How to Prevent House Fires: 6 Tips
House fires are one of the most dangerous types of issues that can happen in your home. The cold winter months often lead to spikes in fires due to mishandled heating methods, but warm weather doesn’t remove the danger of fire.
The heat is not the only culprit – inhalation of smoke, fumes and vapors are also responsible for causing life-threatening damage to people around it. The reduced visibility from this smoke makes escaping a fire difficult as well.
Luckily most accidents can be averted by following basic home safety tips that will help you know how to prevent house fires and avoid dangerous situations at work or in your residence.
Here Are 6 Steps to Prevent a Fire in Your Home:
- Install a Smoke Detector
- Identify Fire Hazards
- Heating System Safety
- Kitchen Appliance Safety
- Keeping Your Equipment Well-Maintained
- Devise a Safety Plan
1. Install a Smoke Detector
A functioning smoke alarm system can give you an advanced warning to prevent or lower the risk of fire and smoke damage. Make sure batteries are charged and inserted in the detector properly. Some of the best places to put a smoke detector in your home are bedrooms, hallways and stairways.
The smoke detector is a life saving tool that allows people to evacuate the premises in a timely fashion. The alarm is more likely to detect heat and smoke particles before the smell of smoke odors may even get your attention. Early detection also enables emergency services to respond quickly to the accident.
Smoke detectors save lives, protect people from possible skin and lung damage, and prevent your property from being completely destroyed. You should replace the batteries of your smoke alarm twice every year in order to make sure they’re functioning properly.
2. Identify Fire Hazards
Always be aware of your surroundings. Addressing fire hazards in your home is very important in preventing fires, and you’ll know where you should be extra cautious.
Many of the kitchen items and ingredients you use every day can be dangerous. As a matter of fact, kitchen fires are the leading cause of fire-related damages. Kitchen equipment such as kitchen towels, wooden spoons, drapes, pot holders and many oven mitts are susceptible to catch fire.
Ingredients such as cooking oil, non-dairy creamer, sugar, and flour are also flammable. So, you should take extra precautions when using any of these items or ingredients near a stove or open flames, as they can easily catch on fire.
Accidental domestic fires caused by electricity are second to only kitchen fires in causing massive destruction. Most of these fires are either a result of an electrical defect or inappropriate management of electrical appliances. Here are some things you can do to prevent electrical fires:
- Do not overcrowd your plug sockets
- Look out for frayed wires or cables before plugging them into a device
- Unplug appliances when not in use
- Ensure your appliances comply with safety standards
- Place space heaters further away from walls to create more central heat
3. Heating System Safety
Portable heating systems are not meant to be left on all the time and must be turned off and unplugged when not in use. Leaving them on for longer periods can bake the socket and start a fire. If you’re not sure whether your heater is able to be left on constantly, check the equipment manual or call a professional electrician.
Safe heating can save lives and shield the property from fire damage. Establishing a safety protocol to prevent fires caused by heating systems is crucial. It ensures that everyone within the premises is safe and protected.
4. Kitchen Appliance Safety
Stove tops and ovens are meant to be used strictly for cooking purposes, and using them for heating the home can cause a dangerous fire. If used as a substitute for household furnace or heater, stoves can develop gas leaks which can lead to an explosion. Even if they don’t explode, these gas leaks can be fatal since the fumes are toxic to inhale. Ovens also have electrical components that can malfunction and cause sparks leading to fire.
5. Keeping Your Equipment Well-Maintained
Routine cleaning and maintenance of heating equipment is important to avoid fire hazards. Poorly maintained equipment may have loosened electrical connections, fluctuating voltage, and cracks or wear in the heating system. Overheated dust on a dirty element can easily catch fire.
These problems can be disastrous and are likely to cause short circuits leading to the leakage of toxic fumes, combustion, or open fire in your property.
6. Devise a Safety Plan
If a fire does happen, you should have a fire extinguisher handy. In case the fire spreads faster than you can extinguish it, you should know all the routes and exits to make sure everyone in the building abandons the building; then contact your local fire department. Check out this After a Fire Checklist for more information on what to do after a fire takes place.
You should also establish a meeting point not too far from home where you can account for everyone. If firefighters know that there isn’t anybody inside, they can use more effective ways to extinguish the fire.
The Top Causes of House Fires
House fires can be devastating, causing damage to your property and putting your family in danger. Being aware of the top causes of house fires can help you take the necessary precautions to protect your home
- Cooking-related incidents: Unattended cooking, overheating oil or grease, and other cooking mishaps are the leading cause of house fires.
- Heating systems: Faulty furnaces, space heaters, and chimneys can ignite flammable materials or cause electrical malfunctions that lead to fires.
- Electrical malfunctions: Issues like faulty wiring, overloaded circuits, and damaged electrical cords can generate sparks and start fires.
- Candles: Leaving candles unattended or placing them near flammable objects can result in fires if the flame spreads.
- Smoking materials: Carelessly discarded cigarettes or improper use of smoking materials can ignite fires, especially if they come into contact with flammable materials.
- Children playing with fire: Curiosity-driven incidents where children play with lighters, matches, or flammable substances can lead to accidental fires.
For any residential or commercial fire restoration services, Jenkins Restorations would be proud to help serve you.