According to a five-year study by the U.S. Fire Administration, there are on average 358,500 house fires per year. Over a five-year period, house fires caused 2,620 deaths and $6.9 billion in property damage. House fires are a very real danger for homeowners. But very few homeowners have a plan for protecting their homes from fire or a plan for what to do in case of fire.
A home fire is a devastating event. By taking some simple precautions, however, you can help protect your home and family from this tragedy.
In this article, we will share some easy ways to protect your home from fire and a shortlist of what to do if there is a fire.
Protecting Your Home From Fire
Don’t overload electrical outlets
Electrical fires are a real danger but many of these fires can be avoided by considering how much you are asking of a single electrical outlet. If you find yourself plugging multiple power adapters into one outlet, you can almost guarantee you are overloading the outlet. Although having an electrician add extra outlets to your home can feel like an unnecessary expense, it’s better than the alternative – a house fire.
Dryer vent cleaning
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, “2,900 home clothes dryer fires are reported each year and cause an estimated 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss.” One of the leading causes of home fires is the failure to clean the dryer. Lint and other debris can build up in your vent, causing a fire hazard. Be sure to professionally clean your vent at least once a year to reduce the risk of a home fire. Let our team help you clean your dryer vents.
Keep a fire extinguisher in an easily accessible location
Small fires can become big fires quickly. Being prepared with a fire extinguisher could make all the difference. We suggest keeping fire extinguishers in the kitchen, the laundry room, and the garage as these areas are the most likely places for fires to start.
Did you know there are more than 25,000 chimney fires each year in the United States? Those fires cost homeowners over 125 million dollars in property damage. The good news is that most of these fires are preventable.
A regular inspection is one of the most important ways to avoid home fires. A build-up of soot and creosote can cause a chimney fire. It’s important to have your chimney cleaned and inspected by a professional annually and cleaned if necessary. Contact us to schedule your annual inspection.
Never leave candles unattended
The danger of leaving a candle unattended is clear but it is something fire departments worldwide see happen on a daily basis. We suggest creating a candle protocol for the whole family. Make sure everybody knows that when you walk out of a room, you turn out the lights and blow out the candles. Whatever the rule, make it a hard and fast one so everybody understands the dangers of leaving a candle unattended.
Keep flammable liquids away from heat sources
If your home is like ours, it is easy to see how people make the mistake of storing flammable liquids near a heat source. Storage space is tight in most homes and too often we store for convenience, not safety. We often see homeowners storing paint thinner in their laundry room or near their furnace. This is extremely dangerous and easily remedied with just a little thought.
Close the valve on your propane tank after each use.
Just this week there was an explosion due to a leak from a propane tank. Closing the value may prevent leaks such as this.
Create and practice a home fire escape plan
Having and practicing a fire escape plan is an important step in keeping your family safe. Be sure to have a meetup spot once you are out so you will know everybody is safe.
What To Do If There’s A Fire
Okay, you are working hard to keep your family safe. You are avoiding the dangers and have created a plan for getting everybody out of the house in case something happens. But what should you do if a fire does break out in your home?
Here are some easy-to-remember instructions just in case:
- Get everyone out of the house immediately.
- Call 911 from a safe location.
- Don’t try to fight the fire yourself.
- Once you’re outside, stay there until the firefighters arrive.
By following these simple tips, you can help keep your home and family safe.