Fire Prevention: Tips and Advice
Fire safety is always a topic of concern. According the the National Fire Protection Agency, between 2007 and 2011, American homeowners lost more than $30 billion in property damage due to home fires. The dollar figures are shocking – fire is one of the biggest residential dangers that applies to every household. And as we continue to upsize our houses and install more electronics, it’s become even more important to prevent the avoidable fire hazards scattered around our homes.
Home fire safety tips
Remember, it’s the little things.
Protecting yourself against house fires doesn’t mean you have to totally revamp your lifestyle or remodel your home. It’s all about using caution, making careful decisions and making some small changes here and there. Take a look at our home fire prevention tips to help yourself along the way:
Fire safety in the kitchen
- Keep your napkins and paper towels far from your stovetop. You’d be surprised how many unsuspected fires start with a misplaced cloth. It’s a quick fix: Just keep a designated spot for all your cleaning supplies and put a napkin holder in the center of your table.
- Keep a fire extinguisher nearby. Grease fires and electrical fires don’t respond well to water; you need a foam or chemical extinguisher if you want to put them out safely. Keep one on hand and don’t hesitate to call 911 if you feel threatened.
- Clean, clean and clean again. Make sure there’s no grease or grime caught in your microwave, oven or stove. And be sure to wipe up all your spills. It’s one of the simplest, yet most effect fire prevention tips.
- Home fire prevention extends to your wardrobe, too. Tie back your hair and roll up your sleeves when you’re cooking. You don’t want to leave the possibility of catching an errant spark.
Fire safety in the Living Room
- Think about where you place candles. Keep them away from drapes, blankets or other pieces of fabric that could easily catch fire.
- Vent all your electronics properly. Remember that TVs, stereo systems and DVD players need some room to cool off. Don’t wedge them into a tight space without a little space to breathe. You’ll risk overheating your devices.
- Smoke detectors aren’t just for the kitchens and bedrooms – you can always afford to add another alarm in your common areas. You never know when an accident could happen, and it’s best to be prepared for anything.
- Know the fastest way out of your home. Fire safety tips aren’t just about prevention, they’re also about reaction. Organize an escape route for you and your family in the event of a flare-up.
Fire safety in the Bedroom
- Minimize the amount of devices connected to a power outlet. If you’re using a power strip, make sure it has a quality surge protector.
- Get rid of your old mattress. Mattresses made after 2007 should adhere to higher standards of fire safety according to the Federal Mattress Flammability Standard. If your mattress was made before then, it might not be up to snuff.
- Ordinary fire prevention tips would tell you be careful with a bedroom space heart, but you’re best off keeping the space heater out of your bedroom altogether. Throw on an extra blanket instead.
- Turn everything off before you go to sleep. Heating pads, incandescent bulbs and electric blankets can all be a hazard if they overheat and you’re asleep. Plus, it couldn’t hurt to be smarter about your energy usage.
Fire safety in garages and workshops
- Keep flammable materials away from heat sources. Always avoid storing gasoline, paint thinners and other flammable liquids in garages and other enclosed work spaces that may also be near furnaces and water heaters.
- Immediately clean up any spilled hazardous materials – and do a thorough job. This includes flammable liquids, oily rags and sawdust or wood chips.
- When working with or near flames and flammable materials, always wear safety goggles and proper clothing to avoid burns.
- Always keep a fire extinguisher handy, fully charged and easily within reach.
Fire safety in your home office
- Don’t overload power strips or electrical outlets with too many plugs.
- Keep computers, electronics and other devices well ventilated. Set them up with enough surrounding space so that they won’t overheat, and never stack them on top of each other.
- Turn off all devices completely before you leave the office. Many people leave their home computers in sleep mode when they’re not in use, but they could still end up overheating.
- Discard trash, litter and papers regularly so that you don’t have fire hazards piling up around your workspace, especially in areas near electronic devices or anything else that could be a potential fire hazard.
Fire safety in the yard
- When grilling out, whether in the yard itself or on a back porch or patio, always make sure to place the grill a safe distance from your home and any other structures.
- Never leave a cooking fire unattended. Torches, candles, cigarettes and any other flammable materials should be completely extinguished, even if it means dousing them with water.
- Store firewood and other combustible materials a safe distance away from your home.
- Clear and dispose of dry, dead vegetation in your yard, especially during summer months, to avoid fire hazards.
Home security and fire safety
The two go hand in hand. Follow the tips above, and give us a call when you’re ready to outfit your home with the best home monitoring service available. Protect your home on all fronts – from fire to break-ins to carbon monoxide. With the help of a home security system, you can improve your peace of mind all the way around.