Beyond the millions in damage that fires cause each year there is the far more important and dangerous aspect of the lives that it affects. Knowing how to prevent fires in your home and knowing precisely how to respond in the event of one is absolutely crucial. The most important thing is to have preventative measures and a plan in place. Make sure everyone in the family understands the plan and is ready to act accordingly should such a situation arise.
Smoke Detectors and Extinguishers
The first step in fire safety is to ensure that your home is equipped with smoke detectors . The hardwired with battery backup variety is preferable but if that is not possible then battery operated detectors should be located at key points throughout the structure.
A good rule of thumb is to place smoke detectors outside every sleeping area in every bedroom and at least one centrally located on every floor of the home including the basement. You also need to test those alarms yearly . Having a smoke detector alone is not going to do anything if that alarm is inoperable. An annual test lets you know when the battery or entire units need replacing.
Another important piece of equipment: fire extinguishers . If your home is not equipped with a built-in sprinkler system then having fire extinguishers placed in key areas throughout the house is very important. As with detectors you need to have one on every level of the home. Keep in mind however in the event of a major fire you do not want to try put out the flames with your fire extinguisher. These are useful in the event that there is a small containable fire.
Have an Escape Plan in Place
The most important thing to do in the event that there is a house fire is to evacuate immediately. You don’t want to take any chances by remaining inside of a burning structure. Therefore having a well-thought-out escape route is imperative. What’s more you want to make sure that every member of your family understands where they are to go and how they are to evacuate in the event of a fire.
Fires usually occur because of overlooked issues that worsen when left unchecked for extended periods of time. Some of the more common things that you want to be sure and have inspected annually:
Fireplace/Chimneys: Having your chimney and/or fireplace professionally inspected is a must. You also want to have them cleaned so as to avoid any buildup or blockages then can lead to a devastating fire.
Electrical System: Issues with shorts in the electrical and wires that are frayed or somehow exposed can certainly cause home fires. If you do suspect that something is wrong with your electrical system or if a wire looks suspicious call a certified electrician to check it out and rectify the problem immediately.
Appliances: Appliances that are not working properly or not cleaned or maintained can cause fires. For example clothes dryers are often culprits of fire. Ensuring that your appliances are working properly and that in the case of a dryer the lint traps are regularly cleaned and the exhaust is not blocked or crimped in any way can save you from much bigger and more dangerous issues.
Making your home more fire-proof is critical. You want to ensure the safety of your family. Taking more time to evaluate your home and its components and then making sure that in the event that there is a fire you have a plan really can save your life! For more information on protecting your home from wildfires pleasevisit our blog here.