When it comes to fires, an ounce of prevention
is worth a pound of cure. Here are some home
fire prevention tips that based on our experience
and research will keep your home and family
safe from fires.
Check your fire alarms. Even though installing
fire alarms in every floor of your home is
supposed to protect you from fire, many people
die in fires in homes with fire alarms installed.
One cause is a failure to check the batteries
on a regular basis. Fire prevention experts recommend
that you replace your fire alarm’s batteries
once a year and that you test the alarms once
a month to make sure they’re working correctly.
Check storage containers for gas and flammable liquids. Many people keep gas, kerosene and other flammable liquids in the garage, and these liquids can leak out of the bottom wears out after years of use. In addition, improper storage can leave the gas cap pointing down or to the side instead of up, which will definitely cause leaks.
Clear the area around combustion heaters. Combustion water heaters and furnaces need an uninhibited flow of air around them to work properly. If you have furniture, boxes, papers or other flammable items piled too close, you’re asking for a fire. Make sure you clear a space all the way around combustion appliances.
Get your chimney inspected. Good home fire prevention practice often starts with the chimney. Chimney fires can smolder for a long time before breaking through to the rest of the house, and when they do, they burn out of control quickly. Flammable creosote can build up in chimneys over months or years of heavy use, and a single spark is all it takes to set it burning. Get a professional chimney inspection company to clean your chimney once a year.
Be safe with clothes dryers. The dryer can be a major cause of home fires. Make sure your dryer vents to the outside, not into a wall or a room. Clean your lint screen after every use, and never put items made from plastics, rubbers, foam or synthetic fabrics in the dryer—they hold on to heat and can cause the dryer to heat up more than is safe. In addition, never leave the dryer running when nobody is home.
Be careful with appliances and cords. Extension cords are a major cause of fire—and so are overloaded power strips. Faulty electrical wiring in appliances and in the house itself can also cause fire. If your lights dim when an appliance comes on, if the TV picture shrinks, or if your fuses blow frequently, your electrical system could be overloaded. Talk to an electrician to get expert advice.
Fire prevention is crucial to living safely in
any home. Fires can start for a variety of reasons,
and it’s the homeowner’s job to be
vigilant and make sure no unnecessary risks are
taken due to inattention or lack of knowledge.
Follow these fire prevention tips, and your home
and family will be safer from fire.