Safety Measures to Avoid House Fires
While no one wants to think that their home and family may be affected by a house fire, the statistics show that every twenty seconds there is a residential fire somewhere in the United States. Even scary is that every twenty-six minutes someone is injured in one of these fires and every one hundred and thirty-four minutes someone is killed. The good news is that there are ways to help decrease the chances that your home and the lives of your family are devastated by a residential structure fire.
Make sure that you have regular maintenance inspections performed on your HVAC systems within the home. Professional technicians will visit your home to insure that your heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems are working at their best. These technicians will inspect all of the components of your system to insure that they are not worn out or showing signs of wear. They will also clean and replace the filters for your unit which often times can get blocked by dirt and debris. If the system gets hot enough, this debris can catch on fire. Backed with all of the knowledge and skills necessary to inspect all machines, reputable HVAC technicians will also be able to help you determine if installing new systems are the right choice for you and your family.
Only allow professional contractors to perform work on your home’s gas and electrical systems. Never attempt to work on these systems by yourself if you do not have expert knowledge, and never allow anyone else to either. Only trained professional technicians who are certified and insured should ever make replacements, adjustments or repairs to these systems because of the fact that they do have a high rate of causing fires within the home.
Do not leave a candle burning in an area of the home that is not attended. Unattended candles that are left burning are the number one reason for all residential structure fires in the United States. Simple things such as a household pet can bump them and knock them over, children will reach for them and objects can even get hot from the flame even at a distance.
Choose stove models where the controls are on the back or top of the stove, not on the front where they are easily accessible. If you have the ability or opportunity to select a stove model for your home, you should always look for a model that has the controls on the back or top of the stove especially if you have small children or household pets that may jump up and bump the knobs.
Educate your children early in their life. Even small children have the ability to comprehend simple instructions such as “boo-boo” or ouchy. Education is the number one preventative measure in almost all situations. So if you child is old enough to walk, they are old enough to start educating.
Unplug electrical equipment when not in use. When you are not using electrical equipment start to make a practice out of unplugging it. This will help to verify that things are not left to heat up and you can also save some money on your energy costs for the home.
Do not use items such as curling irons, hair straighteners or hot rollers in any other area than the bathroom. These items have the ability to let off a high amount of heat. In most situations these products are also used to get ready to leave the home. For many people this has lead to some very devastating situations. When used in areas such as the bedroom, these items have fallen over into piles of clothing, caught bedding on fire and even caused fires to start when falling onto carpeted floors. The most safest place to use these electrical hair products is in a bathroom that has an emergency circuit breaker that is designed to turn off power if the product gets too hot or falls into the water to prevent electrical shocks.
Install safety circuit breakers if your home does not have them. If your home does not have these emergency safety devices installed already, this is a very wise investment. Over 60 percent of all house fires could have been prevented if the homeowner had installed these circuit breakers in the home.
Make sure that you have plenty of smoke detectors throughout the home. It is recommended that you have a smoke detector in every floor of your home. However, in this situation more can be better. Smoke detectors alert the occupants of the first instance of smoke which give them time to get out in the event of a fire. Most people who are killed in house fires die from the smoke inhalation that they suffer. The earlier this is alerted, the more time there is to get out.
If you can fit it into your family’s budget, install a home sprinkler system and/or an emergency alert system. These systems can get kind of costly. However, there are some systems that can be installed rather inexpensively within the home. If you can fit this into your family budget it is worth the expense. Not all personal items will be saved if a fire does break out, but the chances of everyone getting out without injury is much better. You will also have the advantage of emergency personnel being alerted to your home much faster so the structure of your home will not sustain as much damage as what would normally be experienced.