can have devastating consequences. They can cost you your home, your valuable possessions, your memories, or worse, they can cost your life. Fire prevention, whether you live in a house or an apartment, is one of the most important things you can do to protect you, your loved ones, and your possessions. Check out these statistics of the losses incurred due to fire during the last 15 years.
Here are some effective ways to prevent fires in your home.
- Install a Good Alarm System
Smoke alarms are important, and required, in all homes, but you can go one step further by installing a fire alarm monitoring system. A good fire alarm monitoring system should instantly transmit an emergency to your nearest fire department, and save up to two minutes in emergency response time. Considering a fire can double in size every minute, two minutes can be a very long time.
- Check Your House
A great preventative measure is to make sure there’s no faulty wiring in your home that may be dangerous. You can hire an electrician or fire safety expert to inspect your home for you. Fire risks can include:
- Badly grounded receptacles
- Damaged wiring
- Overloaded circuit breakers or fuse boxes
- Flickering lights (indication of power surges)
- Loose fittings, leaking valves, malfunctioning pilot lights, or other faulty components in gas systems
- Lint or dust build-up around pilot lights.
If you notice any risky issues with home appliances, wiring, gas, heating, or air conditioning, it’s important that you speak to a professional and have it repaired immediately.
- Check Your Appliances
Stoves can become dangerous if not cleaned. Keep your stove and oven clean, especially if there is grease accumulation. Make sure the hood of your stove is kept clean and check that it has a vent or fan. Unattended cooking is one of the leading causes of house fires; while most people know not to leave the stove unattended, it bears repeating: Stoves should not be left unattended even for a few minutes.
Power cords of appliances may become damaged or frayed. If this happens, replace them immediately.
Also, keep a watchful eye on your clothes dryer. It is absolutely imperative that lint doesn’t go near the heat coils because if it does, it can cause a fire. To prevent this from happening, ensure that you always keep the lint trap and the outside vent free of any lint. Also never leave a dryer unattended for long. If you are leaving the house, turn off your dryer before leaving and then resume drying when you return.
Space heaters, which many people use in the winter months, can be a big fire risk. If you are using a space heater, take the following precautions:
- Keep all flammable materials such as your curtains at least three feet from the space heater
- Place heaters on smooth, hard surfaces (ideally, the floor), rather than a place where they may tip over
- Do not use extension cords with space heaters (or air conditioners)
- Take Care with Flammable Devices
Anything flammable should be kept far from an ignition source. There are many personal habits which can also create fire risks, including:
- Smoking: Avoid smoking inside if possible. If you must, take care to put your cigarette out in an ash-tray, or into water
- Watch out for candles: Never leave candles on when you’re leaving the house. In fact, it’s best to never leave candles unattended and keep them far from any flammable material
- Take Care Around These Unexpected Fire Hazards
- Extension cords: If you are using an extension cord for a long period of time, it is important that you regularly inspect it to ensure that it isn’t frayed or damaged due to the weight of people or furniture. This is especially true during the holidays when many households tend to use extension cords for holiday lights.
- Lawn clippings: Piles of lawn clippings near houses and barns have been known to cause both barn and house fires. A pile of lawn clippings will begin to break down and create heat as a result, which will cause a fire. Keep piles of lawn clippings well away from your house.
These are just a few ways to prevent house fires. Educate yourself about fires and what can start them. The more you know, the more preventative measures you can take. At the bare minimum, invest in a good fire alarm system, and some fire extinguishers. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure – and these preventions can literally save your life!
Anne Flemings loves interior designing and is always in pursuit of the latest changes and trends in home improvement. Her other interests lies in cooking, painting and blogging. She is an enthusiast homemaker who lives in Toronto with her husband and two kids. She can be followed on twitter.