You love your house and, of course, your family! Every year, residential fires claim thousands of lives and cause the loss of billions of dollars in property damage. Fire takes just a few minutes to engulf your entire house in flames. If you don’t act wisely, home fire can become life-threatening. Given this, fire prevention and safety tips should be practiced continuously to protect your loved ones and your home. Avoiding fire outbreaks and staying safe from fires at home begins with you. As a responsible homeowner and family member, you need to understand the main causes of home fires, prevent them, and the various methods for fire safety. Here we’ve compiled some tips to save you and your family from the trouble of having to deal with a fire at home.
Common Fire Hazards
To prevent fire accidents, first, you need to identify the most common fire hazards in your home. Understanding common home fires hazards will help you prevent them and thereby protect your family and your home.
The most common cause of a residential fire is cooking and kitchen-related fire accidents. Your kitchen holds various flammable materials and appliances such as microwaves, cooking oil, fryers, etc. In most cases, unattended cooking is the behavior associated with the majority of these fires. So, follow these easy and smart tips when you’re in the kitchen!
- Make sure you never leave the kitchen unattended while cooking.
- All combustible items like dish towels, oven mitts, wooden utensils, and loose clothing must be kept away from cooking surfaces.
- It’s best to keep a lid beside the pan while cooking. If the pan catches on fire, slide the lid over the pan, turn off the burner, and let the pan cool down before removing the lid.
During the winter season, most cases of homes fires are linked to the heating system of the house, including your furnace, fireplaces, radiators, space heaters, etc.
- Maintain your heating system and furnace to ensure that they are in the best, safe, and efficient operating conditions.
- The area around the furnace should be clear of obstructions and flammable items.
- The chimneys/fireplaces need proper cleaning and maintenance every year. The filter of the furnace also needs to be changed and inspected regularly.
- Make sure you never leave space heaters on overnight or when you leave home.
- Anything flammable should be kept at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater.
- Try to avoid smoking indoors and if you do, always use a deep ashtray.
According to fire experts, improper maintenance, lower quality electrical panels, flawed wires, and damaged electric appliances all can ignite a fire in your home. To stay safe, follow the below-mentioned tips.
- Inspect all electrical appliances, wiring, and lighting system of the house for frayed or damaged cords.
- Call a professional to inspect electrical panels routinely to check for corrosion or burn/hot spots. The electrician will also tighten all wires and can help identify potential threats.
- Use tamper-resistant (TR) outlets that utilize small shutters so that only a plug with two/three prongs can be inserted.
- Avoid using extension cords as a permanent solution. And when using, never let extension cords run under rugs, carpet, or furniture.
- Make sure you’re not overloading outlets with high-wattage devices. Try to use only one high-wattage device per outlet.
- As part of the preventive measure, clean the dryer’s lint filter after every load to ensure there’s no blockage.
Fire Safety Equipment
In the worst case, if your home is set on fire, make sure you’re equipped with fire safety equipment. Install smoke detectors and fire alarms in the home. Also, regularly check the battery of fire alarms to ensure that they’re working properly. Replace the alarm every 10 years or when the “test” button fails, whichever comes first. Moreover, keep fire extinguishers in your home, and everyone in the house should know how to use them. Leave the house and call the fire department when you find the situation going out of your hands.