When it comes to your home, safety is the number one priority. Although accidents can’t be prevented completely, homeowners can take simple steps to make sure that their properties and loved ones are safe and prepared for any fires.
#1 Keep fire extinguishers handy
Possibly the simplest and easiest step that homeowners can do to make their homes more safe from fire is to have fire extinguishers available. Make sure they are placed in easily accessible areas and within close proximity to places with a higher potential of fire (for example: kitchen, garage, furnace, bathrooms and the attic). Remember: Fire extinguishers expire. Therefore, it is important to check the dates and replace each extinguisher as they expire.
#2 Residential Fire Alarms and Smoke detectors
New homes typically come with built-in smoke detectors. If you live in an older house that does not have one, it is imperative you install at least one. Make sure to test your fire alarms at least once a month and to replace the batteries every 4 months to ensure the alarms functionality in case of a fire. Remember to dispose of batteries properly to prevent touch start fires.
#3 Do not overload your wiring
One of the top causes of house fires is from electrical short circuits caused by overloaded outlets and power strips. Make it a habit to organize and lay your devices’ electrical cords clear of each other and to replace old and frayed wiring. Always check to ensure that plugs fit tightly into the outlets. Loose plugs can cause sparking and heat build-up.
#4 Clean up junk and other flammable items
Allowing for old, flammable items such as clothes and newspapers to accumulate and pile over time is a huge fire hazard. These items, as they age, become easier to catch on fire. Clean up old junk periodically and leave areas around outlets clear in case of sparks and heat build-up.
#5 Clean out your dryer’s lint trap
Every time you use your dryer, lint accumulates from the clothes. When this happens, it increases the chances of a fire because the build-up of lint will cause the dryer to overheat. Make sure to clean out the lint trap after each and every use.
#6 Fireproof your furniture
When buying new furniture, make sure to see if there is an option from the store to coat your new purchase with a fireproof chemical. Although this may add to the overall cost of the furniture, this investment is definitely worth it in the long run. Some fireproofing chemicals are also stain resistant, which is a nice added incentive to get it done.
#7 Install fireproof carpeting
Opt for fire resistant carpeting when choosing and changing the look of your home. Choosing the fire resistant carpeting can help slow down the progress of a fire, if one does start.
#8 Check up and clean your furnace properly and regularly
Proper upkeep of your furnace is key in keeping your home fireproof. Make sure to change out the furnace filter as old ones can lead to overheating and increase the chance of fire. Also, keep any flammable material stored and away from the furnace so that in case a fire does start, it has a decreased chance of fueling its growth.
#9 Never leave candles unattended
Because candles are an open flame, a lit candle if knocked over, can easily start a fire. Do not ever leave lit candles unattended and before leaving the room, make sure candles are completely extinguished before leaving.
#10 Always be aware
Keeping your home as firesafe as possible often comes down to a matter of smart decision making around the house. Simply being aware of common fire dangers and their specific prevention methods will have a great impact in preventing fires in and around your home. Make things easier by preparing a full list of fireproofing steps here.
#11 Proper Storage
Never keep Flammable liquid/chemicals/items near fuel fire equipment. All it takes is one small bump or earthquake to tip it over into the flames to cause an explosion or a fire. Also be aware of what liquids you store next to each other.