Preventing Fires in Your Home

Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world, and a fire could start in your family’s home at any time. However, there are things you can do to prevent this type of disaster from happening, and there are also things you can do to plan for your family’s escape if needed.

Here are some tips for preventing a deadly fire in your home.

Cooking

When you are preparing meals, stay in the kitchen at all times. Do not leave even for a few minutes as this could be when pots boil over or something burns in the oven. Point handles of pots and pans away from the edge of the stove. Long sleeves should be rolled up. Keep towels away from anything that could be flammable. Keep a fire extinguisher handy in your kitchen.

Heating

If you are using electric space heaters, make sure they have a UL marking on them. This means that they have been tested and approved by the Underwriters Laboratories. Keep space heaters 4-5 feet away from anything that may be flammable. When you go to sleep or leave a room, shut the heater off. It’s also wise to purchase heaters that automatically shut off after so many hours. As with any appliance, make sure you are using it in accordance with the instruction manual.

Fireplaces

Many people love using a fireplace on chilly fall and winter days to keep warm and cozy. However, before using it this season, have a professional inspect and clean out the fireplace thoroughly. Never leave a fireplace burning without being in the room. When you are finished burning the fire, place ashes in a non-flammable container with water in the bottom, and leave it outside of your home.

Landscaping

Make sure that you trim tree limbs to be at least twenty feet away from the top of your chimney. Also, instead of burning dead leaves and limbs, use them in a compost pile. This is much safer, great for your lawn and you won’t have to stand over a fire, breathing in dangerous contaminants from the smoke.

Electrical outlets and wiring

If you live in a home that is more than a few decades old, have a professional electrician check outlets and wiring. Never overload an outlet or power strip. If you smell a burning odor coming from an outlet, unplug everything connected to it and contact an electrician immediately.

Fire Safety

It’s important to do the following to protect yourself and your family should a fire ever break out in your home:

  • Have working smoke alarms installed on every level of your home, and outside of every bedroom.
  • Have a working fire extinguisher in the kitchen and garage.
  • Buy and practice using rope or chain-link ladders to make it easy to escape from upper levels of the home.
  • Use non-flammable building materials on your roof, siding and insulation, as well as inside your home with fire-proof furniture and decorations.
  • Have a fire sprinkler system installed.
  • Install a fireproof safe where you can keep valuable belongings and important documents.
  • Most importantly, plan and practice a fire escape plan with all members of your family.

These tips will help prevent potential disasters in your home. Be sure you take the opportunity to create and practice a fire escape plan with your family.