A fire in your own home is one of the greatest fears a parent can have. Not only can you lose your home and precious things, but it puts your family in significant danger. To keep this nightmare from becoming a reality, you need to take preventative action in your home. Start with the following fire safety tips.
Maintain Your Smoke Detectors
A smoke detector may not stop a house fire, but it can protect you from one. When a home begins to burn, the fire releases a lot of smoke. This smoke will drift to the ceiling and spread throughout the house. Smoke detectors have sensors that will detect this change in the air and trigger an alarm giving you time to escape. However, over time these devices can experience problems.
The most common problem is a low battery. You’ll know that your smoke detector has a low battery because it will have an annoying beep every few minutes. Many people solve the problem by shutting off their smoke detector. That is extremely dangerous. It only costs a couple of dollars to get a new 9v battery. Just replace it. The second most common problem is age. Smoke detectors generally have an expiration date. After this date, they are no longer guaranteed to be reliable. Generally, a smoke detector should be replaced every 10 years.
Don’t Leave Cooking Food Unattended
One of the most common causes of fires in the home is the inattentive chef. It’s understandable that you will get distracted while cooking, especially if you have kids. However, it is imperative that you don’t leave cooking food unsupervised. If you must leave the kitchen, ask someone to take over for you. If this isn’t possible, turn off any open flames. This may slow down your meal preparations, but it will prevent you from burning the food and your home.
Keep Electrical Systems Maintained
Electrical fires are even more dangerous than normal fires. You can’t throw water on an electrical fire because there is a high chance that you will electrocute yourself. Electrical fires are often started when wires overheat. If the wire covering is frayed, it can ignite nearby flammable substances. This is a more common occurrence when the demand for power is greater than what your grid is capable of supplying. Over time, high demand can cause your system to wear down. As it does, the chances for fire increase. If you notice any problems with electricity in your home, have an electrician come perform an inspection. If you have any rodent problems, make sure that you have the wiring inspected for chewing.
Teach Your Children Fire Safety
Your own adorable children are another common cause of house fire. Fire is a fascinating phenomenon. Small children can’t help but stare at it and want to play with it. They don’t fully understand the consequences of their actions. If all you do is tell them to stay away from fire, they probably won’t listen. You need to take the time to explain to your children about fire safety. Explain why certain things are dangerous and how to avoid them.
You should also teach your children what to do in case of a fire. Teach them to check door handles for heat before opening doors in the case of an emergency. If there is a fire in the home, they should know how to get out of the home and where to meet the family.
Repair Your Roof
One of the commonly overlooked aspects of fire prevention is the roof. Your roof is an important defense against fires. If a neighbor’s house catches fire, it will most likely spread to your house by jumping from roof to roof. Metal roofing materials reduce fire hazards, unlike flammable asphalt.
In some cases, your roof can be the cause of the fire. If your roof insulation is improperly installed, it could be set on fire by a heat source. A leaky roof can lead to a fire by allowing rainwater to short circuit electrical wiring. To prevent these accidents, make sure that your roof is in good repair. Have a specialist look every few years to keep it well maintained.
Maintain Your Laundry Machine
Your washing machine won’t usually pose much of a fire risk to your home. However, your drying machine could. These fires are usually caused by improper installation, or poor maintenance. Unless you are a trained technician, don’t try to install a dryer machine on your own. Make sure that you regularly inspect the dryer vents to make sure that they are clear. Always clear your lint filter before each new load. Doing these things will help prevent your dryer from overheating and starting a fire.
Properly Place Space Heaters
In a modern home, space heaters can be wonderful if there are certain rooms in your home that always feel cold. In an older home, space heaters may be all that is available. Either way, you need to be careful with them. Space heaters can eject a lot of heat. If the space heater is near wood or flammable cloth, then this can easily start a house fire. As such, keep your space heater away from curtains and furniture.
Clean Your Chimney
If you have a wood fireplace, you have a greater risk of starting a house fire. Over time, soot and ash can accumulate on the inner walls of your chimney. This material is still flammable and can start a fire on the roof of your home. To mitigate this, you need to make sure that your chimney is regularly cleaned. You should also avoid burning cardboard or newspaper as these materials can allow large embers to exit the chimney stack.
Don’t Smoke Indoors
Smoking isn’t a very healthy habit. Smoking indoors is even worse. Not only do you build up a toxic atmosphere in your home, but you increase fire risk as well. Ash from cigars or cigarettes are hot enough to start fires. It may be an inconvenience but protect yourself by stepping outside to smoke.
You might not think that a fire could start in your home. But that is what others before you have thought up until they smelled the smoke. It is always best to be cautious. These tips don’t require a lot of effort. But they can save you a lot of trouble and grief if you follow them.
It’s important to always be prepared for a disaster in your home, whether it’s fire or something else. We can help to protect your home with a great insurance policy. Get a quote from us today!