10 Ways to Fireproof Your Home
Keeping you home and your family safe is your number one priority. Accidents and natural disasters can happen at any time and there is little that can be done to protect against them. Fire, a major danger and the cause of billions of dollars of damage each year, is something that you can guard against. Fireproofing your home is basically a matter of taking a few simple precautions.
If you are worried about the risk of fire and want professional help in fireproofing your home, you will find information on fire prevention materials and equipment suppliers in your area online. Details of experts who have provide you the services you need to make your home fireproof can also be found conducting a search via a powerful and popular search engine such as Google.
1. Keep Fire Extinguishers Handy
Fire extinguishers are the best defense against fires. It’s common to see them in kitchens, where most fires start. But to be as safe as possible, there should be an extinguisher in every room of the house. Make sure that there is one near every fireplace in the house and don’t forget the attic and basement. Garages are an often overlooked fire hazard. Because of the amount of often flammable material that is stored there and the presence of gas and oil, fires that start here can grow rapidly. A large extinguisher is needed here. Fire extinguishers do not last forever. Make a note of the expiry dates of the extinguishers you have in your house and make sure that they are replaced or refilled in time.
2. Install and Check Smoke Alarms
All modern homes have smoke alarms and these play a critical role in providing early warnings of a fire. If you live in an older house that does not have a smoke alarm system, have one installed. A significant part of the cost can be recovered by a reduction in your insurance premiums. Having smoke alarms is one thing, maintaining them is something that many homeowners often forget about. Check you alarm system every 4 months and replace any batteries that may be weak. Presuming that the alarm works when it doesn’t increases the danger from home fires.
3. Use Fire Resistant Carpeting
Wool and synthetic carpets burn easily and because of their size, the fire spreads fast. Fire resistant carpeting is available in attractive colors and patterns that will add to the décor of your home so there is no reason not to go in for it. If you have small rugs in your home, get them treated with a fireproof chemical.
4. Don’t Overload Your Wiring
Electrical short circuits are a major cause of fires in the home. Never overload your electrical wiring and when installing any device that draws a heavy amount of electricity, have a licensed electrician check the wiring and outlet to ensure that there is no chance of sparking or an overload. Old and frayed wiring running from electrical appliances to the wall outlet are another fire hazard. Check these wires for signs of wear every 6 months an immediately replace any that pose a risk. Also check the plugs to ensure they fit tightly in the outlets. A loose fit will permit sparking and heat buildup. Rats, mice, and other rodents love to chew on electrical insulation. Even if your home is free of these pests, they could still be roaming around outside. Check all wiring for animal damage and replace any that appear to be bad. In the case of outdoor wring, make sure that the replacement wire is rated for outdoor use. That is another reason to have a pet, they will kill rodents. Most of them will, certainly cats and most dogs. They are always on guard for these types of pests.
5. Clean Up Junk
Junk tends to accumulate in most homes. Old clothes, newspapers, boxes toys etc. are often dumped in a closet, garage or the attic and left there for long periods of time. These are all flammable materials and even the smallest of sparks can ignite a blaze. Make it a habit to clean out the junk from your home every couple of months, certainly years. Not only will your home be safer, there will be less change of insects or rodents making their homes there.
6. Candles are Nice, But …
Candle light is lovely and adds a romantic touch to any room. Just remember that a candle has an open flame on top of it. People who use candles regularly get used to having them lit and take them for granted. Leaving a room with a candle burning for a fee minutes may seem harmless but it takes just a second for a gust of wind to knock it over or for a pet or child to accidently knock against the table it is on and cause it to fall. Always make sure that you extinguish candle when leaving the room, even if it is for a very short time. If you have fireplaces in your house, make sure that the fire is out before you leave the home.
7. Fireproof Your Furniture
When buying new furniture ask the store to coat it with a fireproof chemical. It may add a little to the cost, but the safety benefit makes the expense more than worthwhile. For existing furniture you can buy the fireproofing sprays that are easy to apply. And added advantage of these chemicals is that they also act to make your furniture stain resistant.
8. Maintain Your Furnace
Because your furnace is out of sight does not mean that it should be out of mind. The function of a furnace is to produce heat and it uses fire to do so. This makes it a fire hazard. Make sure that you replace the filter according to the manufacturer’s directions since a clogged filter can lead to overheating that can damage the furnace and lead to a major fire. Also make sure that not any flammable material is stored near the furnace so that if a fire should start, it has little in the way of fuel o grow. If your furnace needs repairs, do not try to do it yourself. Tampering with the setup and settings of a furnace is very dangerous. Always call in a qualified technician.
9. Lint Traps can be Dangerous
A clogged lint trap in your dryer can cause it to overheat and catch fire. Make sure you clean it our each time the dryer is used.
10. Common Sense is the Most Effective Fireproofing Tool
Fireproofing is usually a matter of common sense. Things like not leaving matches and lighter where small kids can find them. Or remembering to turn off electrical appliances when you go out or when not in use. Or turning off your electricity and gas mains when you are going to be away from home for an long period of time. These are precautions that we are all aware of but because they are so basic, we tend to take them for granted. Make it a habit to turn off all unrequired appliances, especially when you leave the home. And prepare a checklist of all the tasks you need to do when you are going on vacation or a trip and leaving the house empty. Fireproofing your home does not mean that you are immune to the dangers of fire. Never take the dangers of fire for granted. But fireproofing does minimize the risk of injury and loss and this is something that every homeowner should pay attention to. Your home may be insured, but there are things that money can never replace which a fire could destroy. And the risk to life that a fire poses should never be ignored. Talk to your insurance agent about the fireproofing you are doing. Often the extra precautions you take can lower the cost of your home insurance and reduce the impact of any costs that the fireproofing entailed.