There are around 1.3 million house fires in the USA each year. These fires destroy property totaling around $14 billion. Not to mention the injuries and the loss of life which also comes as a result of those fires.
However, the saddest part of it all is that a lot of those fires are preventable and if people take just a short time to consult experts like Red Truck Fire & Safety Co. to figure out the best strategies, their homes can be much safer from accidental fires.
Here are some great starting points.
Practice Safe Cooking
The majority of home fires start in the kitchen, largely as a result of a cooking mishap. In order to curb these occurrences, you need to know how to handle a cooking fire.
First of all, keep your kitchen clean. The less clutter there is, the less likely something will accidentally catch fire. All flammable items need to be at least 6 feet away from the stove if possible.
Additionally, a buildup of cooking grease on your crockery, your stove or your range hood can be a strong catalyst if a fire ever occurs, so make sure there is none by cleaning it regularly.
If a cooking fire does start, you should know that the right way to put it out is by depriving it of oxygen i.e. covering it with a cover. Never use water in these situations, or you will only exacerbate the problem.
Maintain Your Fire Safety Equipment
Most houses and all residential buildings have some kind of fire safety equipment. The simplest example is a smoke detector. If you look up in your kitchen, chances are that you will see one. But does it work?
Some people also keep fire extinguishers in their homes, most commonly the type which is good against kitchen fires, which is also not a bad idea.
However, you need to make sure that all of your fire safety equipment works. Smoke detectors can run out of batteries, and fire extinguishers expire. It is actually worse to have faulty fire safety equipment than none, because you may think you are safe when you are in fact not.
Electrical issues can also be a source of house fires. Each outlet in your home has a certain load it can take, and exceeding that load can cause it to overheat, and potentially catch fire. Typically, this happens when people use extension cords as a permanent solution and attach several big consumers on the same outlet.
The fuses you use need to be tailored to your home’s expected power load. If they are too weak, you will get constant power outages, which is not good for your home and is fairly annoying. However, if you install too powerful fuses, they won’t blow out in time to save your home from an overload, which is equally bad, if not worse.
However, danger from electricity can come from simpler things, too. For example, frayed and cracked insulation on cords is an immediate red flag, and you should replace it as soon as possible.
There are plenty of home appliances that use heat and which might be a potential fire hazard if not treated carefully.
First and foremost, the electric heaters need to be used according to the manufacturers’ instructions, and not left unattended. Similarly, the clothes dryers are a cause of many small fires in the household. Typically, someone forgets to clean their filter and the lint which collects there acts like tinder and catches fire.
Be Mindful of Flammable Materials
A lot of us store flammable substances in our homes, most commonly in the garage. If you have a can of gasoline for your lawn mower, some paint and paint thinners on the shelves, or even a gas tank for grilling, you need to make sure that these items are stored away from direct sunlight and other potential sources of fire.
Keeping your home safe from fire is in your best interest, and it doesn’t need to be difficult or life-altering.