Fires are dangerous and can pose serious risks to your health and property. Experiencing a fire can be a life-changing event for your family or business. What’s more concerning is that property fires are not uncommon. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), 1.35 million fires in 2021 caused 3,800 civilian fire deaths, 14,700 reported fire injuries and $15.9 billion worth of property damage.
The good news is that finding the best fire damage restoration experts to repair your property is not your only hope in these situations. Many causes of fires are preventable, and following fire safety tips can help keep you from falling victim to a property blaze.
Keep Matches and Lighters Out of Kids’ Reach
One of the simplest yet most effective ways to prevent a fire on your property is to keep matches, lighters, and other sources of ignition out of children’s reach. It’s also a good idea to teach kids about fire safety, conveying the message that matches and lighters are tools for adults to use, not toys for them to play with.
Install and Test Smoke Alarms Regularly
A 2021 report by the NFPA revealed that almost three out of five home fire deaths occurred in homes without smoke alarms (41 percent) or faulty detectors (16 percent). Smoke alarms and detectors give you and your loved ones enough time to escape during a fire, so it’s crucial to ensure you have them and that they’re working properly.
It’s best to install the detectors on every level of your home, inside bedrooms, and adjacent corridors. Moreover, testing your alarms every month, replacing the batteries at least once a year, and keeping the detectors clean can help toward fire prevention.
Have a Fire Extinguisher Ready
Besides checking your smoke alarms, having working fire extinguishers inside your home is also critical in the event of a fire. They aid in first-aid fire-fighting, helping you put out small fires or suppress flames until help arrives.
Considering their importance, it’s also vital that you know how to use them. Reading the directions and familiarizing yourself with how your unit operates is a good idea since you won’t have the time to do so during a fire.
Never Smoke Inside
It may seem unlikely, but cigarettes can cause destructive residential fires. The additives and materials inside them can continue to smolder even if you think you’ve put them out, and the flame can then ignite on your bed or inside your trash can and start a fire.
The most straightforward way to save yourself from having to enlist fire damage restoration is to smoke outside the home. It’s also a good idea to use deep ashtrays with water to ensure the cigarette butts are fully extinguished.
Cook With Care and Attention
A report by the NFPA also revealed that cooking activities started an average of 172,900 home structure fires every year from 2014 to 2018. The leading cause of cooking fires and the resulting casualties? Unattended cooking.
Here are some practical fire safety tips worth following to stay safe in the kitchen:
- Never leave any cooking unattended.
- Avoid wearing loose or long-sleeved clothing when cooking, as it can ignite if you get too close to the range.
- Turn all pot and skillet handles inward to keep kids from reaching into and toppling over a hot pot.
- Put combustible materials like paper products, dish towels, or oven mitts away from the stovetop.
- Clean spilled grease as soon as it cools, as built-up grease is combustible.
- Never use water to put out the flames in case of a grease fire, as the water will quickly turn into steam and cause severe burns.
- Instead, smother the flames using a fire blanket or fire extinguisher.
Practice Open Fire Safety
Fireplaces can be a cozy way to keep your home warm during winter. However, it pays to remember that they also present a fire risk, especially if used without care.
To keep your house comfortably warm and safe, it helps to have your chimney cleaned every late summer or fall before you start using it more regularly for the colder months. Once winter comes in, installing a fireplace screen helps keep the burning embers from spreading into the room and accidentally burning anyone near it.
Check Your Wirings and Appliances
If your home is an older one, it’s a good idea to have your electrical wiring system checked by a qualified electrician. Left unaddressed, issues like worn-out insulation, outdated wiring, frequently tripping breakers, and warm outlets can cause electrical malfunctions and lead to overwhelming house fires.
Besides checking your property’s wiring, it’s also crucial to use your appliances wisely. Here are some pointers to remember:
- Replace cracked or frayed electrical cords immediately.
- If an appliance begins to smoke or produce an unusual smell, unplug it right away and have it repaired.
- Avoid plugging large appliances into extension cords.
- Keep combustible materials like curtains and furniture away from space heaters.
Be Extra Careful During the Holidays
Winter holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas are among the leading days of the year for home fires, so it’s best to remain aware of precautionary measures throughout the celebrations. Boost your fire prevention efforts by keeping these tips in mind:
- Be Careful With Your Turkey Fryers: Since they require large amounts of boiling oil and are often placed on a stand, make sure to only use them outdoors. Putting them on a stable surface and keeping kids and pets away at all times also helps prevent accidents and injuries.
- Take Care of Your Christmas Tree: Watering it every day is crucial as dried-out trees can easily catch fire.
- Inspect Your Holiday Lights Before Use: Before you light up your decorations, ensure you’re not plugging more than three sets of lights into a single extension cord. You’ll also want to check for frayed, cracked or damaged cords.
Know the Experts To Call for Help for Fire Damage Restoration
While a property fire is everyone’s worst nightmare, there are plenty of things you can do to keep your house safe and protect your loved ones from harm. Diligently following the fire safety tips listed above can make all the difference in avoiding a property blaze, minimizing losses, and preventing injuries.
Culminate your preparations by knowing the right professionals to call in case of a fire, like Restoration 1. Dealing with the aftermath of a blaze can be emotionally stressful, but our certified fire damage restoration experts are here to provide caring and immediate services to you and your property. Call us anytime for your fire and smoke damage cleanup needs.