If you’re a homeowner–or wherever you live–you need to know how to prevent fire hazards. Unattended cooking is the #1 cause of house fires, but that’s not the only one. You’ll want to pay attention to other dangerous fire hazards, too. When you follow these 5 important safety tips, you can reduce the risk of fire in your home.
CONTENTS – In this article, you will learn important steps you should take to prevent fire hazards in your home, including:
- How to Reduce Fire Hazards
- Never Leave a Flame Unattended
- Test Your Smoke Alarms
- Ban Smoking from the House
- Ensure Your Electric Systems Are Up to Date
- Use Surge Protectors
- Final Thoughts on Reducing Fire Hazards
5 Ways to Prevent Fire at Home | How to Reduce Fire Hazards
There’s always a risk of fire in the home. What matters most is what you do to mitigate that risk and avoid fire-related issues.
If it’s something you dismiss and assume will never happen to you, that’s when you’re most in danger. So now is the time to start taking fire safety more seriously and to make the relevant changes to your home.
The most important thing you can do is practice fire safety in the kitchen. These 3 things can significantly reduce the risk of kitchen fires:
- Never leave your cooking unattended
- Avoid getting your sleeves near the fire (if you have a gas stove)
- Keep a fire extinguisher nearby
But there is still more you can do to prevent fire hazards at home. Keep reading to learn 5 ways to prevent fire at home. The sooner you start following these tips, the safer your home will be for you and your loved ones..
1. Never Leave a Flame Unattended
One simple thing that anyone and everyone can do to improve their approach to fire safety is never leave a flame unattended. Candles can add a magical ambiance and scent to the home, but you must use them with caution.
If you enjoy lighting candles, whether for a romantic dinner or a relaxing soak in the tub, make sure that you’ve always got an eye on them. And if you’re feeling drowsy, you want to blow out any candles to avoid falling asleep with them lit.
Likewise, don’t assume you can just pop out of the house for a while and leave them burning, even if it’s just a small votive on the kitchen stove.
Sure, it’ll probably be fine but it’s still not worth the risk involved. The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) estimates that 23,600 house fires annually are caused by candles.
2. Check and Test Your Smoke Alarms Regularly
Every home should have a few smoke alarms in place. If you haven’t got them, it’s time to change that. In fact, your state or place of residence may require it.
For instance, the state of Massachusetts requires homeowners to have a minimum of one smoke alarm for every 1,200 square feet per level of living space. Check with your local ordinances an consider the following.
The best place to install smoke alarms is:
- On the ceiling in the middle of each bedroom
- In hallways and landings outside the bedrooms
- In living spaces of each floor, including the basement and upper floor, even if there are no bedrooms there
Even if you do have some good smoke alarms in place, you should be checking them on a regular basis. Daylight Saving Time, which happens twice a year is a good reminder to change the batteries.
Some smoke alarms have 10-year non-replaceable batteries. As soon as there’s any sign that the battery is beginning to run out (like chirping), replace the whole alarm. It really is a matter of life and death.
3. Ban Smoking from the House
If you share your home with smokers or are a smoker yourself, you’ll want to give this some thought. Smoking in the house is one of the most common sources of house fires.
According to the NFPA, one in 20 house fires is caused by smoking, causing nearly 23% of home fire deaths. As though smoking isn’t already bad enough for your health, fire risk poses a deadly threat.
These types of fires happen when someone drops cigarette ash or a cigarette, or even falls asleep while holding a cigarette.
All of these things can be very dangerous and in certain circumstances can lead to lethal fires starting. That’s why the safest thing to do is never allow any kind of smoking in your home.
And if you allow smoking outdoors, provide an ashtray or another safe way to dispose of cigarettes and smoking paraphernalia.
4. Update to Electrical Safety Standards | Avoid Electrical Fire Hazards
Another type of fire that can start in your home is an electrical fire. You may not even know you have a problem to begin with.
You want to take seriously whether:
- Your home has old wiring
- An unlicensed person (like the former homeowner) made repairs
- Your circuit breakers and electrical service are outdated
- You have known problems with the electrical system that haven’t been addressed
In any of these cases, you are at risk of an electrical fire starting at any time. That’s why it’s a good idea to have the system checked over by an electrician so you can make sure it meets modern safety standards.
5. Use Surge Protectors
Surge protectors are an important addition to your home home. If you don’t know what they are, a surge protector is strip that allows you to plug multiple devices into a single electrical outlet, and protects them from electrical surges.
Electrical surges can happen as a result of a high-voltage. When you’re plugging multiple devices into an extender cable, you don’t want them to overload and potentially start an electrical fire.
A surge protector prevents that from happening. It also protects your electronics and other devices that are plugged into it.
So if you don’t have any surge protectors already, that’s something that you might want to think about getting.
Final Thoughts on Reducing Fire Hazards
As you can see, there are lots of things you can start doing differently if you want to make sure a fire never breaks out in your home. With the right precautions taken, it’s something that you don’t have to worry too much about. And that’s why it makes sense to implement the ideas discussed above.
Keep reading to learn more about home safety and repairing home appliances.
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