Homes are filled with the things we love and the memories we cherish. Unfortunately, homes are lost every day because of fires. And oftentimes, these fires are preventable.
There’s no foolproof way to prevent all accidents, but with a little planning and diligence, you can drastically reduce the chances of a devastating fire occurring in your home. To help you out, we’ve listed the top 10 ways to prevent house fires.
1. Test Your Smoke Alarm Regularly
Smoke alarms are your first defense against house fires. But if they’re not properly functioning or if the batteries are dead, they do you no good. On every smoke alarm is a test button. Once a month, press the button to make sure it’s working. If it makes a weak beeping noise, you need to change the batteries ASAP.
2. Be Mindful of Your Heat Sources
Your sources of heat can be hazardous if they are not working properly. Have a professional inspect your heat sources to make sure everything looks good.
If you use space heaters, always keep them away from anything flammable and never put them in your bed.
3. Keep Your Oven and Stove Clean
Forgotten food particles in your oven or on your stove can trigger fires. Be sure your oven and stove are clean before you begin cooking. Also, be sure to never leave towels, cookbooks or paper products on your stove. Using the oven or a burner can cause them to ignite.
4. Be Careful While You Cook
Always be cognizant when using your kitchen, as it only takes a few seconds for a fire to break out. If you have to leave your kitchen, turn off your burners. The last thing you want is for a pot to boil over, especially if no one is there to tend to it. If you’re using cooking oil, never pour it into a hot pan. This can cause the oil to burst into flames.
5. Inspect Your Dryer
The heat from a dryer can set lint on fire. Always clean out your lint trap after using your dryer. To be safe, it’s best to have a professional inspect your dryer on a yearly basis, especially if it’s an older model.
6. Maintain Electrical Cords
Before you plug something into an outlet, make sure the cord hasn’t been frayed or chewed. Damaged wires can quickly start fires. If a wire is damaged, replace it ASAP.
7. Properly Store Flammable Products
Flammable products are flammable for a reason. Household cleaners and cosmetic items, like hairspray and shaving cream, can combust if exposed to a heat source. Be sure to keep them away from space heaters and store them in a cool area.
8. Use Candles Wisely
Though candles make your home cozy and inviting, many house fires have started because of candles. Always blow candles out before you leave your home or go to sleep, and keep them far away from anything flammable. Candles should always be placed on even surfaces and never on carpet or rugs.
9. Be Careful With Your Fireplace
To prevent stray sparks from escaping, use a fireplace grate to protect your flooring. You should also never leave a fireplace unattended. When it comes time to throw the ashes away, make sure they’ve had enough time to cool down and discard them in a designated metal container.
10. Keep a Fire Extinguisher in Your Home
If a fire breaks out, a fire extinguisher can keep it from spreading and burning down your home. Keep one in the house in a strategic area, such as the kitchen. But a fire extinguisher won’t do you any good if you don’t know how it works. Make sure every family member knows how to properly use it.
If your Jacksonville or Orlando home ever experiences fire and smoke damage, call the pros at Elements Disaster Recovery. We have the equipment and expertise to get the job done and quickly get things back to normal.