Home Fire Prevention
Tips For Home Fire Prevention
The home is a place often associated with comfort and peace; it serves as an area where one can spend time with family and obtain respite from the outside world. However, disasters such as home fires can threaten this important space. According to the Red Cross, 7 people perish and 36 people sustain injuries from home fires every day in the U.S. Home fires are also extremely costly since they cause over 7 billion dollars of property damage annually. Fortunately, you can take simple steps to protect your family and property from this sort of tragedy. Here are 5 ways to prevent and/or minimize the damage of home fires, courtesy of the Red Cross and the National Fire Prevention Association.
- Be particularly cautious in the kitchen. The NFPA reports that cooking equipment is the major cause of home fires and home fire injuries, so take extra precautions when you are cooking up culinary delights. For a detailed list of kitchen fire prevention tips, click here.
- Keep flammable items at a minimum of three feet away from anything that gets hot, especially space heaters. According to the NFPA, space heaters caused 40% of home heating fires from 2009-2013, resulting in 84% of home heating fire deaths. To prevent this sort of tragedy, ensure items such as clothing, mattresses, upholstered furniture, and bedding are a sufficient distance from heaters.
- Don’t smoke or light candles in the bedroom. In the case of smoking-related fires, most deaths result from fires that originate in the bedroom, closely followed by fires started in the family room or den. It is always safest to smoke outside, but if you must smoke inside, always ensure you are awake and alert. Though you may be tempted to create a relaxing atmosphere in your bedroom with scented candles, it’s much safer to light them in areas where you won’t be tempted to take a nap. Be sure to put candles on sturdy, clutter-free surfaces and blow them out before you leave the room or go to bed. Do not smoke or use candles in homes where oxygen is used.
- Properly install and maintain smoke alarms. Smoke alarms can help you catch a fire quickly and reduce the amount of damage to your home. More importantly, they can save your life. The NFPA recommends that home residences have an alarm in each sleeping room, outside every sleeping space, and on all levels of the home. They association also recommends that all the alarms are synchronized so they sound together. Test these alarms on a monthly basis and replace them every 10 years. Though smoke alarms can certainly be an annoyance while you are cooking, do not disable them as it is quite likely that you will forget to reconnect them. Instead, wave a towel near the alarm to dissipate cooking smoke. If you have newer alarms, they may have a hush button for occasions like this.
- Be careful with electrical devices, outlets, and cords. Electricity is an essential component of modern life, but if you are too blasé about electrical safety, fires may occur. To reduce the chances of electrical fires, make sure a certified electrician does all electrical work in your home. Also ensure your major appliances (including washers, dryers, refrigerators, and stoves) are plugged directly into the wall; an extension cord is not sufficient. If you see any signs indicating you have electrical problems – which can include frequent blown fuses, warm/discolored wall outlets, sparks when you use an outlet, and your hand tingling when you touch an appliance – call an electrician.
Sometimes fires occur despite our best efforts to prevent them. If you do experience a home fire, call the fire damage experts at Sincerely Yours, Inc.