury to loved ones is not. A simple portable fire extinguisher that is easy to mount can make a world of difference for all fire related risks and is a worthy precaution that reduces chances of injury or damage to an absolute minimum.