There are countless tips and pieces of advice available on the topic of fire protection. Probably the single most important tip is to practice fire prevention on a consistent basis. The best protection against fire is preventing its occurrence in the first place. Other important tips are to have smoke detectors or alarm systems, and to have fire extinguishers located in appropriate areas. Planning for ahead by practicing an escape plan is also important.
The most important tip for fire protection is to try to stop fire from occurring since many fires are preventable. Examples include never leaving an open flame such as a candle unattended, overloading electrical outlets, keeping areas near furnaces and heaters clear of debris, and being careful and alert while cooking to name a few. It's also important to make sure that lighters or matches are stored out of reach of children, and that kids are taught never to play with them, along with other fire prevention techniques.
Having smoke detectors or an alarm system is another important part of fire protection. Smoke detectors are able to detect trace amounts of smoke long before a person would be aware of a fire, allowing time to escape safely and call for assistance. Alarm systems use devices that are often able to monitor heat as well. Frequently, when one device is activated they all sound an alarm so that the smoke and heat do not have to travel as far for occupants further away from the source of fire to hear an alarm. Another added benefit of automatic alarm systems is that many are able to notify the fire department directly so that no time is lost.
Another tip for fire protection is to have fire extinguishers located near possible sources of fire. Examples of places to have fire extinguishers include the kitchen, washer and dryer, fireplace, garage, or workshop. Fire extinguishers should to be used only if a fire is small and hasn't started to spread. It is important to remember to have extinguishers maintained in good working condition, and not to try to use them on large fires.
It is also important to have and practice an escape plan, knowing what to do ahead of time saves precious time. The primary concern in case of a fire is to escape safely and quickly, protecting lives first. Each person should know at least two ways out of every room — it is often helpful to draw a map or diagram. Only after escaping from the fire should time be taken to call the fire department. In many regions the number to call is 911, but some localities have direct numbers available; it is important to find out and use the correct number to ensure the quickest possible response.