How Can I Prevent A House Fire?
House fires are a devastating event that can leave families homeless and in debt. The National Fire Protection Association states that home fires cause an average of $7 billion in damages every year. Fire deaths are also extremely common when it comes to house fires.
You wouldn’t want this to happen to you, of course. And there’s no doubt that you want to keep your own home and family safe from harm. But, unfortunately, a house fire can happen any time — even when you least expect it. For this reason, it’s essential to have a plan ready for dealing with one if it ever occurs. Similarly, it’s crucial to consider all of the potential preventative measures available — before they even happen. As they say, “prevention is better than cure”, right?
Fortunately, there are so many things you can do to prevent house fires. All it takes is some small habits and mindfulness. Doing small things each day can help you prevent a fire before it happens. You can also purchase items to help put out a small fire before it becomes life-threatening. Some examples of these are smoke alarms, fireproof home safes, and fire extinguishers.
In this post, we’ll be tackling everything you can do to prevent house fires — from preventive measures to fire safety equipment. Read on.
Unplug Wires When Not In Use
t may seem harmless to keep your computers, TVs, and chargers plugged at all times. However, overloading household appliances with too much power generally poses a risk for electrical fires. Electricity is used by electronics even when they’re turned off, including computers, televisions, gaming consoles, etc.
This means they are constantly at risk of overheating or experiencing an outburst, both of which might lead to a fire. Having constant access to power also supplies them with adequate fuel for a fire.
Therefore, you may reduce the risk of a fire caused by such devices by disconnecting them when you aren’t working with them—making this a habit can do you wonders. This saves you so much more on your electricity bill, too.
Don’t Leave Any Kind Of Flame Unsupervised
It’s important to keep a close eye on anything that involves flames or high temperatures — may it be cooking food, when you light candles in your bedroom, or your outdoor BBQ. It doesn’t matter if you’re an expert at cooking, it’s always best to put safety precautions first. Once you have something on the stove — don’t bear to leave it alone for even a second and go cooking unattended. This also applies to lighting your fireplace, and more.
Keeping a watch on such flames allows you to immediately detect if there is a concern or if they aren’t functioning as expected. Hence, you can swiftly fix the issue and safeguard your loved ones.
This is also why it’s important to have smoke detectors and fire extinguishers installed. Having one at all times helps you easily catch fire and quickly fix the problem — and prevent any big flames from happening.
Have Fire Safety Equipment On Hand
Jumping off from our point above; it’s important to have a fire extinguisher nearby or other supplies readily available in your home in the event of an unforeseen fire.
Fire safety equipment is made especially for these cases. It refers to any piece of gear that can either put out a fire or shield its user from harm should one occur. Firefighters with special training can operate it, but anybody at the site of a fire could use it without any special instruction. It can also be installed in the house’s structure.
So, here is some fire safety equipment that you should consider purchasing for your home.
Smoke Alarms or Detectors
Smoke detectors use a combination of technology to identify fires by detecting smoke particles in the environment. In the event that they do detect these particles, they will trigger an alert — loud enough for everyone in the house to hear. It will alert everyone, and therefore you can take action or evacuate immediately.
A fire extinguisher is a crucial piece of equipment for keeping your house safe. Its primary function is to prevent fire from rapidly spreading and destroying your property.
Fire extinguishers are not all large and bulky, like those you see in establishments. In fact, there are fire extinguishers specially made for home use — and they’re portable enough to carry and use during emergencies.
We’re sure you have many valuable pieces of equipment or documents that you can’t bear to lose. May it be bank papers, birth certificates, guns, or more. For this reason, it’s important to store them in a fireproof safe.
In the event of a fire, the contents of a fireproof safe will be protected from the flames. There are also so many types of fireproof safes that can suit your liking. For instance, some fireproof safes are 2-hour fire rated, while some have electronic locks.
Be Careful Of Flammable Items
Clothes, newspaper, and perhaps even your hair are all highly combustible materials and ought to be stored far away from any source of an open flame. For instance, when you’re cooking, make sure you have your hair tied up or in a hair net. It’s also best to wear tight clothing as opposed to loose ones that can easily catch flame or light your fireplace.
Other examples are newspapers (or any kind of paper for that matter). If you have a wax melter at home, make sure to keep it away from it.
You also shouldn’t be cooking with any fire hazards. For example, drinking alcohol can be flammable.
Keep Oils and Gas Away
It’s important to store cooking oil or any flammable liquids safely, which means keeping it distant from your stove and other possible fire hazards. The very same holds true for any gasoline you may have stored in your basement for use with your vehicle, mower, or any other engine.
The gas must be kept far from any source of ignition. You may be better equipped and reduce the chance of issues by storing these items in certified containers and having them at a slight distance from anything that might contact them.
Put Out Flames After Use
The wintertime calls for putting on the fireplace to keep the home warm. Keep vigilance if you have a fireplace in your home. Before departing the fireplace area, make very sure the fire is completely extinguished so you can keep an eye on it and make absolutely sure it doesn’t start up again.
When coals are left to smolder, they might continue burning, and wood can harbor flames that emerge hours or even days later. Before going to sleep or leaving the home, you should ensure the fire is entirely extinguished and that nothing else has started.
Switch Off Heated Appliances When Not In Use
Both your dryer and dishwasher generate quite significant heat. The same goes for electric blankets, space heaters, and other heating systems. All of these devices pose a serious fire hazard, and they shouldn’t be left on while you’re away.
So, make sure you turn them off when you’re not using them — especially if you’re leaving the house. It overheats and starts a fire when you’re not around, you might come home to damaged property, or no property left at all.
Don’t Smoke Indoors
When smoking, do it only within a well-ventilated place or with all the windows open, and extinguish the cigarettes entirely before discarding it. A cigarette’s internal components include combustible ingredients and chemicals that may keep cigarette butts burning long after you extinguish the flame.
That spark might start a fire in your outdoor garbage bin or even within your house. You may reduce this danger by smoking in a well-ventilated outside area and being careful not to track in remains when you extinguish your cigarette.
Keep Your Home Free From Clutter
Cluttered homes are more likely to have fires ignite unexpectedly and to rapidly spread once they do. Reduce your risk and improve your chances of escaping a house fire by clearing out unnecessary items.
Keep your house a bit more orderly and get clear of a portion of the unnecessary stuff to reduce the chance of a fire.
Do Electrical Maintenance Checks
Your home’s electrical system can be a risk for electrical fire when not properly maintained. Inspect the cables whenever you work with electricity. Put forth the time and effort to rectify any problems as soon as possible. Keep an eye on the electrical sockets around your house and fix any that stop functioning unexpectedly.
It may indicate that there is trouble occurring inside the structure. Check for any faulty wiring or broken cables connecting your electric appliances. Don’t connect it to the power system if you suspect a malfunction; doing so might make things worse.
Or, better yet, if you’re unsure and unexperienced, have your power cords checked by a professional electrician.
Have Surge Protectors
All electrical equipment should have surge protectors installed at the absolute least. This includes your extension cord, power cords, and more. If you connect your electronics to a surge protector, you can rest assured that the extra voltage won’t reach your electronics and start an electrical fire if there’s a power surge.
The surge protector blocks any additional current, which might lessen the likelihood of electric fires starting or the severity of an existing one.
Lint Trap Maintenance
When was the last time you swapped out the filter in your heating system? You should clean it periodically since the lint trap might catch fire if the furnace is too hot.
Yes, the same holds true for your clothes dryers and dryer vents. Before each load of washing, clean the lint out of the dryer’s filters. A large home fire might start with as little as a pinch of lint.