Remember all the fire drills you used to do in school as a kid? Have you ever thought about creating a fire plan for your home? Thinking about such a danger might sound a bit paranoid, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.
It’s better to prepare for a fire before it happens than to leave fire safety to chance and come home to a burned-down house. It’s one of those things you hope never happens to you, but if you’re not practicing home fire safety, you’re raising the risk of a fire affecting one of the most important things (and people) in your life.
To keep this from happening, implement the fire prevention tips listed below in your home.
1. Always Check Your Smoke Detectors
This is as straightforward as fire prevention can be: if your smoke detectors aren’t working, you’re in trouble. Go into every room of the house and check every single smoke detector. Look at the batteries and test each smoke detector to make sure it’s working as expected.
You don’t have to do this all the time. But, it is a good idea to check your smoke detectors at least once or twice a year. Keep in mind that just because one smoke detector is working doesn’t mean they’re all functioning well, and vice versa.
2. Invest in New Alarm Systems as Needed
It’s rare to have to replace the batteries of all the smoke detectors all at once. Sometimes, though, it’s a good idea to upgrade the smoke detectors.
Again, this doesn’t have to be a regular thing you do. But, if you’ve never given much thought to fire safety before, investing in a new system could be a good idea. This gives you the peace of mind just in case something were to happen.
It’s your first signal to act on when there’s a washcloth on a hot stove or when someone has left a candle going somewhere in the house. By the way, these are just two potential fire dangers to watch out for.
3. Never Turn Smoke Detectors Off
The thing about testing and installing smoke detectors is that these things can easily test your patience. The sound of such an alarm going off is not exactly the most pleasant noise in the world. But, it’s a necessity.
As such, make sure the smoke detectors are always always always on. Some homeowners make the mistake of turning off detectors when cooking a meal or smoking inside. They know they have sensitive smoke alarms and want to keep their ears from ringing from something they’re sure isn’t a fire.
But, doing this puts yourself in more danger than it benefits you. All it takes is forgetting to turn the smoke alarm back on once to cause a devastating accident. If all the smoke detectors are always on, though, you won’t have this problem.
4. Turn Off Everything You Can
While it’s not a good idea to turn off a smoke detector – ever – it’s a must to turn off some other items in the home. You know, things like candles, stovetops, ovens, hair styling tools, and other electrical or natural objects that give off heat.
The things you have to turn off in your home will depend on your lifestyle. If you live in a bachelor pad, for example, you probably don’t have too many hair straighteners and curling irons lying around. If you consider yourself somewhat of a chef, though, make sure you’re always practicing fire safety in the home that is specific to the kitchen.
The last thing you want is to cook a delicious meal only to make it be the last one you create in the house for a while. Remember, it only takes a few minutes to start a fire and a much longer time to fix the aftermath.
5. Keep Flammable Items to a Minimum
Another thing worth mentioning is that not all fire hazards are necessarily hot. You may have a bunch of flammable items in the home without even realizing.
If you decorate with a lot of wood furniture and natural fabrics, your home will go up in flames faster than, say, an industrial-style home that uses less wood and more metal or exposed brick. Still, all homes have some flammable items laying around.
This doesn’t mean you have to throw out all of your belongings or change your decorating style. It just means you should identify all the flammable items in your home. Recognizing these things and what they’re made of can improve your fire safety more than you know.
6. Pay Attention to Your Wires
Speaking of flammable items, pay attention to all the wires in the house. The ones that matter most in terms of fire safety are those connected to your internet router and the wires of large appliances. But, a fire can spark from anything like a laptop charger or a small appliance like a coffee maker or blender, too.
This is why it’s best to unplug everything you’re not using. Things that you use ’round the clock (large appliances, internet, etc), on the other hand, should be kept away from water or flammable materials. More so, make sure such wires aren’t anywhere that a toddler or a pet can mess with them.
7. Clean Every Part of Your Home
Here’s something to think about: the dust in your home is a bigger danger than you might think. It’s no secret clutter and dirt can cause chaos, but these things can also become a huge fire hazard.
Don’t let the cleanliness of your home get out of hand. Always dust near electrical outlets and air vents and make sure you stay on top of the lint in the dryer, too. This may not seem like a big deal now, but it’s a silly thing to overlook and let a fire start from.
8. Practice Caution When Grilling
Fire safety in the home applies to your whole property, not the indoors alone. While you can’t prevent the outbreak of wildfires and how those may affect your home, you can do something about what’s going on in your backyard.
Whenever you grill, make sure you control the coals and dispose of them properly. Keep an eye on any fire you build and have a plan to put it out before you actually have to put it out.
9. Fireproof Patio Furniture
Whether you’re an avid griller or you don’t have any kind of equipment to do this with, chances are, you at least have a sitting area out back. If you do, make sure it’s fireproof.
This is a small investment that makes a big difference. It can protect your home if ashes outside of your property ever blow your direction, and it helps control a fire should one ever start inside.
10. Buy Fire Safety Equipment
It’s not fun to think about the possibility of a fire starting in your home, regardless of if it happens inside or outside. Still, you should have a few fire safety items on hand just in case.
The most obvious of which is a fire extinguisher, but not everyone realizes it’s smart to have a few in the home. What are you going to do if you keep your fire extinguisher out back and a fire starts in one of the bedrooms? How are you supposed to put out a fire on the grill in a short amount of time if the fire extinguisher is on the second floor?
These are things you have to think about. There’s no such thing as overthinking when it comes to protecting yourself, your loved ones, and the place where you lay your head at night.
11. Have an Escape Plan
The final fire prevention tip to keep in mind is to have an escape plan. Even if you are able to get a hold of your fire extinguisher, you may not be able to put out a fire once it’s grown to a certain size. Not to mention, sometimes it’s more important to get everyone to safety than to try to be the hero.
Create an escape plan for all the rooms/major areas of the home then go over it with the whole family. If you have little ones, let them in on the plan in a way that is age-appropriate. You don’t want to scare them about the possibility of a fire, but you do want to make sure they don’t panic if this ever happens in your home.
Using Fire Prevention Tips in Your Home
Reading about fire prevention tips can only do so much. At some point, you have to turn knowledge into action if you want to protect your home as best as possible.
Keep all of these things in mind the next time a smoke detector goes off or you’re using a heat styling product on your hair. Talk to your children about fire safety and make sure everyone knows caring for the home is their responsibility in some way.
For more interesting household tips that cover everything from safety and simple decor to fun DIY projects, click here.