Fire is one of the most devastating events that can happen to a home. A fire can break out at any time with little warning and threaten your belongings, the house, and the lives of your family. Fire safety should be an important consideration as a homeowner. These simple tips for fire safety in the home will help to protect your family and your property.
Fire Safety Begins with Careful Cooking in the Home
A leading cause of house fires is cooking. Anytime you’re preparing food, stay focused on safety. First, keep things away from the burners: oven mitts, towels, aprons, and napkins are all flammable items.
Keep a close eye on the food while it’s cooking, making sure it doesn’t boil over onto the burners. Never leave food unattended while it’s on the stove. If you must step away, ask another adult to keep an eye on the kitchen.
Give Space Heaters Their Space
Many people use space heaters during the colder months. They allow you to heat your home more efficiently by only warming the room you are in rather than the whole house, and they are a valuable backup for your central unit.
Because they generate heat, space heaters should be used with caution. Keep them well away from combustible materials like curtains, furniture, bookshelves, and stacks of magazines. Turn space heaters off when no one is around, and routinely inspect them to make sure cords are intact and that all controls work properly.
Clean the Chimney
An obvious fire hazard in a home is an open flame. When using your fireplace, keep extra firewood and other combustibles at least five feet away. Be sure to always keep screens and doors closed.
Smoke moving up the chimney creates a tarry, flammable substance called creosote. Over time, creosote can build up and catch fire. Choose well-cured hardwood species to burn and have a qualified professional inspect and clean the chimney every year.
Address Electrical Problems Promptly
Any circuit that frequently trips its breaker should be checked right away. It could be as simple as a worn breaker, but call an electrician to troubleshoot the issue. Because electrical issues can lead to a fire, have a professional check on any lights that dim unexpectedly, strange smells from an electrical outlet, and any appliance or outlet that gets too hot.
Fire Safety with Candles in the Home
Natural light from candles is cozy in any home. However, like a fireplace, candles can be a fire hazard and should be carefully watched for safety. Use wide candles that won’t fall over easily. Place them on sturdy surfaces like countertops or flat, level tables. After lighting, soak your match with water before disposing of it. Keep flammable materials away from candles at all times. Better yet, purchase life-like LED candles for the same look with no risk to your home.
Keeping your home safe from fire should be one of your highest priorities. Follow these tips, and have a fire extinguisher on every level of your home that your family knows how to use.