Top Tips to Prevent House Fires

House fires are a serious threat to homeowners and their families. Around 3,500 people in the US die each year as a result of house fires or burns and 80% of fire-related deaths occur in the home – a shocking statistic when you think of your home as a haven.

It’s easy to believe that accidents are inevitable; but they can be prevented and if homeowners understand the ways house fires often start, they can take measures to minimise the risks.

As well as following these fire prevention tips, to keep your family safe you should prepare for the worst so that if it does happen, you can exit your house safely and quickly. Install fire alarms and check them once a month; devise and practice a home fire drill at least twice a year. If your home is particularly big, you could buy some glow-in-the-dark exit signs from My Safety Sign to help people out if it’s dark.

house fire

Threat #1 – Cooking

Cooking is the biggest threat when it comes to domestic fires. You could leave something on the stove to answer the door and get distracted, returning to the kitchen to find a corner of it ablaze.

The solution is to always stand by the stove. If you must leave it for something urgent, turn the heat down or off. Otherwise, give your cooking your undivided attention and make sure you know how to deal with fat or oil fires (NEVER use water to extinguish them). You could also invest in a fire blanket and extinguisher for your kitchen.

Threat #2 – Heating

This threat is worst over winter. Portable or even kerosene heaters can be a major cause of fires. The problem comes from objects coming into contact with them – like curtains, clothes or furniture.

The solution is to give your heaters lots of clearance – at least three feet in all directions – not only from people and animals but also curtains, other fabrics and furniture. If you’re using a boiler and central heating, have it inspected each year; if you have a log fire, make sure your chimney is swept and that you have a ffireguard

Threat #3 – Smoking

On top of the other health risks, smoking also causes many fires in the UK each year. Smouldering butts or hot ashes ignite the foam or coverings on furniture or even mattresses.

The solution is to make yours a smoke-free house – smokers have to go outdoors. If you do smoke indoors, have a policy of dunking cigarette butts into water before they go in the trash.

Threat #4 – Electricity

Frayed or faulty electrical cords are a big cause of house fires. Fraying or cracked cords can discharge sparks and if those sparks land on oil or flammable fabrics, a fire could start.

The solution is to regularly inspect electrical cords and replace any that look frayed, cracked or worn. You should also never overload an outlet – restrict it to one plug per outlet.

Threat #5 – Candles

Many people use candles, which is why they’re a major source of house fires.

The solution is to use battery-powered or solar-powered lights instead of open flames. If you can’t give up your candles, then make sure there’s always an adult present and if the adult leaves the room, the candle should be blown out. Never use candles in the bedroom, either, as it’s easy to fall asleep with them still burning.

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One Comment

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