Many people neglect the important precautions needed to fireproof a home. Every year, fires take hundreds of lives and destroy thousands of homes in Canada. Many of these tragedies could be prevented. To protect your home, loved ones and possessions, it is important to give a conscious effort to fireproofing your home. The following tips will get you started.
Avoid overloaded outlets: Overloaded outlets can cause house fires. Avoid plugging large appliances (i.e. refrigerators, microwave ovens, heaters, air conditioners) into the same outlet or circuit. Fix any loose wall receptacles, wires and lighting fixtures. Don’t use extension cords on a permanent basis and never run extension cords under carpeting.
Sleep with bedroom doors closed: A bedroom window can serve as a fire escape route. As such, keeping the bedroom doors closed can isolate smoke and heat in the event of a fire and provide more time to escape. For improved safety, install a smoke alarm in every bedroom and turn any portable heaters off before you go to sleep.
Routinely check electrical appliances and cords for irregularities: Be sure to replace or repair any malfunctioning appliances or damaged electrical cords. Whether gas or electric, appliances need a careful watch. Use of appliances that have an automatic shut-off will mitigate your risk.
Use a chimney sweep service at least once per year: In doing so, you remove soot, blockages and any accumulating creosote, thereby reducing the potential for a chimney fire. Creosote is a highly flammable substance that builds up inside your wood-burning chimney over time.
Remove combustible and flammable materials from your attic: Your attic is often warmer than the rest of your home which can significantly increase the temperature of items stored there. Ensure any combustible or flammable materials are properly contained in fire-resistant containers and relocated to a cooler location in your home, or purge them responsibly.
If you take some simple fire safety measures around the home, you can sleep soundly knowing you’ve done your due diligence. Be vigilant and make these tips a part of your routine.