As fire season continues this year, wildfires are on everyone's minds, but it is also important to prepare a plan for handling house fires, according to the California Fire Foundation.
Families need to talk about what to do if a fire should occur in the home and create an evacuation plan. Just as schools and businesses hold fire drills, families should practice the evacuation plan at least two times a year, the foundation said.
The plan should include two ways out, according to Travelers Insurance. Families should determine two ways out of every room in the house, including windows and doors.
Children can help create the evacuation plan. Parents or guardians can draw a map of the house and have the children mark two exit routes.
For this and other emergencies, families should create a meeting spot, such as a neighbor's house, mailbox or stop sign. It should be in the front of the house so emergency responders can see the family members when they arrive.
Of course, with fires and any emergency, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Faulty wiring and outlets are among of the top causes of house fires, according to Travelers.
With this in mind, families should check the electrical cords throughout the house and replace frayed wires. Electrical cords shouldn't be covered with rugs or other items, and the home's electrical system shouldn't be overloaded.
Carelessness in the kitchen may also lead to a house fire. Pots and pans should never be left unattended on the stove, and every kitchen should have a fire extinguisher. Keeping the stove and oven clean can help prevent fires from igniting in food splatter or grease.
Clothes dryers are another common source of house fires, and do-it-yourselfers should carefully follow installation directions - or just hire a professional. Dryer vents should be cleaned regularly, and lint cleaned after each load.