According to the Department of Homeland Security, a house fire can turn deadly in less than two minutes. While you should already have an emergency plan with your family on how to exit your home in the event of a fire, you should also discuss how to prevent fires. By paying attention and taking a few minutes monthly to check up on items in your home, you can avoid a devastating fire. Here’s what you and your family should learn and practice:

You should check your smoke detectors monthly to ensure they work and that the batteries are fresh. If you move into a new home, you should also check them upon arrival to ensure that they work. Also, you should never disable a detector. If you set one off due to cooking, fan the area and open a door for fresh air.

Is there a fire extinguisher in your home? If so, do you know how to properly use one? Having an extinguisher and learning how to properly use it is an easy skill that a surprising amount of people do not know. You can easily learn and have your extinguisher inspected by visiting your local fire station for a lesson and information.

Frayed wires are one of the biggest causes of house fires. Inspect appliances often to ensure nothing is frayed or damaged. If you do find a frayed wire, cut the power to the area and unplug it after ensuring there is no power running to the area. An electrician or appliance repair specialist can help you safely replace the wires.

House fires are nothing to play around with, and by taking precautionary measures, you can prevent them. If you do encounter a fire or have heavy smoke damage, call DKI once the fire department says it is safe. With 24 hour services, they can perform fire and smoke restoration repair services quickly and have your family safely back home.