Every year in the U.S., hundreds of thousands of home fires cause thousands of deaths and injuries and millions of dollars in property damage. Many of the home fires are completely preventable if the right steps are taken. Since most home fires are caused by daily activities, taking a proactive approach and exercising mindfulness can play a big part in home fire prevention.
Inspect the Home for Hazards
Faulty wiring and overloaded electric outlets can cause house fires that may begin undetected. Clutter around hot water heaters, gas systems, and space heaters also create a hazardous environment conducive to fires. Inspecting the home for these types of hazards and minimizing the risks can help keep your family and home safe. If the home is older, it may be prudent to hire a professional to inspect the wiring and gas lines for safety.
Be Mindful When Cooking
Most home fires start with someone cooking. Cooking automatically introduces fire hazards, so it is very important to prepare your area before cooking and to be aware throughout the entire cooking process. Clean any grease or debris that is on burners or in the oven before firing these appliances up. Be sure to keep potholders, towels, and other flammable objects and substances away from heat and flames while cooking. If you must leave the kitchen while cooking, shut off all cooking appliances.
Exercise Caution with Open Flames
Fireplaces, candles, and oil lamps can be particularly hazardous if used improperly or left unattended. Again, all flammable objects and substances should be kept well away from open flames. Before going to bed or leaving the home, be sure to put out all flames completely. When using a fireplace or decorative items with open flames, these things should be within site at all times.
Test Smoke Detectors Monthly
Smoke detectors can be annoying, but they can save lives. Smoke detectors should be tested at least once a month and the batteries should be changed as necessary. If smoke detectors are not present in the home, they are inexpensive to purchase and easy to install.
Prepare for Fire
Preparing for fire by procuring fire extinguishers, having an evacuation plan, and knowing how to get in touch with emergency and restoration services in the area can prevent tragedies and save heartache in the event of a fire. If the fire cannot be put out with fire extinguishers or spreads too fast, an evacuation plan can help to keep the family safe from harm. After the family has been safely evacuated, emergency services should be contacted. Once the fire has been safely extinguished, calling restoration services as soon as possible will help minimize the damage to the home and belongings.