As terrible as being a victim of a house fire is, worse still might be the knowledge that it could’ve been prevented. Don’t let your property and belongings suffer any fire damage because of kitchen appliances left unattended, flammable objects not kept in secure places or children running around.
Here are six common tips on how to protect your house from fire.
Cooking equipment caused almost 50% of house fires recorded in the US from the year 2011-2015. Unsurprisingly, most of these incidents occurred during Christmas and Thanksgiving—the time when everyone is kept busy by cooking in the kitchen and partying in the next room.
To avoid cutting short quality dinner time with an accidental house fire, it’s better to stay in the kitchen and keep an eye on what’s cooking. While you’re at it, make sure that you keep oven mitts, towels, and curtains (basically everything that can catch fire) away from the stove.
Had too much to drink? Feeling sleepy and tired? Better leave the cooking to those who are still sober and alert, just to be sure.
While cooking equipment causes the most house fires, heating equipment causes the most house fire deaths. What’s sad about this is that almost 30% of these deaths could have been prevented had people kept their chimneys clean.
Most heat equipment-related fires occur during winter (December-February specifically). To prepare for the cold months, better have a professional install your equipment. You can have them install a sturdy screen in front of your fireplace to make sure sparks and ashes don’t go where they’re not supposed to. Also, make sure that you keep your heating equipment and chimneys professionally cleaned.
When using heating equipment, make sure to keep everything that can burn three feet away—and yes, that includes YOU.
Electrical equipment has caused a yearly average of 34,000 house fires in the U.S. from 2011-2015. To not add to this statistic, better check your wires if they are safely placed in areas where they cannot be damaged. Better yet, have a professional install more electrical sockets to reduce (if not eliminate) the need for extension cords, which are the main reason electrical fires occur in homes.
A fan of scented candles? Don’t be deceived! Candles have caused an average of 24 house fires per day in the country.
Generally, it isn’t recommended to light candles at home ( unless it’s on top of a cake and for a few seconds). Flashlights and electric torches are the suggested alternatives for candles during blackouts. However, if you can’t really avoid using candles, make sure that you secure it on a flat, sturdy, and transparent surface. Keep the candles at least one foot away from anything that can catch fire.
For maximum safety, place the candle inside a glass container or on a basin with water.
The most important thing to remember to avoid house fires caused by cigars is to smoke outside. Make sure to use ashtrays and avoid throwing cigarette butts and ashes on plants (even on the grass—most especially not on the grass). Before throwing cigarette butts away, make sure that you have put out the fire completely.
You might be surprised that children are included in this list when they are most definitely not flammable. But did you know that children cause a yearly average of 10,000 house fires? This makes them the most active fire starters.
Mostly, the first encounter of children with fire is when they sit in the kitchen and watch their parents cook. This could be the best time to teach children about the dangers of fire. Aside from educating them, it is also good to have additional safety measures such as keeping all lighters and matchsticks away from the reach and sight of children.
The best solution on how can I protect my home from fire is to prevent it from even happening. But it still wouldn’t hurt to have your smoke detectors and fire extinguisher ready. With all these tips added up with mindfulness and being organized, you are sure to maintain a fireproof household!