Fireproofing your home may be one of the most important activities you undertake. It doesn’t take much to start a fire, so it’s surprising that more people don’t lose their homes to fires every year. However, plenty of people do lose their homes. In fact, there were 1,298,000 fires that caused $11.6 billion dollars’ worth of assets to be lost, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Along with that were 15,775 injuries and 3,275 deaths. This may sound like a lot of damage and casualties, but the statistics actually show that there are way less fires than there were back in 2005.
Nevertheless, it is still something to be prepared for. After all, you never know when something like that can happen to you, your home and your family. At any time and at any time of the year. However, it’s especially important to fireproof your home before the hotter months descend upon you and make it even more likely that something left unattended will ignite your home and all you’ve worked so hard to build. Don’t be left wishing you had done more to protect your home. Take these simple steps to ensure that your home is as safe as it can be from the threat of a blaze.
Send the Rat Packing
If you’re a packrat, you’re asking for trouble. A packrat is more likely to hold onto materials that can ignite in an instant and set their entire life up in flames. The more stuff you have to lay around, the more likely it is that a small spark or fumes from a spent gas can or cleaning agent will ignite and catch fire. Give any clothing that doesn’t fit up for charity. Get rid of any old boxes of stuff in the garage that you’re never going to use. Be sensible, and place any items you do wish to keep in containers that aren’t likely to catch fire.
If you have a family member who is a hoarder, though, then downsizing their possessions might be a bit more difficult. Take the process slowly, but make sure to sit down with them and explain the risk that all of their stuff presents and the fire hazard that it is. If a lot of their things are paper documents or books, then replacing them digitally might be a good way of helping them to downsize. All papers and documents can be scanned and kept in the cloud. As for books, they can be replaced with the help of Kindle and online books. As for larger items, take the time to sit down with this family member and go through every single thing. Help them to realize what they don’t actually need and what they should hold onto.
Inspect Your Smoke Alarms
Make certain all of your smoke alarms work. While a smoke alarm may not be able to save your home, it can certainly wake you in time to prevent your own demise. It’s infinitely more important that you preserve your own life than the life of your home. However, operational smoke alarms can also help you to ensure that the authorities are alerted as soon as possible after a fire starts. Early warning of a fire can even help to save your home.
You may be interested to know that three out of every five deaths involving a fire are due to homes that either have no smoke alarms or have them but they’re not working. The reason as to why some don’t work, though, is typically due to missing, dead, or disconnected batteries. This is why it is really important that you inspect the alarms in your home on a regular basis. In fact, you should be in the habit of testing your alarm once a month and replacing the batteries every six months. If you don’t think that you can remember to check, put it on your calendar to test your alarm the first day of every month and to change out the batteries on daylight savings (which most states still practice and occurs every six months).
Protect Your Wiring
If you’re constantly blowing a fuse whenever you turn a light on, you may be overloading your wires. Make certain you’re using certified power panels if you’re going to connect more than one electronic device to a single outlet. Pay attention to the signs your house is giving you. Avoid using lights with a higher wattage than is recommended for the outlet. This in itself can cause a fire. The fuses in your home are safety devices that exist for a reason. Pay attention, and investigate the cause of any burnt fuses to protect your home.
If you have kids, it may be a good idea to cover all of the outlets in your home. You can get plastic covers at Walmart or pretty much any home appliance store. The covers just plug into the outlet, making it difficult for children to access it, and are easy for adult hands to take out. Basically, the reason behind this is to make sure that your children don’t put anything in the outlets, such as liquids or metal, that would tamper with the wires.
Clean Out Those Pipes
It’s true that natural gas can get mixed with your water supply. Although this is rare, it can happen and it just illustrates why it’s so important to have professionals work on your plumbing and air conditioner units.
Another thing that you may want to consider getting is fire suppression piping so that your home is even safer from fires. Basically, this can include a sprinkling system that sets off whenever a fire is detected.
Fireproof your home before it’s too late. A little preparation now can save you a lot of money later on down the road. With regular maintenance and a good spring cleaning routine, you can keep your home safe and free from the threat of fire. Hire professionals to do the jobs you don’t have the experience to complete, and rest easy knowing you’re well-protected in your finely cared for home.
Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake. For your fire suppression piping needs, Hannah recommends Allcounty Plumbing & Heating Corp,.