Fire Protection Tips Every Homeowner Should Know
Your home is a huge investment that offers security and protection against harsh elements. In turn, it's also important that you take steps to boost the security of your home. Part of that involves fireproofing your house. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), a house fire occurs in the U.S. every 86 seconds, so this is a task that should be taken as seriously as possible to protect your investment.
Fire protection can not only save your home, but it can also save lives. Sometimes, homeowners get complacent because they believe that baseline precautions constitute enough fire protection. However, you can never rule out the possibility of a serious accident, and even a small fire can pose a dangerous threat if left to spread quickly.
The point is, most homeowners need to boost their fire protection security and safety measures. With that in mind, here are some top fire protection tips that will minimize the chances of fire while keeping you safe if the unexpected happens.
Eliminate Risks Associated With Your Home's Heating
Heating equipment in your home increases the risk of fire in your home, and the level of risk generally depends on the specific setup inside your home. For instance, homes that use conventional gas heating might require regular inspections to ensure that everything is working as it should.
If you suspect gas leaks and carbon monoxide poisoning at any point, it's essential to have the issue checked immediately. Also, make sure that there's no clutter surrounding the space heater in your home. You should check that you leave a distance of at least three feet when placing flammable objects near the space heater.
If you have a wood-burning heater, it should be cleaned and maintained regularly to keep it functioning efficiently. Even homeowners with modern electronic heaters still need to check the wiring to avoid an electrical malfunction that could lead to a fire.
Be Mindful When Cooking In the Kitchen
Cooking is one of the top contributors to fires in homes, so it pays to follow some key safety tips. These safety tips should be incorporated into routine behavior when cooking in the kitchen so that you do this all automatically, without a second thought. Otherwise, it's all too easy to forget to switch the burner off.
The most important safety tip for cooking in the kitchen is to ensure your burners and the entire cooker are turned off as soon as you're done cooking. During the cooking process, you should be extra cautious when heating large amounts of oil and grease. Keep in mind that you should never attempt to put out fires caused by grease by pouring water, as this can be quite dangerous since it fuels the fire further.
Instead, you can quench a grease fire by covering the flames with a metal lid and quickly turning off the heat source. Small grease fires can be smothered using baking soda. Otherwise, you can spray the fire with a Class B dry chemical fire extinguisher.
Last but not least, it helps to have a fire detection system that will remind you to switch off hot plates in your home when you forget to do so.
Take Steps to Prevent Electrical Malfunctions
Besides cooking and heating equipment, electrical malfunctions are also responsible for fires. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to minimize this risk. To begin with, you should always arrange the furniture in your home as far away from heating sources as possible. That's because a small fire can quickly turn into a raging inferno once the furniture in your home is alight.
Check the cords on all your electrical appliances, and be sure to replace them if they are frayed or damaged. Similarly, any power outlets close to furniture or curtains should be inspected to ensure they are in good working condition.
Keep an Eye on Lit Candles
In the past, candles were a necessity, since they provided lighting in homes that had no electricity. Today, candles are still popular as they help to create the right ambiance when homeowners want a setting that requires soft lighting. They are also handy to keep around for those times when power outages occur.
That's why candle safety remains relevant in modern times. You should always be careful where you place candles. Although candles only have small flames, they can still set your home on fire. As such, you should never let children play with lit candles or leave an open flame unattended. Instead, be sure to extinguish the candle whenever you leave the room or decide to go to sleep.
Avoid Smoking Indoors
Chances are you may have already heard about one too many home fires that were a direct result of smoking inside. In fact, smoking indoors has resulted in the most loss of civilian life in home fires in the United States. Therefore, whenever you feel the urge to smoke, it's best that you do so outdoors. Once it becomes a habit, you won't ever feel comfortable smoking indoors and putting yourself at risk.
However, if you must smoke indoors, you should at least avoid smoking in bed. This reduces the chances of falling asleep with a lit cigarette in hand that can potentially ignite your home. When you smoke inside, check that you have completely put out your cigarette and don't keep matches or lighters where children can play with them. Dispose of your ashes safely by wetting them first and placing them in a container to avoid igniting a fire in a plastic trash can.
Ensure that Your Smoke Detectors Are Working
Smoke detectors are one of the best fire protection tools at your disposal. Unfortunately, the majority of homeowners don't even know whether their smoke detectors work. It's essential that you test your smoke detectors at least once a month, so you know you can count on them for your safety.
Each room in your home should have a working smoke detector. If one or more smoke detectors stop working, they may simply need new batteries, or it's because of a malfunction. Sometimes, replacing the smoke detectors is ideal, especially if it has been ages since the smoke detectors were installed. When your smoke detectors are working properly, they will set off a fire alarm if there's a fire, and that's the signal to evacuate your home.
While on the topic of evacuating your home, don't forget to develop an effective escape plan so you know all the right moves to make when the worst occurs.
Buy Fire Extinguishers
Reacting quickly to a fire can help prevent thousands of dollars in damages. That's why you should always invest in fire extinguishers for your home. The best area to keep fire extinguishers is in the kitchen, as it's likely to provide easier access when you need to contain a small fire before it spreads.
As with your smoke detectors, make sure that your fire extinguisher is up to the job and up to date. If you're unsure how to operate one, the best time is to learn well before a fire occurs.
Give your home the best fire protection with these tips and minimize the threat of dangerous fires and substantial financial loss. If you have any more questions about keeping your home protected from fires, please get in touch.