The United States Fire Administration reports that of all the structural fires that occur in the country, 73 percent are in homes. House fires remain the leading cause of fire deaths and injuries. Practicing fire safety in the home helps protect people and property.
Important Fire Safety Tips For The Home
Homeowners can use fire prevention measures to reduce the chances of a house fire. Below are a few practical fire safety tips for your home.
Obtain Annual Chimney Inspections
Many homeowners enjoy wood-burning fireplaces during cooler weather. Creosote residue from previous fires presents a potential fire hazard. It can ignite, causing a fire inside your chimney. Obstructed chimneys also contribute to house fires. One of the most basic fire prevention tips is to hire a chimney sweep to inspect and clean the chimney every fall.
Extinguishers are Tools for Fire Safety in the Home
Place fire extinguishers on every floor of your home. These tools help prevent small blazes from growing into deadly fires. Most home extinguisher models fall into the “A” (wood, paper or cloth), “B” (oil or gasoline), and “C” (electrical) rating categories. The rating indicates the type of fire the extinguisher will help to fight. You can find multi-purpose fire extinguishers that fall into more than one category.
Obtain Professional Assistance Lighting Gas Furnaces
If you rely upon a gas furnace for heat during the cold part of the year, use care when lighting your furnace for the first time. Turning on a gas furnace correctly requires knowledge and expertise. Contact a gas company or a licensed HVAC technician for assistance with this process, especially if your home has an older gas furnace. Gas explosions occur infrequently. Yet when they do happen, they often cause devastating home fires and injury or death.
Fire Safety in the Home Means Installing and Maintaining Smoke Alarms
Installing and maintaining smoke alarms provides an early alert in case a fire breaks out. Place smoke detectors in every bedroom and on every floor of your home. Test the devices monthly and replace the batteries at least twice a year. A responsive alarm gives residents the opportunity to vacate the premises quickly.
Remove Vegetation Growing Near the House
Particularly in areas subject to forest fires, homeowners should remove trees and other vegetation growing against the exterior of the residence. Dry, woody materials sometimes catch fire when lightning strikes. When they burn, these materials may produce embers that drift upwards and land on rooftops and eaves, starting house fires.
Clean Dryer Vents on a Regular Basis
A common cause of house fires is the lint from laundry room vents. As hot air blows outdoors from dryers, it usually carries small amounts of lint from clothing. Lint accumulates in the dryer vent and is flammable. Keep your dryer’s lint trap cleaned out and at least annually, clean the vent. A dirty dryer vent might allow an otherwise harmless dryer malfunction to ignite a fire.
A house fire endangers people, pets, and property. Practice fire safety this season by taking precautions to significantly decrease the risk to your home.