Avoiding a Potential Fire Disaster at Home
It's not every day that we think about fire prevention for homes, but you should take a couple days a year to make sure that your family is as protected as possible when it comes to house fires.
It's estimated that in and 12 there was approximately 400,000 house fires in North America. This resulted in almost 13,000 injuries and $6 billion in damages. House fires are one of the most costly, damaging and preventable home disasters that we face in North America. Fire is a deadly threat and in the home can because by numerous things such as candles, smoking, plug dryer vents, electrical faults, cooking and many more. Advances in both fire detection and fire suppression have made most of the situations avoidable follow along in this article about some of the main causes of house fires and how to prevent them.
Top five causes of house fires.
1. Improper use of candles: it is estimated that in the United States there are 42 fires per day that are started by the careless handling of candles. Always keep candles in a sturdy holder and on a level surface, make sure they're out of the reach of children and pets, also make sure there's no combustible materials close by. Never leave candles burning on attended if you're going to be leaving the room blow the candles out first.
2. Electrical hazards: many fires are started simply because we plug too many things into a single outlet that overloads the wiring. If you want an older home it's a good idea to have a qualified electrician come in and inspect your electrical system making sure that is up to code.
3. Christmas decorations: although beautiful Christmas decorations to be an extreme fire hazard, including the tree. Make sure if you have a live tree that you keep it well watered you don't want to drying out well at the same time hanging Christmas lights which are heat source all over it. Switching your lights to new or LED lights that are much cooler than traditional Christmas decorations is a good idea.
4. Heating equipment and dryer vents: you should have your furnace, fireplace chimney and dryer vent system checked annually by a qualified service technician to make sure everything is functioning correctly and safely. If you're using portable heaters through your home make sure to keep combustible materials far away.
5. Smoking: it still amazes me that people die every year from house fires caused from people smoking in bed. If you smoke you should have designated areas in your home that are safe to smoke in, areas it should be avoided include places where combustible materials are stored and any area where you commonly will fall asleep.
Preventing house fires
Most house fires are preventable simply by using your common sense, but the detection of a fire while it's still in its early stages can save your life. Make sure that you install a smoke detector in your home and check the batteries twice per year. Some smoke detectors are equipped with heat sensors and all of them are equipped with your piercing sirens it'll wake up even the heaviest of sleepers. Another must have device is a carbon monoxide detector, car monoxide is an orderless colorless gas that will kill you if undetected. Detectors are very cheap and reliable, again make sure to check the batteries twice per year.
If a fire does break on your home and you catch it at a very early stage you might be able to avoid a costly house fire or at least suppress the fire enough to get your family to safety simply by having a fire extinguisher close by. All household fire extinguishers are classified as either A, B, or C or some combination of these. The best all-around fire extinguisher to have in your home is an A:B:C which is effective at fighting ordinary combustible's, flammable liquids and electrical fires. Make sure your trained on how to use a fire extinguisher properly, you can look this up on YouTube here. Also have your fire extinguisher checked every year making sure that is fully charged and operational.
Lastly have a fire safety plan that you teach to your entire family especially your children. A fire safety plan should include ways to exit the home in multiple ways and a Muster point where everyone will gather in the event of a fire.