Part of the responsibility of being a homeowner involves practicing fire safety to protect your home. Fires are among the most dangerous and destructive disasters that can happen in a home, and most of the time they are preventable. One thing some homeowners may not realize is that most electrical fires start in the bedroom. Half of all deaths that occur as the result of a house fire happen in the bedroom as well. This makes it important to focus on your bedroom when it comes to fire safety by taking preventative actions and forming a fire escape plan.
The following tips will help you reduce the risk of a fire in your bedroom:
- Make sure electrical cords are untangled and have space around them for the heat to dissipate. You should never have electrical cords running under the bed or carpet, or pinned between furniture and the wall.
- Use space heaters with caution. You should never leave them running unsupervised or leave them on when sleeping.
- Make sure electrical switches have arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs) which turn off the circuit if it becomes overloaded.
- Cover electrical outlets or install tamper resistance receptacles if you have children to prevent them from sticking foreign objects in the outlet.
- Put charging phones, laptops, and other electronic devices on a hard surface, never leave them on your bed or carpet.
- Use electric blankets with caution and turn them off before going to sleep.
- Make sure there is at least 3 feet of space between heat sources like candles, space heaters, and electronics, and combustible items such as curtains and bedding. It is probably best not to use candles in your bedroom.
- Get a mattress that meets the 2007 Federal Mattress Flammability Standard.
- Never smoke in bed. Falling asleep with a lit cigarette is extremely dangerous.
- Install smoke detectors in every room of your house and test them monthly to make sure they are working.
- Form a fire escape plan with your family that includes two possible exits from each room. You should also practice the fire escape plan so your family knows what to do when a fire occurs.
Your bedroom is supposed to be your sanctuary from daily life, not a dangerous fire hazard. By following these simple fire prevention tips, you can keep your bedroom safe and reduce your risk of deadly house fires. If a fire does break out in your home, evacuating safely should be your top priority. However, once the fire is put out, you must call a fire damage restoration professional immediately. These professionals have the knowledge and the tools to limit the damage caused by fire, smoke, and soot and salvage as much of your home as possible.