No matter what the weather is, fire accidents can happen any time, anywhere, and this is the reason why you have to take extra precautions with the things inside your house to avoid getting it caught on fire.
If you’ve been watching the news, you will notice how a fire can ignite from the most unexpected scenarios, so it’s better to be safe than sorry later. In taking care of our homes, we have to be proactive to ensure that nothing will go wrong. Here are seven helpful tips to avoid fire accidents at your home:
- Be Careful of Your Candles
It’s interesting to note that candles cause around 8,200 house fires per year in the United States and that these occur most commonly during New Year’s Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve.
Candles may seem small and innocuous, but this simple open flame can flicker up and set your night on fire. As a suggestion, keep candles away from flammable surfaces and children away from candles.
- Have an A-B-C Fire Extinguisher, and a Class K Extinguisher for the Kitchen
Not all fire extinguishers are made equal.
For example, we know we can not use water to snuff out an electric fire unless we want to get electrocuted in the process.
The general rule of thumb is that it is best to have a dry-powder fire extinguisher (or an A-B-C fire extinguisher) at home because they have a larger coverage for putting out different types of fires.
- Baby-Safe Your Home
As cute as children are, they are naturally inquisitive and are also one of the leading causes of house fires. There are even instances where a toddler would pick up a fork, among other things, and courageously jam it into a stray power outlet for kicks and giggles.
Needless to say, curiosity killed the cat and burned down a large portion of the home.
We know that telling your child to not do something results in them doing the exact opposite, and it is our job as adults to prevent such unthinkable scenarios from occurring in the first place. Take, for example, using plastic outlet covers. Your child’s life is priceless; a plastic outlet plug on eBay costs six bucks.
- Do not Leave Power Tools Near Combustible Surfaces
Power tools, or hardware tools as some call them, that involves what the NFPA calls, ‘hot work’ causes an estimate of 4,500 house fire per year from 2014 to 2018. In many of these cases, the fire started because a freshly used hardware tool was left alone near a combustible surface, and mind you, it wasn’t even turned on. Keep in mind that you do not need fire to start a fire – all you need is oxygen, a combustible object, and heat.
Additionally, apply the same principle for your heater, refrigerator, clothes dryer, electric fans, and other appliances that heat up over time – make sure there is enough space between those and your bed, kitchen table, or walls that could catch on fire.
- Check Your Wires
The wires that carry power around your house cause an overwhelmingly high number of electrical fires, and this type of fire accident is difficult to extinguish because you cannot just chuck water on them and not get electrocuted in return.
To extinguish fire caused by electrical wires, you will have to dump as much as a gallon of baking soda on it in the absence of a fire extinguisher, and who has that much baking soda in their house?
For additional fire prevention tips, here are some electrical safety tips provided by the Countryside Fire Protection:
- Replace old cords on electrical devices, particularly if you can see that they are frayed or loose; make this habit of checking your wires when cleaning around the house.
- Only use one high-wattage device per power board.
- Avoid “cube taps.” These devices allow you to plug multiple devices into one outlet; similarly, do not plug power boards into other power boards unless you want to overload them.
- Get a qualified electrician to install more power outlets so you can minimize the use of extension cords.
- Take time to read manufacturer instructions on connecting devices to power outlets; they might have special instructions you need to check so you do not accidentally burn your house down.o
- Do Not Let Grease Build Up On Your Stovetop
If there is anything science class taught us, it is that oil is flammable, and oil is something we use every time we cook.
This is one of those things where you wouldn’t think two things are hazardous together simply because we place cooking oil near fire and gas almost daily, but we know to never smoke a cigarette anywhere near a gas station.
Take that mindset and apply it on a greasy stove that’s directly beside or over a small tank of butane – that’s the gas tank connected to your stove.
Imagine what would be the most likely to happen when you ignite a stovetop dripping with grease.
- Have a Fire Alarm System Installed
You knew this was coming.
You were probably looking through this list because you wanted to know all the ways you could avoid fire accidents WITHOUT having to spend money on a fire alarm system, but the hard truth is: there’s no telling when and where a fire might occur.
Did you know that only a small percentage of electrical fires in homes occur between 12 am and 4 am, and these fires account for nearly a quarter of all civilian deaths attributable to electrical fires? That means that the likelihood of a fire accident in the wee hours of the morning is small, but when it does, there’s a one out of four chance that you’re toast.
Although having something like a home fire prevention checklist will help you take active measures to reduce the risks, it will not wake you up when your house is burning down while you are deep in slumber.
Having a proper system in place, like a smoke alarm in every room to alert you within minutes of a fire’s incidence, gives you enough time to react and save your family’s life and your assets.
Sometimes a fire can even ignite from extreme weather conditions. Another tip we can give you is adding flame-resistant vinyl to your patio enclosures and awning to avoid catching fire under extreme heat.
Fire hazards are present all over our home, some more obvious than others.
We hope that after this article, you will become more aware of the dangers to look out for to avoid a house fire.
If nothing else, make sure you write down your home fire prevention checklist, install a smoke alarm detector, and get a fire extinguisher at the very least. By being prepared, we can snuff out a fire before it long before it becomes a real threat.