Everyone wants to feel safe in their own home, which means putting barriers in place to protect against burglary, vandalism or fires. It also means being ready to handle any situation that arises. Fires in particular can be devastating, resulting not only the loss of your home but your valuables and even lives in some cases. Most homeowners have home security systems to alert them in case of a fire, but there are other steps you can take as well to keep your home fireproof and be prepared in the event of a fire.
Use Smoke Alarms & Check Them Regularly
Smoke from a fire can incapacitate you and is what kills more people each year than the fire itself. Install smoke detectors in your home in key areas: the hallways, bedrooms, kitchens and near your furnace. Alarms in these areas will give you the greatest chance of detecting a fire before it rages out of control. Test the alarm every 6 months to make sure they still work, otherwise change them yearly. Smoke alarms are your best bet of escaping a fire and will alert your home alarm system, which will help you contain the fire quickly and minimize damage. You also want to make sure family members recognize the sound of the alarm, especially children.
Have An Escape Plan
If a fire does break out you may not be able for the fire department to arrive, so you need to know alternative ways to get you and your family out of your home. Gather everyone together and walk through the house, pointing out windows and doors so everyone knows where all the exits are. You may also want to do this exercise several times in the dark: in the event of an actual fire you probably will be plunged in darkness and smoke, which can disorient you. Also, during a fire people tend to panic, so this exercise will have the steps to the door seared in their brain. Having everyone find the exits in the dark will help them move by touch and get their eyes accustomed to the dark. Your home security monitoring system may also offer fire exit strategies and training, so ask them when they install your system.
Make Sure Your Wiring Is Up To Code
Electrical fires can tear through a house fast, so never overload sockets and always use a surge protector. If an appliance, like an air conditioner, is plugged into an outlet that can not handle that high of a voltage, it could spark a fire inside the walls, engulfing your house before you have time to react. Know how much voltage your appliances need to run and make sure your wiring is updated and can accommodate that wattage. You also want to limit the number of appliances you have on any one outlet. If possible use individual outlets for each appliance Have an electrician check if your house was built before 1980 and hasn’t been renovated.
Protect Your Home from Outside Fire Threats
Sadly, thee are a lot of individuals out there who torch people’s homes, either to cover up a burglary, out of a morbid fascination with fire or out of jealousy and hatred. Having a home security camera to monitor your property can deter would-be arsonists. It can also show you how a fire started, where it started and why. You may catch someone in the act of trying to torch your home and avoid a catastrophe. It will also give you peace of mind knowing that when your away from home for a night out or a vacation your home is always being monitored.
Have Working Fire Extinguisher
In the event of a small fire, either on a stove or in a garbage pail, a fire extinguisher can literally be a life saver. It can contain and put out the fire before it grows. Have each of your family members, even children, learn how to use it. It has gauges so t you will know when to replace it. Keep it where it can be easily reached by everyone also. If you have a large family or multiple floors have one on each floor.
Fires can be scary, but with the right precautions in place you and your family can minimize the chances of one occurring in your home. With the right home security monitoring system and these easy to follow tips you and your loved ones can sleep easy knowing you’re protected. If you have a fire your insurance typically covers any damage. A home warranty company won’t but will if you break appliances.