Fires have been a threat to humanity since lightning started forest fires (so, basically forever). We’ve managed to not only cultivate fire ourselves but we use it for making life easier in our homes. In the modern-day, there are plenty of ways house fires start, so preparation and taking fire prevention seriously is always a smart idea. In this article, we’ll go over five incredibly simple ways that you can prevent fire from destroying your home and the memories that go along with it, as well as keep your family safe.
Smoke Alarm Installation and Upkeep
One of the most dependable ways to prevent fires from causing serious damage to your house is making sure there are a sufficient amount of smoke alarms, and that they cover all areas of your house that could pose a danger. It’s essential to have alarms present in kitchens, bedrooms, basements, and outside sleeping areas on all levels of the house. Interconnecting this system ensures everybody is aware if a fire starts, so you can act quickly to protect what’s important to you.
Making sure your smoke alarms are properly maintained is necessary as well. They “chirp” at you when the batteries get low, but it’s safer to test each one per month and replace all the batteries once a year. Making sure your system is in the correct condition can be the difference between life and death, so don’t cut corners!
If you want the best fire prevention possible, install an automatic sprinkler system inside your home. When it detects smoke, the sprinkler extinguishes the cause much quicker than it would take the fire department to respond to the scene.
Caution with Heat Sources
Fireplaces and chimneys have been the cause of house fires for as long as they’ve been a thing. It’s only natural we should be careful about the upkeep and use of these heat sources. Once a year, have both professionally serviced and cleaned to prevent accidents. This removes soot and blockages that become fire hazards over time.
Another similar danger is space heaters that aren’t properly utilized. While you don’t need to keep an eye on them all day, be smart about the placement and how easily you can supervise it for problems. Leaving the house with space heaters on and unattended is risky. Placing them too close to furniture, curtains, and other fabric is a recipe for disaster. This also goes for older heaters that stick out from the wall and are extremely hot.
Make an Escape Plan
While you can do a lot of things to prevent a fire from starting in the first place, you should have a backup plan for the worst-case scenario. Having an escape plan in case of emergencies is a great way to know your family can take care of themselves and get out safely during a house fire.
Make one together as a household and make plans to practice it a couple of times per year. It may seem like going overboard, but in the heat of the moment (no pun intended) you will be glad that everyone knows what to do, and where to go. Oftentimes, fires cause confusion and separate family members, so having a solid escape plan is invaluable. Here’s a shortlist of ideas you could include in the plan:
- Routes from each bedroom to the nearest exit
- Notes on removing window screens quickly
- Emergency Contacts (911, Neighbors, Relatives)
- Locations of extinguishers and fire escapes
Keep a Fire Extinguisher
A fire extinguisher is a handy tool and can save you a lot of pain. It allows you to deal with smaller fires quickly. The accuracy and speed of fire extinguishers are super useful in tight situations.
Place Your fire extinguisher in an area where it is quickly reached from all corners of the house. If you have a large home or multiple levels,t consider buying a second one to cover all your bases. Since It’s not often you use fire extinguishers, teach younger children how to do it so they don’t waste precious time trying to understand the instructions
Don’t Leave Flames Unattended
Sometimes the biggest fires start from the smallest flames. Although space heaters and fireplaces are sources of plenty of heat, the smaller flames present in matches, lighters, and lit cigarettes are major hazards. These are often overlooked, and consequently, contribute to nearly one-fourth of all house fire deaths. Don’t allow small children to access or play with fire starters!
Candles are also a culprit for dangerous fires. Some candles contain flammable material besides the wick that sends burning ashes into the air. Some candles are not well protected or placed too close to fabric and paper that presents major risks. It’s important to not leave them unattended, particularly around pets and children. Drafts and vents also push larger flames to the side, extending their reach. Burning candles requires you to stay vigilant.
Fire Damage Restoration
While you might implement all five of these fire prevention tips and stay cautious about your fire usage, sometimes things happen that are outside of your control. Accidents happen, and disaster strikes when you least expect it. Luckily, there are experts that specialize in restoring homes damaged by fire.
Compleat Restorations are the local and trusted choice for professional smoke and fire restoration. They care about saving your property using the most effective methods available. They are also doing it as affordably as possible for you. This includes everything from preliminary protection and cleaning for the damaged portions of your house, as well as smoke odor reduction and general repairs. Many personal belongings can be cleaned with professional ultrasonic technology, or replaced by insurance. Compleat Restorations helps you out with the entire process!
Visit the Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration page for more info.