Fire can have devastating effects on all it touches and this element is a leading cause for accidental deaths in the nation. Taking fires seriously and making all attempts to fireproof your home is the only logical decision, and being proactive in fire prevention certainly helps.
Fire Prevention Steps
Whether a fire is started intentionally (i.e. fireplace, gas stove), or by accident (i.e. electrical or wildfire), they move quickly and cannot be easily controlled. To help minimize your risk of falling victim to an inferno:
- Keep It Clean: Heed this warning as paper, garbage, paint cans, batteries and other fire-bait will only feed the flames and may actually spontaneously explode. Too much junk is also a safety hazard when fires occur.
- Frayed So: Electrical fires cause “67,800 fires, 485 deaths, and $868 million in property losses” annually. Toss out old, frayed extension cords, archaic electrical devices, do not overload outlets and avoid making an electrical “octopus.” Old and faulty wiring throughout your home can also cause problems. If your home is 25 years or older have a professional electrician double-check your wiring.
- Cooking: Annually, kitchen fires are responsible for over 156,000 blazes, and cooking causes 90% of those scenarios. Keeping the area around your stove clear and clean, turning pot handles inward, not leaving cooking food unattended and wearing appropriate clothing for cooking (no fringe please) will give you more control of the situation.
- Clear Brush: Just because you fireproof your home does not mean you are safe. Wildfires spread quickly and by keeping the property around your house clear of brush, dead leaves and debris, a wayward spark may simply burn out instead of igniting a flame.
- Space Heaters: Space heaters are an affordable way to keep warm, but extra safety precautions are needed as they can be dangerous. The devices need space and should be at least three feet away from flammable material like curtains and mattresses.
Additional Fire Safety Tips
Of course fireproofing your home is only one part of the fire safety equation. Additionally, make sure that you have:
- Homeowner’s Insurance and Fire Insurance: Financial protection in the form of an insurance policy is a must for rebuilding your life after a fire. A policy providing compensation to rebuild your home, replace personal possessions and funds for temporary housing are a must.
- Install Smoke Detectors: Where there is smoke, there is fire, but those in a deep slumber would never know it. A working smoke alarm is the best device for early fire detection.
- Fire Extinguishers: Even though you may see flames, never use water to put them out as the source may be electrical. A fire extinguisher in the kitchen and others around your home can be a lifesaver, just make sure to check them annually.
- Don’t Play with Fire: Matches and lighters should be stored in a safe place away from heat sources and children, candles should never be left unattended and make sure to unplug that curling iron before leaving your home. Smokers need to be especially careful of their vice as it is thenumber one cause of home fire related deaths.
- Emergency Plan: Plotting an escape route, meet up point and plan of action can help you and yours increase your chances of survival.
Although there are construction techniques and materials to build fireproof homes, not everyone has that option. By taking the time to fireproof your home, you will channel your inner Smokey the Bear an increase your odds of avoiding a catastrophe.