House fires can be a nightmare for homeowners. It puts your entire family at risk, destroys your property, and makes any work you did on your home go up in smoke. That’s why finding ways to protect your home from fires is such an important step for any household. Fortunately, fire prevention isn’t difficult if you remain vigilant and keep these principles in mind.
Be Aware of Electrical Problems
When you install and use wiring properly, it’s usually perfectly safe. However, there are many instances in which electrical problems can cause house fires. Old or frayed wiring and overloaded circuit boards have the potential to become hot or spark, causing the surrounding area to ignite. Additionally, leaving devices like space heaters on for hours at a time can also increase the risk of fire.
It’s essential to be aware of signs of electrical problems in your home, like hot or loose outlets, to avoid this. Even if there aren’t any obvious problems, getting a home inspection every three to five years is a good idea. If your home is older, you may want to consider more frequent inspections.
Practice Good Home Maintenance
Your electrical work isn’t the only part of your home that you need to maintain to prevent fires. There are several home tasks that can cause fires if left undone. Be sure to add these chores to your checklist:
- Cleaning out your oven
- Wiping down your stove after cooking
- Clearing out dryer vents and lint traps
- Scheduling annual heating/cooling system inspections
- Keeping flammable items away from heat sources
- Placing your grill a safe distance from your home
Fireplaces also have the potential to cause a lot of fires, so practicing good fireplace safety by maintaining your flue and chimney is also a key way to prevent household fires.
Have Fire Safety Gear in the Home
Sometimes fires still break our best efforts to stop them before they start. In this case, we should be prepared to detect a fire as soon as possible and take evasive action. That means having the proper gear on hand. Working smoke detectors on every floor of your home are the first line of defense, and you will want to test them at least twice a year.
A working fire extinguisher will also help take care of smaller fires before they become major fires. Be sure to educate your family on how to use the extinguisher. Every fire extinguisher is for use against particular types of fires, so be sure your extinguisher will work on the fire in front of you first. Then, aim the extinguisher at the base of the fire and go and forth. If the fire doesn’t go out, leave the area immediately.
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