10 Tips on How To Prevent House Fires
Is your preparedness plan to prevent house fires and keep your family safe up to date? It should be! When it comes to fire safety, it’s always good to prepare, but it’s much better to prevent it.
Home fires are dangerous and can result in devastating property damage, not just that but they also kill and injure thousands of people yearly according to statistics from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Many people think about the safety and security of their families, but they often overlook the dangers posed by fires.
Everyone is familiar with the common causes of house fires, while other causes might surprise you. One good example is clogged clothes dryer vents. When lint accumulates inside a dryer, it can clog airflow and cause heat to build up along with mildew and mold. Because lint is flammable, if it makes its way into the thermostats, motors, or heating elements, it can quickly catch fire.
That is why it is important to prepare for the unexpected by planning and practicing steps often and continuously to protect your family in the event of a fire.
Consider these 10 tips on how to prevent house fires to keep you and your loved ones safe.
House Fire Prevention Tip #1: Maintain Smoke Alarms
One of the best and easiest ways to prevent home fires is by installing smoke detectors and keeping them in good working order. The U.S. Fire Administration recommends testing your smoke detectors once a month, changing the batteries twice a year, and replacing the alarm itself every 10 years.
Most smoke detectors have a light that indicates the unit is receiving power. Never tested a smoke detector before? It’s really easy to do! There is a little button on it that you can press to test it. If it beeps weakly, then you need to change the batteries right away. If a fire breaks out and it’s not working, tragedy can quickly occur as no one is alerted to evacuate.
Also, consider upgrading to smart detectors. These connect to Wi-Fi and send alerts to your phone when an alarm goes off or the batteries need to be replaced. They can also be integrated with a larger smart home system that can then notify emergency services of the fire.
House Fire Prevention Tip #2: Heating Equipment Regular Inspection
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), heating equipment (including space heaters, fireplaces, and central heating systems) is the leading cause of fires in U.S. homes.
That’s why it is a must that you should have them checked out and serviced annually by a professional to make sure your air filters are always clean. If you’re using a space heater, be sure it is positioned away from anything flammable.
If your heating sources aren’t working properly or aren’t properly positioned they can trigger a fire. A fire can easily start from debris and dust being too close to a heat source so make sure you clean them regularly.
House Fire Prevention Tip #3: Do Not Leave Your Cooking Unattended
The leading cause of these fires? Unattended or distracted cooking, according to the NFPA. A few seconds is all it takes for a fire to break out. This is why you never want to leave cooking food unattended.
If you have to leave the kitchen for any reason, turn off that pot first. If, for whatever reason, you can’t turn off, call someone into the kitchen to watch the food until you get back or use a timer to remind you to check it regularly.
It’s also a good idea to keep anything that can catch fire, such as oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels, or curtains, away from your stovetop and to keep your oven and stove area clean and grease-free.
House Fire Prevention Tip #4: Maintain All Your Electrical Cords
Many of us are guilty of plugging too many appliances into a single outlet. Electrical fires are also a top cause of house fires in the U.S.
It may seem innocuous, but when too many appliances are plugged into an outlet, you risk overloading the circuit which can cause the outlet to overheat and can catch fire.
Luckily, this is another area where following a few simple safety tips can make all the difference! To prevent this, try getting in the habit of unplugging appliances when they aren’t being used.
Try unplugging appliances by grabbing the plug's head rather than by pulling the cord. If you notice any damage to your cords, replace them immediately. This will help improve your fire safety at home and maybe even your electricity bill!
House Fire Prevention Tip #5: Be Careful When Using Candles
Every one of us loves scented candles, they’re perfect for creating a cozy and serene ambiance in your home. But if you don’t use them carefully, they can also be a huge fire hazard.
If you use candles regularly, it’s so important to put them out before leaving the room. Keep them far away from blankets or other flammable objects that they could come into contact with. If you feel yourself drifting off to sleep, get up and blow the candle out.
If you have small children or pets, it’s also a good idea to keep lit candles on a higher surface and out of reach!
House Fire Prevention Tip #6: Properly Store Flammable Products
Gasoline, paint thinners, household cleaners, and even cosmetic items like hairspray and shaving cream can be hazardous. If they are exposed to a large heat source, they can combust. In fact, according to the NFPA, flammable or combustible liquids cause more than 43,000 home fires each year!
You want to keep them away from the reach of your children or space heaters and store them safely in a cool area.
House Fire Prevention Tip #7: Check Your Dryer for Proper Air Flow
Make it a habit to remove lint from your dryer filter after every use. A clogged filter and lint trap make your dryer less efficient, reduces the airflow needed to keep heat from building up in vents, and forces lint onto the heating coils.
Also, never let your dryer run when you’re out of the house or when you’re asleep. Make sure to keep your dryer filter clean and do an annual or regular maintenance of the vents that the dryer exhaust uses. Blockages in the vents or build up in the filter can cause a fire.
House Fire Prevention Tip #8: Do Not Smoke Inside
Cigarettes have a variety of additives and materials inside of them that can continue to burn even if you think that you’ve put them out. If you do smoke, it’s important to always do so in a well-ventilated area and to completely put out the cigarette before you throw it away.
That flame can then ignite inside your trashcan or outside your home and cause a fire. If you make sure to smoke outside, watch out for stray ashes, and make sure to put the cigarette out entirely before throwing it away to cut down on this risk.
House Fire Prevention Tip #9: Keep Fire Extinguishers Around
Fire extinguishers are your best defense weapon when a fire breaks out. You want to make sure you have one in every room that is a potential threat, such as the kitchen, garage, or near fireplaces. Every family member should know how to use an extinguisher so if a fire does happen, it can be put out as fast as possible.
For those with younger children, it could be helpful to print out and post the P.A.S.S. acronym near the fire extinguishers for everybody to know how to properly use it in case needed.
P = Pull
A = Aim
S = Squeeze
S = Sweep
House Fire Prevention Tip #10: Establish a Fire Escape Plan
One last very important tip is to talk with all family members about a fire escape plan and practice the plan twice a year. Doing this will help everybody know where the exits are in case of fire. Check all the windows and screens in your home to make sure they can be opened when needed so you can’t be trapped inside.
When a fire starts in your home, escape time is precious. This is why knowing how to prevent home fires and preparing for accidents is so important. In the event of a fire, remember to get out, stay out, and call for help. Never go back inside for anything or anyone.
For Fire Damage Help, Call Us Today
Implementing these fire safety practices around the house is just a start, but protecting your home doesn’t stop here. There are some things that you just aren’t going to be able to do yourself. We at Five Star Restoration will help with the restoration process if your home is suffering damage from a fire.
Five Star Restoration is a top-rated local water damage restoration company. We offer fast and reliable fire and smoke damage help that’s affordable and stress-free, including assistance on your fire insurance claims.
We have the necessary equipment and knowledge to remove the source of the overwhelming smoke odor fast.
Available to help you 24/7 - Call us now at (951) 368-2227.
Tags: prevent house fires, fire prevention tips, prevent home fires, house fire prevention