In America, fires have cost businesses and homes billions of dollars. That does not even mention priceless items lost during fires, such as family heirlooms, personal items, and family members. In fact, in 2018, nearly 4,000 people died due to a fire, which shows nearly a 20% increase in fire fatalities over the past decade.
Obviously, everyone wants to avoid a fire in their home. Between the economic and personal damage that can be caused by a fire, it is best to avoid it entirely. Though it is impossible to ensure 100% prevention against a fire, there are ways that can decrease the chances of a fire starting, hopefully fireproofing your home in the process.
In this article, we are going to look at 6 easy tips to help fireproof your Richmond home.
Let’s get started.
1. Smoke Alarms
Smoke alarms are the easiest way to protect your home and family from a fire. Make sure to install your smoke alarms on every level of the home. It is especially smart to install a smoke alarm outside of all sleeping areas and inside bedrooms so that you can be woken up in your sleep.
Go the extra mile by getting interconnected smoke alarms. Interconnected smoke alarms allow all alarms to go off whenever one is activated. This may give you some extra time to round up your family and safely leave the home in the case of a fire.
Once you install your smoke alarms, make sure that they work correctly. Test the smoke alarms at least once a month. Whenever you hear the smoke alarm chirp, make sure to change out the batteries because that is a sign the batteries are dying. Change out the smoke alarms after 10 years.
2. Watch Your Space Heaters
Space heaters are one of the most dangerous appliances that you can have in your home. If you do not take special precaution with a space heater, you can easily burn yourself on the metal or let it catch your home on fire. The best fire-safe option is to avoid using a space heater entirely.
If using a space heater, make sure that it is at least three feet away from any material that can burn. This includes blankets, curtains, and other fabrics. Additionally, keep the space heater away from children and pets. Children can accidentally burn themselves on the heater or knock it over, setting fire to the home.
Whenever you leave the house or go to sleep, turn off the space heater. Although it can be tempting to leave it on, especially overnight, turn it off to keep your home and family safe. It’s also best to use space heaters with an automatic turn off function when they fall over.
3. Check Your Electrical Outlets
Electricity is highly useful and beneficial for the modern era. Because of electricity, we can easily cook indoors and heat our homes in the winter. With that being said, it does pose some potential risks to you and your home, especially if used incorrectly.
Make sure that all electrical outlets and electrical appliances are used safely. If you see an appliance smoking or has an odd smell, unplug it immediately. Additionally, do not use electrical cords that are frayed or exposed in any way.
Be smart about where you place your chords. Do not run them underneath rugs or behind fabric materials. Instead, place them so that they safely supply electricity without exposing different materials to potential fires.
4. Don’t Smoke Indoors
Smoking cigarettes is another common cause for indoor fires. For complete safety, prevent smokers from smoking inside. Instead, ask smokers to go outside. Though this may be a bit annoying, especially in cold weather, it will protect your home and prevent anyone from falling asleep with a lit cigarette.
If there is a reason why someone cannot smoke outside, have ashtrays that are sturdy and deep. Make sure that the ashtrays are away from ledges for someone to knock over on accident. Be sure to handle the cigarettes and ashtrays accordingly. Still, it is best to prohibit smoking indoors, no matter what.
5. Plan an Evacuation Route
Even if you do everything in your power to prevent a fire, accidents can still happen. Be prepared in advance by having an evacuation route planned. There should be two exits out of every room in your home. These exits can include doorways or windows. Also, decide on a meeting point outside so that everyone can be accounted for after the evacuation.
Make sure that everyone in the household knows of the evacuation route. Experts recommend practicing your evacuation routes twice a year with your family, especially if you have children.
6. Know How to Use a Fire Extinguisher
It’s also a great idea to learn how to use a fire extinguisher. Most people know what this device is, but few people actually know how to distinguish between types of fire extinguishers, let alone use one. Knowing how to use a fire extinguisher can help stop a fire before it gets out of hand.
Before reaching for the fire extinguisher, be sure to put your safety first. Only use a fire extinguisher if the fire is small and produces only a little smoke. Additionally, only use the fire extinguisher if you have already called the fire department and everyone is exiting the home.
Leave the home immediately, ignoring the fire extinguisher, if the fire is spreading, causing a lot of smoke, and has you cornered with no escape.
Fires are serious business, and they can cause a lot of damage to your home. Prevention is the best course of action when it comes to fires. Practice these 6 tips to help keep your home fire free. In the case that a fire or some other disaster has damaged your home, look for fire restoration services in Richmond to help your home become safe and livable once again.
If your home or business needs disaster restoration, contact VRS today!