How to Help Prevent a House Fire
A fire can happen anywhere and it’s important to always be prepared for what you would do if you had one in your home. Likewise, it’s just as important to look at all of the ways that you can help prevent one from happening in the first place. At SERVPRO of Blackwood/Gloucester Twp, we want to help you avoid this type of disaster with some easy best practices to implement in your home. Hopefully, you will be able to prevent a problem before it even happens.
Unplug electronics when not in use
Excess electricity flowing through items in your home can always be a potential fire hazard. Things like computers, TVs, gaming systems, charging cables and more, use electricity even when they’re not on/in use. That means they can experience a surge at any time or they can overheat and cause a fire. By unplugging these items when you’re not using them, you can cut down on your chances of a fire.
Use surge protectors
If you do have items that you do not unplug when not in use, you want to make sure that they are all plugged into surge protectors. A surge in power is when you are most likely to experience an electrical fire and by plugging items into a surge protector you can avoid that excess electricity getting to the item and causing a fire.
Never leave flames or heat sources unattended
If you’re cooking, lighting candles, or using any other type of flame or excessive heat, you want to make sure that you’re watching it at all times. When you start cooking, you never want to leave the stove unattended. If you start a fire in your fireplace or light your grill, you want to make sure you keep an eye on that as well. These are also good places to have a fire extinguishers and smoke alarms, in case of a fire emergency. It is important to keep children away from these sources of heat for multiple safety reasons.
Keep flammable items away from heat
Flammable items like fabrics, paper, even hair should always be kept away from an open flame or excessive heat. It is important to not wear loose clothing and keep your hair up when lighting a grill, fireplace, candles, etc.
Don’t smoke in your home
If you smoke, it’s important to always do so in a well-ventilated area and to completely put out your cigarette before you throw it away. Cigarettes have the ability to burn even if you think that you’ve put them out. That small ember can ignite inside your trashcan or outside your home and cause a fire. If you smoke outside, watch out for stray ashes and dispose of cigarettes appropriately.
Always put out the fire, completely
If you have a fireplace, it’s important to always keep an eye on it. You want to make sure that you put out the fire well before you leave that area because embers can continue to smolder and burn and logs can continue to have flames inside of them. You want to make sure you completely smother the fire and wait before you leave the room, in case it re-ignites.
Cut back on the clutter
Excess clutter in your home is actually one way that fires can start spontaneously as well as spread rapidly. By keeping less clutter in your home you’ll be able to cut down on your risk and also make it more likely that you can save your home in the event of a fire.
Clean out lint and heater filters
You want to make sure that you remove the lint from your dryer filter every time that you do the laundry. Even a small amount of lint could cause a large fire. If there is a screen behind the filter, it is important to remember to clean that part as well. Use a vacuum hose to ensure all lint is removed, if possible. Your heating system needs a filter in order to run, but how often do you change that filter? You should be doing it frequently because if lint fills up in the filter, the heat from the furnace can actually ignite it.
Turn heated items off when not at home
Your dryer uses a lot of heat and even your dishwasher runs hot. Space heaters and heated blankets are made to produce heat. These are all items you don’t want to leave running/on when you’re not home because they could easily start a fire.
Keep gases and oils away from heat sources and sparks
If you store gas at your home, you want to keep it away from a potential spark or flame. The same goes for cooking and vehicle oils. By carefully containing these things in approved containers and keeping them a safe distance away from anything that could react with them, you are better prepared and can cut your risk fire.
Get your furnace checked regularly
Getting your furnace looked at frequently and scheduling regular maintenance is always going to be important and should be left to a professional. They can make sure that your furnace is and will continue to keep working the proper way. A broken furnace could be a huge danger to the safety of you and your home. Monitoring and maintenance can stop the problems before they arise.
There are plenty of other things that you can and should be doing to keep your house safer to prevent the potential for a house fire.
Unfortunately, there’s always a risk because fires can sometimes pop up even when you do everything right but, at the same time, you want to make sure you are putting your effort into prevention. If a fire does break out in your home, remember to get you and your family to safety, call for help and then call the professionals at SERVPRO of Blackwood/Gloucester Twp to make it “Like it never even happened.”