Follow These Tips to Make Your Home Fire Safe
As a homeowner, you understand the importance of fire safety. Not only is your home worth money but it’s also a place of warmth and comfort for you and your family. Some of the possession we value most are stored within our homes. However, natural disasters and fire pose a constant threat. You might think that you’ve taken the necessary steps to avoid catastrophe. Still, here are just a few tips to make your home fire safe.
#1: Seriously, Have Working Smoke Detectors
First and foremost, you need to install working smoke detectors in every room. There’s no way around this. Smoke detectors are essential to keeping you, your family, and your most prized positions safe. Many homeowners neglect to install enough smoke detectors and will fail to replace the batteries in the smoke detectors they’ve already installed. Depending on the size of your home, apartment, or condo, and the size of each room, you might need a smoke detector for each room. Keep in mind that the type of smoke detector installed also varies. Ionization smoke detectors are the cheapest and work well with flaming fires while photoelectric smoke detectors can sense smoldering fires. Though photoelectric fire detectors work best, they’re more expensive. Furthermore, make sure you change the batteries in your smoke detectors at least once every year.
#2: You NEED a Fire Extinguisher, or two
Most Americans have at least one fire extinguisher laying around the house. More than likely, that single fire extinguisher is probably located somewhere near a stove or cooking appliance. That’s a smart place to store it. However, the kitchen isn’t the only place that experiences fires. All homeowners need at least one fire extinguisher, however, ideally, you should have more than one. Fire extinguishers should be located in garages, near fuse boxes, and one on each level of the house. The good thing is that fire extinguisher have decreased in price and homeowners can save when they buy in bulk. The same goes for smoke detectors.
#3: Prevent Electrical Fires
Addressing the factors that contribute to electrical fires doesn’t happen enough. Faulty electrical systems and wiring not only puts residents at an elevated risk for electrocution but also fires. To prevent electrical fires, a variety of steps can be taken. For example, just altering the way in which you treat electronics and electrical cords can reduce the risk of an electrical fire. When plugging something in, don’t jam the prongs into the outlet. Similarly, when removing wires, have a firm grip on the cord and don’t yank. It’s also essential that you have an electrician take a look at your home’s electrical systems once a year. A few other tips include not removing the grounding prong (third prong) to fit a two-prong outlet, don’t use extension cords as a permanent solution, not overload outlets, and make sure you are using the correct lightbulbs.
#4: Consistently Update Appliances, Heating Systems
Old stuff including old appliances, old TVs, and old AC/heating systems can be disastrous. Always make sure to update old appliances. If an appliance starts acting up, runs hot, or is just old, replace it. Not only do new appliances lower the risk for household fires but they also reduce energy costs.
#5: Have a Plan for When Disaster Strikes
Sometimes, prevention simply isn’t enough. Maybe it’s a cooking accident or maybe something out of your control. However, if disaster should strike and a fire threatens your home and its residents, you need to have a plan. Know the best ways to evacuate from any room and for larger families, have a designated meeting area once the home is evacuated. If you aren’t able to douse a fire using a fire extinguisher or by starving it of oxygen, there’s nothing you can do. You need to get out of the house and contact the fire department. Safety is more important than trying to be the hero.