House fires are almost always unexpected and can be extremely devastating. They come with an enormous amount of loss and stress on a homeowner. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, roughly 30% of fires reported in 2018 were residential. Consider this list of preventative measures you can take to maximize the safety of your home in the event of a fire.
If you don’t have a residential sprinkler system already, look into having one installed. Try to keep the yard free of unnecessary debris as well, such as leaves or fallen tree branches.
If any vegetation around the home is known to be flammable, keep it at least 30 feet away from all structural pieces. Don’t prune any greenery near power lines, either. Be sure to contact your local utility company beforehand.
Be sure to maintain the plants in your yard by regularly watering and removing dead branches. This will keep the area moist and less likely to catch fire.
Contact the local fire department for requirements on roofing if you are looking to repair or replace your roof anytime soon. There are fire-proof materials available, so know what the best choice would be for your home.
If you have an emergency water source available, such as a community fire hydrant, make sure there is clear access in the event a firefighter ever needs to reach it.
Keep working fire extinguishers in your kitchen and garage. These are the higher-risk areas for fires to happen and it’s important to have extinguishers readily available.
Be sure that your electric or gas stoves are in good working condition. Any appliance that runs on gas should be checked to be sure there are no leaks or hazards. You can also keep baking soda nearby in the event of a stovetop fire for a quick fix.
If you have a fireplace or wood stove, install a screen in front and keep small children away from the area. Have your chimney cleaned and inspected once a year as well to ensure there is no buildup causing a fire hazard.
Working smoke detectors in the hallways and rooms are extremely important. If any of the detectors are faulty or not working, be sure to replace the batteries immediately. Test your detectors monthly to make sure they are working properly.
If you use heated blankets or electrical heaters, unplug them when not in use. Make sure all appliances and electronic devices are off and unplugged when they are not needed.
To prepare for a potential fire or other disaster, keep a small supply of water and non-perishable food. Keep first aid supplies on hand if anyone is injured and requires immediate attention. Designate an emergency meeting place outside of the home in the event a fire separates those in your household. While some of these steps may be more expensive or inconvenient, it is extremely necessary to take precautions that will safe-guard your home from fire troubles.