Practicing fire safety and protection in your home is essential because a fire can happen anytime. Protection measures may include having an escape plan, ensuring smoke alarms and detectors work, access to fire extinguishers, and having a fire proof safety box with important papers and valuables. However, practicing fire prevention helps keep your family safe in hopes of preventing a problem before it occurs. While practicing safety, it is a good time to consider creating an action plan to help you and your family if a fire occurs. Here are a few reminder tips.
Unplug Unused Items and Use Surge Protectors When Possible
Anything plugged into an electrical outlet encourages electricity to the outlet even if the item, such as a television or computer, is not turned on. When too many things are plugged up at one time, it can lead to an electrical surge causing overheating and a fire risk. Unplugging unused items reduces fire risk. A surge protector also reduces fire risk because it limits the amount of electricity to plugged items.
Keep an Eye on Flames and Move Flammables Away from Heat Sources
When using candles, cooking in the kitchen, or handling any source of excess heat, be aware of what you're doing, and don't walk away from open flames. Even if you start a fire in your fireplace, be mindful. Sometimes flames from a heat source can get out of control quickly when no one is watching, leading to a fire. Items that are flammable, such as paper, fabrics, and even hair, should be kept from heat sources. Have smoke alarms in working condition, and keep a fire extinguisher in your home.
Avoid Smoking in Your Home and Put Out Any Flames Thoroughly
Some cigarettes continue to burn due to their ingredients if you don't put them out well before placing them in the trash. If you smoke inside your home, do so in a ventilated area and put your cigarette out thoroughly. If you burn wood in a fireplace, ensure that fire is put out well when you're done using it. Some ember smolders after the flames are gone and could become unpleasant when you're ready for bedtime.
Get Rid of Clutter
Clutter in the home can help a fire spread faster. Some clutter also contributes to fires starting suddenly or spontaneously. Keep an eye on the amount of clutter in your home and where it is, and note any possible fire risks nearby. Organize your belongings and maintain the organization to keep fire risk low.
Change Filters and Remove Lint
Check filters in your heating system and electric dryer. Filters for these systems is important because they help them run efficiently, but lint buildup can be a fire hazard when its not removed regularly. How often you change the filters depends on how often they are used. Check dryer filters each time you use the dryer. Contact a professional heating and cooling service to change your filter if you feel uncomfortable doing it yourself.
Heated Appliances Should Be Turned Off Before Leaving Your Home
Certain appliances such as the dishwasher and dryer use a considerable about of heat. Other things, such as heated blankets and space heaters, are in the same category. These items can catch fire easily, especially when no one is around to detect them. If a fire starts and you're at home and awake, you can stop it before the damage gets severe. You may be unable to slow the fire if you're not home or asleep.
Note Any Electrical Issues
Check wall outlets and plugs you connect to them to ensure they look okay and work properly. You don't have to worry about checking inside the outlets; note any problems you visibly notice, such as an outlet that doesn't work or a damaged cord. An outlet that doesn't work could have a wiring issue that should be looked at immediately. Avoid plugging up a damaged cord into an outlet.
Minimize Debris Outside of Your Home
Debris outside your home, such as leaves, wood, and other materials, can catch or help a fire spread. Clean gutters of leaves and debris. Keep firewood stacked away from flammable materials. Keep flammable materials such as gas cans in a safe area away from heat sources.
Be Cautious with Sparks and Flames
When cooking, be mindful when using oil to minimize or reduce sparks. Sometimes oil can catch fire; all it needs is a spark to get it going. Use special containers to store your oils or any flammable products and keep them stored away from heat sources to reduce fire risk.
Get Your Furnace Inspected
You can do many tasks around the home yourself, but getting a professional for this is significant. A professional inspecting your furnace or heating system is essential to fire prevention and protection. It also ensures your system is clean and working correctly. Any issues can be detected early and resolved at an affordable cost.