Fire prevention - have you ever taken steps to avoid a fire in your home?
There are events in life you never think will happen to you.
You're just going along, without a care in the world, and suddenly - there it is. It could be a car accident, a health issue, a lawsuit, or a fire burning down your home. Whatever the case, your world is turned upside down and you're facing a scenario you never imagined happening to you.
Luckily, there are some scenarios you can help prevent if you're willing to think about them before they happen. Implementing some fire safety precautions, for instance, could save your home from a potential disaster.
Keep reading to learn our best fire prevention tips for your home!
1. Clean Your Oven
A stove or oven won't randomly start on fire, but if bits of food become stuck on the burner or heating element, it could combust. Make sure to clean up all messes from boiled over or spilled food before using the oven again.
It's also a good habit to routinely clean your stovetop and oven in case you overlook or forget a food mess.
2. Test Your Smoke Alarms
Your smoke alarm might be your first line of defense in the event of a fire. Every smoke alarm comes equipped with a little test button that you can push to ensure it is functioning properly.
If the device gives a good strong beep, you're in the clear. If the beep seems small or weak, change the batteries to be safe. A good practice is to check the alarms in your home once a month.
You should have smoke alarms installed in the kitchen, in every bedroom, and near utilities.
3. Inspect and Maintain Your Heating System
Fires frequently start near heating sources. Make sure that your heating system is inspected and maintained by a professional regularly.
Change your air filter every year before turning the system on for cold weather, and check it frequently. Make sure the area surrounding the heater is clear of clutter and flammable materials.
4. Don't Leave Fire Unattended
Whether it's the flame on your cooktop or a candle on a shelf, make sure live flames are never left unattended. A fire can start in the space of a moment, so walking away, even just to grab something in another room, could be a potential disaster.
Make sure candles aren't placed too near flammable materials like curtains or pillows. Blow them out if you have to step out of the room for any reason, to avoid getting sidetracked and forgetting about them.
Keep towels and food waiting to be cooked away from the stove, and don't leave your cooking while the stove is on.
5. Keep Debris Away From Your Home
Piles of firewood, leaves, and garbage need to be stored away from your home. A pile of dry, flammable materials can quickly combust. If you're keeping it next to your home, chances are good your house will also catch on fire.
6. Take Care With Your Cords
Regularly check the cords in your home. If you notice one with frayed ends, cuts and scrapes, or loose prongs, retire it.
Try not to use extension cords or power bars except where necessary, as they can overload a circuit if used improperly. Don't allow cords to sit under rugs, as the plugs can get hot when in use.
7. Keep Your Dryer Clean and Safe
A dryer filter full of lint can be a fire waiting to happen. It only takes a moment to check and clean the lint trap before using the dryer, but it can save you a real headache.
You should also check under and behind the dryer on a regular basis, in case stray socks or washrags get trapped near the heating element.
8. Keep an Extinguisher on Hand
Statistics show that over 90 percent of reported fires are managed with fire extinguishers of some sort. Keeping an automatic fire extinguisher like the AFG Fireball near areas where a fire is likely means you can stop a fire before it becomes an out of control problem.
9. Properly Store Chemicals and Combustibles
Beauty products like hairspray, common household cleaning agents, and home care items like paint are all highly flammable. Additionally, combustible materials like wood, drywall and storage items can be an issue if stored too near heat-producing items.
Make sure you store these chemicals and combustibles away from sources of heat and fire.
10. Take Care of Your Wood Stove or Fireplace
If you have a wood stove or fireplace, make sure you keep it cleaned and maintained. Regularly check and clean your flue and chimney, where creosote can build up and ignite.
Let ashes cool before removing and discarding them, and make sure you dump them in an area with no flammable materials nearby. Make sure you store wood away from the stove, where embers can jump out and ignite nearby materials.
Fire Prevention: Make Your Home Fire Proof
Fire prevention isn't difficult - it's just good common sense mixed with regular inspection and maintenance practices.