How to Prevent House FiresMonday, August 30, 2021
House fires can be tragic, resulting in loss of cherished property at the least, and injury or death at their worst. While in some instances a house fire is caused by something you don’t have control over, around 90% of American house fires in 2019 were preventable. To protect yourself, your loved ones, and your property, here are some ways to stay cautious and prevent fires from ever starting in your home.
Regularly check your heating sources
Heating sources should be maintained by professionals yearly to ensure that they are always in proper working condition. A malfunctioning heat source could throw too much heat as well as sparks, both of which could start a fire.
For space heaters, it’s important to keep anything flammable out of the direction of their heat. If your space heater is too close to something flammable, it will start a fire.
Store flammable products responsibly
Things like aerosol cans, gasoline cans, propane tanks, and other cleaners and cosmetic items should be stored carefully. You may have a favorite spot for them that you find convenient, but if it’s in any danger of catching fire then you’ll quickly realize the convenience was not worth the cost.
Consistently test fire alarms
If a fire were to break out, you want to know that you can depend on your fire alarm to warn you before it gets out of control. Make sure that your fire alarms have charged batteries and that they beep as they should. To test your fire alarms, there should be a ‘test’ button to press that will emit a loud beep. If the beep is quiet, then you need to change the batteries.
Never leave your kitchen unattended while using it
Leaving your kitchen unattended while cooking a meal is not worth it. If you’re cooking something in a pan, a shift in the food could happen and throw grease onto the burner, which could cause a fire. The smart move if you absolutely have to leave the kitchen is to turn off the burner while you go, and pick up your cooking where you left off when you get back in.
Stay cautious around your fireplace
A cozy fire on a cold winter day is a comfortable thing, but even a fire in a fireplace can be dangerous. Fires throw sparks and let out hot ash that’s still cooling. These can find their way to something flammable and cause a big problem. The best way to prevent this from happening is by installing a screen or door to keep ash and sparks in your fireplace where they belong.
Also, be careful when disposing of ashes. Give them the time to properly cool down. The ashes on the top of the pile may look cool and grey, but they could be insulating hot coals underneath.
Practice proper cord management
Proper cord management will ensure that you don’t have to worry about your cord starting an electrical fire. Whenever you’re about to plug something in, always give it a quick check for any damage or wear. If there’s an appliance or electronic that you often leave plugged in, remember to check its cord regularly.
Also, give your cords “room to breathe.” Cords can get hot, so if you’re wiring them over the carpet or through a small space behind furniture and near a wall, then there’s a chance that they overheat and cause a fire.
Have your dryer inspected regularly
Dryers cause a surprising amount of fires, and there are a few reasons why. Dryers tend to last a while, so you may be using a dryer that’s outlived its safe life and could malfunction in a dangerous way. Make sure to get your dryer inspected by a professional each year.
Another hazard with dryers is an overfilled lint trap. If you forget to regularly clean your dryer’s lint trap, you’re setting up a recipe for disaster. Lint is easily flammable, and your dryer is a strong heat source.
Clean your oven and stovetop
Old bits of food left on the stovetop or in the oven may not be fully burned yet and can catch fire when the oven is turned on. Make sure to regularly clean your oven and stovetop, it’ll keep you safe and keep that old food from affecting the taste of what you’re cooking.
Also, it’s easy to forget if a stovetop burner is still hot. Before you put anything down on your stovetop, remember to check if it’s still hot so that you don’t start a fire, or at the least burn your cutting board.
Be careful with your candles
Candles are usually wonderful and soothing, but they can quickly become anything but. Don’t leave burning candles unattended, blow them out when you leave a room. Always make sure that they are firmly on an even surface to eliminate any chance of them falling over while lit.
Also, it’s important to watch where you place your candles. If you’re snuggled up in a blanket, keep the blanket far from the candle. Since both candles and table lamps often find themselves on a side table, be completely sure that your candle’s heat isn’t reaching your lampshade.
Always have a fire extinguisher available
Even if you follow all of these precautions, there are causes of the fire that are out of our control. Having a fire extinguisher around will alleviate some of your worries and give you a way to stop the fire before it causes too much damage.
Fire extinguishers are useful for any kind of fire. You might be thinking, why do I need a fire extinguisher when I can just get some water from the sink? Well, not every fire is safe to extinguish with water. In the case of an electrical fire, throwing water on the fire could transfer the electricity to you and provide a dangerous shock. In the case of grease fires, pouring water on them actually makes a grease fire burn hotter.
Adams Complete Cleaning & Restoration | Professional restoration and cleaning services in Southeast Michigan
Adams Complete Cleaning & Restoration is a family-owned company founded in 2000 and we’ve gone on to be one of the leading complete cleaning companies in Southeast Michigan. We can help you with fire damage, water cleanup, smoke damage, sewage cleanup, flooded basements, crime scene cleaning, mold remediation, and disinfection cleaning services. No matter what you need to be cleaned or restored, Adams has you covered!
We have over 2 decades of experience with helping everyone from homeowners to small and large businesses through our 24-hour emergency service. Disasters don’t close up shop for the night, and neither do we. We care about our customers and realize they often need us in times of chaos and confusion, so we do everything we can to provide the best customer service possible.