Fire Safety Home Check: Is Your House Safe?
Staying safe is one of the best ways to avoid catastrophes. Doing a fire safety home check can help you avoid an incident. Even if you’re covered by your insurance company in the event of a housefire, prevention still takes first prize over-claiming for damages. Regardless of whether a fire is big or small, there’s a good chance you’ll lose possessions that are valuable to you. Here’s what you can do to improve your fire safety at home.
How to Do A Fire Safety Home Check?
A fire safety home check is something you can do yourself by simply planning ahead. In a fire safety home check, you will consider a few ways in which you can do to improve the fire safety of your home.
A few things you need to consider during your fire safety check include:
• How will you and your family escape the house in the event of a fire?
• Do you have any systems in place to warn you when a fire breaks out?
• What are you doing to eradicate potential fire hazards in your home?
• Is your family educated on what to do in the ever of a fire?
Certain areas of the home are more prone to harboring fire hazards than others. Regardless, a fire can start in your home anywhere at any time without you knowing. Within only a few short minutes, the fire can entirely engulf your house, leaving little time to escape or try to extinguish the flames.
Too many homeowners don’t realize just how fast the flames from a house fire can spread. Worse yet, smoke from a house fire can easily suffocate house occupants long before the flames reach them. Even pets are at high risk of injury or death from fires – causing a devasting sense of loss for all survivors.
Home Fire Prevention Check
You need an action plan for what your family will do if a fire starts in your home. However, before thinking about the worst-case scenario, consider how you can prevent a fire from starting to begin with.
Here are a few things you can do to prevent house fires.
Educate Children on Fire Safety
Fire safety is an absolutely crucial part of preventing a house fire. Be sure your children know how to stay safe around potential fire hazards. Discuss everything from how to work with electricity, to staying safe in the kitchen.
Never allow young children to work with potential fire hazards unsupervised. Children under the age of 12 shouldn’t be allowed to cook alone, for instance.
Get Your Chimney Cleaned
Chimney fires are one of the leading causes of house fires in the US. Not only is chimney fire common, but they’re also very dangerous.
A chimney fire can start without anyone even noticing. Once the fire starts to spread, it can be a matter of seconds before it’s out of control.
Homeowners with chimneys are advised to book an annual chimney inspection with a qualified, registered chimney sweep.
Electrical Fire Safety
Negligence when using electricity around the house is another leading cause of house fires. If you suspect anything might be wrong with your electrical wiring, don’t hesitate to call a qualified electrician to have a look.
Furthermore, you should avoid using any appliance if you suspect it has an electrical problem.
Be sure to turn off any potentially hazardous electrical equipment before leaving home. This includes stoves, ovens, clothing irons, heaters (both electrical and gas) and tumble dryers.
Also, avoid using electricity in a potentially hazardous way. Misuses of extension cords and multi plugs can lead you to overload the system. Never run two appliances that require a lot of power from the same outlet simultaneously.
Practice Caution While Smoking
Smoldering cigarette butts can easily set alight objects around the house. The best way to prevent this problem is to smoke outside the house and discard butts in a special cigarette butt container.
When smoking inside the house, it’s also recommended to discard of butts in a closed container where the butts can blow away in a sudden draft. Keep butts and ashes away from soft, flammable objects, such as couches, curtaining, linen, stacks of paper and carpets.
Fire Control Home Check
Although there are various ways to prevent a fire at home, you should also have systems in place in case a fire does break out. Find ways to control small fires by putting them out before they spread. Making sure you have ways to extinguish fires should be part of your fire safety home check.
Install Smoke Detectors
Smoke detectors can help sound off an alarm, sometimes even before the first flame emerges. Burning food on the stove, smoking electrical wiring and other fire hazards can potentially set off the alarm early.
As an added benefit, a smoke detector and fire alarm system can help you save money on your monthly homeowner’s insurance premiums.
Learn How to Kill Different Fires
All too often, fires that could’ve been prevented are able to spread simply because an unknowing individual tried to extinguish them using incorrect methods. Using the wrong methods to extinguish a fire isn’t just a mistake, it’s also dangerous, as it can cause the flames to burst suddenly onto the person attempting to extinguish them.
Water is effective in extinguishing many kinds of fires, but not all. Most kitchen fires, for instance, can’t be extinguished using water. To know how to put a fire out, it’s important to know what caused the fire.
If you fire erupts in the kitchen as a result of deep-frying oil overheating, water won’t work. Better methods to kill the flames would be to use buckets of sand or to place a lid on the pot to allow the fire to suffocate. Ideally, however, a class C fire extinguisher should be used to put out an oil fire.
Keep Fire Extinguishers in the House
As mentioned, there are different kinds of fire extinguishers for different types of fire. Most homes should at least a class A, B and C extinguisher available. Class A extinguishers can be used for wood fires, paper fires and on burning furniture. Class B extinguishers should be kept close to the kitchen or garage, as they are suitable to put out oil-based fires caused by burning cooking oil or flammable gasoline. Class C fire extinguishers are suitable to use on electrical fires.
Planning an Emergency Evacuation
Unfortunately, some fires just can’t be stopped. In the event of an uncontrollable fire, your fire safety home check should include an evacuation plan. If your house has two levels, consider keeping a ladder on the upper floor so you’re able to climb out from the upper windows if a fire is blocking the exit downstairs.
Be sure everyone knows what the plan is in the event of a fire. Plan at least two escape routes for each room and assign a certain place outside as an emergency assembly point.
Fire safety can be a difficult subject to discuss. When talking to your family about preventing fires at home, try to instill the importance of practicing good fire safety with them. At the same time, avoid causing unnecessary fear and stress to the importance of staying calm even in the event of an emergency. You don’t have to live your life in constant fear of a house fire, but you must be mindful to avoid dangerous situations.
Your fire safety home check should help you stay in control of fire prevention in your home – giving your peace of mind and an action plan for any situation.