KidSafe Blog

Fire Prevention Tips for the Home

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Living in a modern home means all kinds of luxuries, but it can also mean a number of risks. Amongst other things, you have to be careful about a fire breaking out at any time. With the below tips, this is easier than ever before.

Have a Professional Inspect It

After buying a home—whether you’re the first owner or not—it’s always a good idea to have a professional inspect it for possible fire hazards. This means checking your heating (including the gas it uses), plumbing, HVAC system and all wiring. They should also check the exterior for potential issues too.

Paying to have these inspections done every few years or so will definitely be worth it as well.

Pay Attention to Electrical Problems

There are some electrical problems we all know are signs of a potential fire. For example, if your smell something burning when you have certain devices on (even if there’s no actual flame), this means something is terribly wrong and you should turn everything off.

However, something like sporadic power surges and/or flickering lights are also important to take notice of. While outside influences could certainly be at work, these issues could also be indicative of a bad connection, a problem that may become worse in the form of a fire.

Breakers that trip and/or fuses that frequently blow should also be noted. Either is practically always a sign that an overloaded circuit or some type of wiring issue is putting your loved ones in danger. Call an electrician immediately.

Inspect Breaker Connections

Make a habit out of checking on your breaker connections, especially the ones located in panel boxes outdoors. Corrosion or any indication that thermal damage has occurred should have you worried. If you notice smoky residue near the terminals or poorly taped splices, again, call an electrician ASAP.

Check Your Appliances

Aside from the permanent features in your home, fires can also start from the appliances you use every day. For example, a dirty stove or oven is more than just an eyesore, it’s an easy place for fires to get started if you aren’t careful. While you’re cleaning them, do the same for your vent hoods and the filter you use. Exterior vents are vital too for keeping birds, insects and other vermin from impeding the flow of air, to say nothing of preventing debris from doing the same.

Always take an extra second to inspect the power cord of your appliance before plugging it in. Any wiring that is exposed could become a potential fire hazard.

Maintain Your Fireplace

If you use your fireplace, you have to properly maintain it. This means having it professionally cleaned and inspected once a year. It also means keeping an eye out for creosote, which is an oily substance that can build up in your fireplace and chimney when wood doesn’t burn all the way through. Creosote is extremely flammable, meaning it is also extremely dangerous.

Don’t let your home get damaged or destroyed because of a fire. Along with practicing common sense, the tips listed above will help keep you safe.

Sources:

http://www.wikihow.com/Prevent-a-House-Fire

http://www.nfpa.org/safety-information/safety-tip-sheets

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