Your home is your safe place, and losing it to fire is a scary thought. Although most people know the basics of home safety (like installing a smoke alarm, not leaving the candles burning, etc.), there are some other not so simple fire safety tips that, if used, can make your home safer.
After years of restoring fire damage experience, we, at Valley Disaster and Restoration Company, advise every homeowner to follow some basic guidelines.
Faulty Wiring and Outlets
Faulty wiring is the most common cause of home fires, and being lazy about wiring and outlets, can turn into an expensive mistake. Check the cords throughout your home for signs of fraying, and replace any damaged cables. Do not cover the wires with anything, including rugs, tapes, etc. You should know about the capacity of your home’s electric system and do not overload the circuits.
Carelessness in the Kitchen
Most kitchens possess various fire hazards. From stoves to electric outlets and water sources near them, the kitchen is a common source of household fire. Hence kitchen safety is of the utmost importance. While cooking, the stoves should never be left unattended. A fire extinguisher should be handy. Stoves and ovens should get cleaned regularly as food or grease build-up can later ignite and leading to a fire.
It is crucial to have an annual chimney inspection by a Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) certified chimney sweep. The wood for fires should only be seasoned, while green or damp wood, cardboard boxes, wrapping papers, etc. must be avoided.
Another leading cause of home fires, most smoking-related fires start inside the home, often emerging from upholstered furniture, bedding or mattresses. To prevent these fires, you should smoke outside. You should thoroughly extinguish the cigarette before discarding it. Keep in mind to never toss a butt into trashcans, always soak them in water before throwing it. In case medical oxygen is used in your home, you will have to extra careful while smoking, as oxygen is highly flammable.
January and February and December have the most fires that are caused by home heating equipment. It isn’t surprising as the main reason for the fires is portable space heaters. It would help if you used space heaters in well-ventilated spaces. They should be at least three feet away from flammable objects like furniture, textiles, and other combustible objects. The heaters must have a properly working thermostat control, and models with an automatic shut-off feature should be purchased.
The central heating system should be checked and maintained on an annual basis to ensure proper operation.
When a curious child comes across a match, it ensures disaster. Matches and lighters should be locked away, to stop children from unintentionally starting a fire. Teaching kids that fire isn’t a toy is essential. A child should not be left unattended with stoves, candles, fireplaces, or other flame-producing objects.
Prevention is always a better route to take, so it is vital to avoid house fires instead of fighting it. One such way is by regular checking of alarms. Alarms come with a little button, which, when pressed, is supposed to beep. If the sound is weak, then it is an indicator of the batteries needing a change. If a fire occurs and the alarms are not working, it may lead to tragedy as you might not be alerted of the danger.
Fire safety is paramount. With the help of regular maintenance and being aware of our surroundings, it is possible to avoid some home fires.