Home fires can be a real threat to any home. Whether it’s an apartment, town home, or a self-standing home, fires can occur anywhere. For this reason it is important to be prepared and know ways to prevent a fire from ever occurring in your residence.
When it comes to preventing fires in your home, there are key areas to look at that pose threats. Below we have included six areas of interest.
When it comes to smoking, the best practice is to not smoke in or around your home. We do understand, however, that most people prefer to smoke in the comfort of their own home. So if you are going to smoke in your home, here are some tips to stay as safe as possible.
Smoke on a porch or balcony. You can still seat yourself comfortably and prevent smoke from entering the home.
Whether it is inside or outside, completely extinguish cigarette butts in an ashtray. A can filled with sand works equally as well, as long as the embers are completely and totally extinguished.
Once the cigarette butt is extinguished, soak the butt in water to ensure there are no remaining embers before throwing them in the trash. NEVER throw burning or hot cigarette butts into a trash can.
Do not smoke in bed. This is a huge fire hazard, as drowsiness can occur. If you are sleepy or have been drinking, a lit cigarette can quickly turn your bed into a bonfire.
If there are any oxygen tanks being used in the home, do not smoke in the home. Oxygen is extremely flammable and can cause an explosion if ignited. Even if the oxygen tank is turned off, avoid bringing any open flame near it.
Cooking is one of the biggest sources of fire occurring in the home, due to the appliances typically found in a kitchen. Stoves and ovens burn incredibly hot, and can quickly ignite something if you’re not paying attention.
Always remain in the kitchen when you are cooking. No matter what kind of cooking, whether it’s baking, grilling, or frying, if it involves heat it needs your supervision. If you need to leave the kitchen, even just for a moment, turn off the stove and any other heat sources.
Wear clothes that are close fitting so they don’t catch on anything, and so they don’t accidentally come into contact with any heat sources. If you have sleeves it is best to roll them up.
If there are children in the home, make sure the stove is a no-go zone. Keep children away from any open heat sources.
If you have a bbq grill, make sure it is ten feet away from any sliding railings and deck railings. Also make sure they aren’t near any overhanging branches or protruding bushes.
Whether its a cooking appliance or any other appliance, electrical equipment can cause fires if not properly used and maintained.
Make sure to check the wiring on your appliances. Frayed wires can short, potentially causing sparks and electrical fires. If you find an appliance with damaged wiring, make sure to unplug it immediately and have the wiring replaced.
Here is a lesser known tip: if you encounter a light switch that seems unusually warm or hot to the touch, or if the light continually flickers even with new bulbs, immediately turn off the light switch and call an electrician to take a look at the wiring. This could indicate irregular currents going through the switch, and can cause a short or an electrical fire.
Portable heater and space heaters are great during the cold winter months, especially if you are doing work at a desk, or even just eating breakfast at the table. However, they can pose a massive fire hazard if not properly monitored and used.
Portable heaters send electrical currents through coils to create heat. These coils can sometimes be exposed, creating a hazard for anything that comes into contact with them. You’ll want to keep any combustible items at least three ft. away from any space heaters.
Check that your heater has a controllable thermostat. Bonus points if it has a kill-switch that will turn the unit off if it happens to fall over.
When buying a portable heater, stick to heaters that are nationally recognized by approved institutions.
Fireplaces are a common area in the house for fires to start for obvious reasons.
Similarly to portable heaters, you will want to keep any and all combustible items at least three feet away from the fireplace. Embers are known to fly out of a fireplace.
Make sure you have a screen in front of the open fire, and make sure the screen is heavy. The reason you’ll want a heavier screen is so it can trap logs falling out of the fire place.
Make sure to inspect your pipes and chimney on a monthly basis for any damage or blockages. It is also wise to have them inspected annually by a professional agency to ensure the safety of your home.
Fire can be mesmerizing, and wondrous to behold. Children tend to be naturally curious, and can be drawn to the mesmerizing nature of a fire. For this reason it is important to teach them early on that fire is not a toy, but more of a tool, and that this tool can be very dangerous and harmful if played with.
Store any items that can create a flame, such as lighters, matches, more out of reach of children. If they can be locked away that is better.
If you are cooking and have an open stove, or if there are any open flames around, such as burning candles, do not leave children unattended, even if it is just for a short amount of time. Things can be touched, knocked over, and can cause catastrophe in a matter of minutes.
NEVER use your stove or an oven to heat your house.
Make sure any combustible liquids are kept far away from any flames and heat sources.
Do not use portable generators indoors. Make sure the area is well ventilates and only refuel outside.
While a lot of these tips may seem obvious, it is always food to have a reminder as to how dangerous common every-day items and practices can potentially be. It is always best to be proactive and prepared than reactive and dealing with the consequences of a disaster. For more information of fire prevention or cleanup and restoration, give us a call at 619-284-4239, or contact us at cleanearthrestorations.com.