Whether you’re cooking a holiday meal, enjoying some popcorn, or relaxing with a glass of wine, make sure your home is ready to prevent a fire.
The most common causes of home fires are cooking equipment, heating equipment, and smoking materials.
Preventing these fires begins with knowing the risks and taking action to eliminate or minimize them. Some basic steps can help protect you and your family from fire.
As a homeowner, your responsibility to your family should include making sure your home is fire safe!
One of the most important things you can do to protect your household from a fire is to consider safety measures.
The first thing you’ll want to do is have a fire extinguisher on hand. If there is an emergency and your extinguisher doesn’t work, make sure that everyone gets out of the house immediately.
You should fit each room inside and outside with smoke detectors.
Remember that these are sensitive devices, and they will need changes batteries from time to time (please refer to your manual for specific details).
It may even be a good idea to have a fire escape plan in place. If you find a fire in your house, you should stay calm and try to leave as soon as you can.
How to Stay Safe
In addition to having the proper safety equipment, you should also stay safe by not smoking around open flames or using fireworks indoors.
If you are outdoors, make sure any fire such as a fire pit, doesn’t get out of control.
Use protective gear when dealing with flammable fumes. Make sure that your appliances are inspected periodically to ensure that they are functioning correctly and aren’t malfunctioning in any way (this is also true for heating systems).
Also, remember that it is never safe to leave cooking unattended.
Another essential habit is keeping the windows and doors closed when no air-conditioning units are running.
This prevents smoke from going outside. Another tip is to make sure that your house is maintained correctly, especially regarding your heating system.
Make sure that you have regular inspections and maintenance performed on your HVAC unit.
Whatever sort of safety equipment you have in place, you must maintain it to work as needed.
If you lose power or if the heating and ACs stop working, you must replace them immediately. This problem can get very expensive if not addressed immediately.
Fire Safety Kit
While you must stay safe when there’s a fire, it is also essential to prevent the fires from happening.
Having a fire safety kit can help lower the risk of a more significant fire from occurring.
The kit should contain all of the essential items listed below:
- Whistle or Air Horn – The noise will alert your neighbors to get out as well. You can also use it for signaling and staying together if necessary.
- Fire Extinguisher – You will want to have a 2A10BC rating on hand and something that doesn’t require you to wear gloves (remember – summer heat).
- Fire Blankets – You must have a good blanket many people use for sleeping, but these blankets are not fireproof.
- Non-Perishable Items – You can bring one or two non-perishable items (such as canned food, flameless candles) on hand at all times for emergency use.
- Drinks – Always try to have some water on hand when you’re stuck inside with no power and no heat. Keep an eye on the availability of bottled water, though, so that it doesn’t run out too quickly.
- Cell Phone – You will need to have your cell phone on hand at all times. You can at least use it to call the fire service if you cannot get out of the house.
- First Aid Kit with Medical Supplies – You may want to keep a complete medical bag or first aid kit with supplies such as bandages, creams for blisters, medicine for heat, etc.
How To Make Your Home Fire Safe
If you cannot make your home as safe from fire as possible, you can always hire structural fire engineering consultants to specify things you need to improve correctly.
Otherwise, you can follow some of the tips below.
Conduct Home Inspections
Make sure that there are no hidden sources of fuel or ignition. Install smoke and carbon dioxide detectors and clean them often.
Have a plan with details about the meeting location in case of fire, and make sure everyone knows how to call the fire department.
Maintain Your Home’s Electrical System
Replace faulty wiring, have insulation installed in attics, clean up any spills promptly.
Check all electrical outlets for safety as well as thermostats.
They should be inspected every month or so, and there should be no issues with a lack of power, so if you do notice anything, get in touch with the local fire department immediately.
Even if the wiring seems okay, check that there aren’t any small children playing in the area.
This can create a significant issue if anything catches fire.
Keep Space Heaters Away From Anything Flammable
Do not place them on rugs or carpets, and do not use them in a bathroom.
Avoid Leaving Pots And Pans Filled With Oil Unattended On The Stove
Use a deep fryer(which is safer than a pot of hot oil). You can also use alternative cooking methods such as steam, dry, hot air, and microwave.
Ensure all light sources around the house are correctly adjusted for brightness or if there is any chance of an electrical failure.
Properly working light fixtures need to be installed where possible, and you must regularly check bulbs with a tester.
Remember to switch off any lights you’re not using when you leave a room or area for any length of time (or even as soon as possible).
Ensure that all fire extinguishers are appropriately placed and easily accessible in the event of a fire.
Never use water to extinguish a grease or oil-based fire instead of using sand or dry salt (for example, rock-salt or sea salt).
Fire extinguishers should be tested every month as well. Ensure that they’re clean and in good working order.
It’s vital to have working smoke alarms in the house, and it’s best to have them lined up so that if any goes off, they all sound.
Get them checked regularly for your and your family’s safety.
Have An Escape Plan
This is an essential thing to have if you don’t know precisely how to react in a fire emergency.
You don’t want to be stuck inside your house and wait for someone to save you, so having an escape plan is extremely important.
If there’s a fire emergency, you need to have ways of escaping from the building as quickly as possible.
Everyone knows that you can’t open a window or door if it’s too hot, so that’s something you need to consider.
If there is a safe place in your home (like a basement), you want to be sure to have an exit that doesn’t lead into the fire.
There are many reasons why home fires start; cooking, faulty electrical wiring, and candles are among the most common.
While some fires are easily prevented, others can happen without warning.
Having a home fire safety plan is the best way to protect your family and your home from the devastation that often follows a fire.