Fire damage is one of the scariest types of damage there is. A house fire can appear seemingly out of nowhere and rapidly spread throughout your property, destroying your belongings and putting your and your loved ones’ lives in danger.
To make matters worse, it’s often not even your fault. An electrical malfunction in a neighbor’s condo, or a lightning bolt that strikes a tree outside your house, can cause fire to affect your property even if you took the necessary precautions.
The good news is, most house fires can be prevented with a little care and foresight. In the following article, we’ll give you 9 great tips on how to minimize the possibility of your property catching on fire.
Do the following:
1. Get a few fire extinguishers
If you haven’t already, you should buy some fire extinguishers and keep one in every area of your home where a fire may break out (eg., the kitchen). Every member of your household should be aware of where the fire extinguishers are located and know how to use them.
2. Give your smoke alarms regular checkups
Smoke alarms are equipped with a little button that, when you press it, lets out a beep that tells you the alarm’s batteries are still going strong. However, if the beep is weak or if the alarm doesn’t beep at all, that likely means the batteries need to be changed or that the smoke alarm may be faulty.
3. Clean your oven and stove regularly
Leftover food particles on the burner can sometimes get too hot while you’re using the stove and combust unexpectedly. This can easily cause any curtains, dish towels, cookbooks, or other flammable matter near the stove to catch fire.
4. Make sure your heating sources are in good shape
Faulty heating sources can be the cause of a major house fire, so having them professionally inspected on a yearly basis is absolutely crucial. If you’re using a space heater, make sure to keep it away from anything flammable when it’s in use, and clean it regularly.
5. Be careful when storing flammable items
We tend to see household cleaning products and cosmetic items such as shaving cream and hairspray as harmless, but the reality is that they can be hazardous. Always keep them away from space heaters and store them in a cool area.
6. Throw away damaged cords
Chewed or frayed cords are a serious fire hazard. Even if they seem to be working fine, it’s almost certainly better to discard them and buy new ones. You should also refrain from running long cords underneath your carpet or between your furniture and the wall, as warm cords can sometimes cause fires to break out.
7. Make sure your laundry dryer is in good condition
Like heating systems, laundry dryers should be professionally inspected on an annual basis. Remember to clean the lint trap after putting in a new load of laundry, and check behind the dryer to make sure lint or small clothing items haven’t fallen into the gap between the dryer and the wall.
8. Candles can be dangerous
We all love scented candles, but not handling them with care can easily result in a house fire. Never go to sleep before blowing out every candle, and keep them away from carpets, curtains, bedsheets, tablecloths, magazines, books, and other easily flammable materials.
Be extra careful if you’re a pet owner. Cats and dogs can easily tip a candle over while playing and cause it to fall on a rug or a similar surface. In especially bad cases, they may even cause your pets’ fur to catch on fire.
Learn How to Disconnect Your Water and Electricity
If a fire occurs, you may need to disconnect your electricity and water in order to save your home from further damage. Electricity can be a problem for firefighters who will use water to put out the fire, and your home’s water systems may start leaking, causing further damage.
To learn more about prevention, follow this link to additional resources.