How to Fireproof Your Home

Every day, seven people die in a house fire in the United States and every five years, 1 in every 310 households will experience a house fire. Fire damage causes billions of dollars of damage each year. If you are worrying about the safety of your home and family, here are seven tips to help fireproof your home.

The use of fire extinguishers

Be Prepared

The best way to keep you and your family safe is to prepare for fires. Keep fire extinguishers handy so that you can nip fires in the bud. It is important to keep them in the kitchen (where most fires start), but also in the attic, basement, and garage. Also make sure that you have smoke detectors in every room, and test them at least twice per year. If the batteries are weak, replace the batteries as soon as possible. Create a fire escape plan that includes a safe meeting spot. Conduct fire drills with your family often to ensure that they know what to do in case of emergency. It may be a good idea to keep something nearby the windows that you or your kids can use to smash them if they are trapped inside.

Remove Clutter

Many fires start because there are lots of things sitting around that can catch fire. Your old clothes, newspapers, toys, paint cans, and more sit around just waiting for a tiny spark to ignite them into a flaming blaze. Keeping your house tidy will cut down on fire hazards. It’s also important to keep your garage clean, as many things commonly stored there are dangerous.

Never Leave an Open Flame Unattended

If you have a fireplace in your home, or you just like burning candles, never leave the flames unattended. A rogue gust of wind or hyperactive child can cause the flame to spread, potentially setting your house ablaze. You should also never leave your kids with fire unattended. Instead of using candles with fire, use LED candles to set the mood. Or if you burn candles for the scent, use incense and essential oils instead.

House on fire

Be Careful Around Heat Sources

Heat sources such as furnaces, ovens, space heaters, and even blow dryers can catch fire if they are not properly taken care of. If something flammable comes in contact with the electrical heating element, it can create a burning flame. Never drape anything over heat sources, and make sure that nothing flammable comes in contact with them. For example, if you store towels near your oven, make sure that they don’t become trapped inside, and potentially catch fire.

Don’t Overload Circuits

If you consistently blow a fuse, that is a sign that you are overloading your wires. If you live in an older home, your house may not be equipped to handle the amount of electricity your family needs (older homes only have about half of the electricity capacity needed). Don’t “piggyback” or “daisy chain” your extension cords, as you can exceed the wattage amount of a circuit. Major appliances such as refrigerators, air conditioning units, and stoves, should be plugged into their own outlet. If you hear crackling, sizzling, or buzzing, or if your lights flicker occasionally, get your wires inspected by an electrician. Mice and other rodents may also chew through wires, making the exposed metal short circuit or heat up, causing nearby insulation to ignite. If you have a rodent problem, take care of it immediately.

Maintain Your Furnace

Your furnace uses fire to produce heat in your home, and if you don’t maintain it, it can become a fire hazard. Replace the filter frequently, according to the manufacturer’s directions. Clogged filters can overheat your furnace, causing damage and potential fires. Don’t store flammable materials near the furnace, and be especially careful if your furnace is in the laundry room. Never try to make repairs to your furnace yourself, and call a technician instead.

Smoke Detector

Be Smart

In the end, it comes down to being smart. Don’t leave matches where your kids can find them, teach your kids the danger of fire, turn off electrical appliances when not in use, maintain your appliances, and don’t overload your circuits. No one is immune to the dangers of household fires. Assess your house to make sure that you don’t have any fire hazards threatening you and your family, and take care of them immediately.

For more helpful information here is a list of things that you should never keep in your garage.

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