The alarm bells should sound if you are among the homeowners who are not up to date on fire prevention methods. Getting up to speed on fire safety is practical during October’s National Fire Safety Month. The following are some of the most effective ways to keep fiery blazes from destroying a property.
Fire Safety and Prevention
First, a little history shows how National Fire Safety Month made its way into the nationwide calendar. In 1871, the Great Chicago Fire ravaged the Windy City, leading to the National Fire Protection Association making the second week in October Fire Prevention Week.
Today, fire departments make heroic efforts to promote Fire Prevention Week and Month. October is a prime time to educate local communities about fire safety at home. Residents may also be familiar with the moniker National Fire Safety Month. No matter how you phrase it, fire safety knowledge is critical.
Here are some fire prevention steps to protect your home and loved ones.
1. Take Kitchen Safety Measures
Fires start in highly frequented places, like the kitchen. In fact, one out of every three residential fires bursts in this cozy nook, where ovens dripping with grease blaze at 400 degrees and pots are left unattended. Any flammable goods near the stove can erupt in flames.
Practice fire safety in the kitchen by keeping all flammable materials, like cookbooks, curtains, cloth potholders and towels, away from the stove and oven. If pots are boiling liquids on the stove, turn the pot handles inward; this safety move prevents scalding if anyone accidentally knocks into them.
Keep a close eye on food cooking in the kitchen, which means never leave a heated stove or oven unattended. If grease in the oven catches fire, keep the oven door closed; the flames will go out on their own. Unplug the microwave or toaster oven when sparks fly inside.
A functional fire extinguisher should have its own place inside the kitchen. Homeowners, whether they cook or not, should know how to use a fire extinguisher. A common technique is PASS: pull the pin, aim at the fire, squeeze the handle and sweep the extinguishing chemicals across the flames.
2. Maintain the Dryer
To every homeowner, the dryer is a boon. Take care of this convenient appliance, because a lack of maintenance can spark serious flames. In fact, dryer fires cause $222 million in property damage and take nearly 10 lives annually, not to mention the hundreds of injuries that result.
Lint, a combustible material, is notorious for catching fire. After every dryer run, remove the lint from the lint screen. Accordion-style ducts, connecting the dryer to the vent, trap lint easily within their ridges. To prevent lint buildup, replace these ducts with rigid metal ones that feature smooth walls.
3. Examine Electrical Cords
Properties are typically filled with electronics that rely on electrical cords. Over time, these cords can become frayed, worn or otherwise damaged. Frayed wiring is a known fire hazard. Reduce the chances of wires becoming a source of fire by regularly inspecting the electrical cords around the home.
Extension cords, while handy for temporary use, can be deadly with long-term usage. Deteriorating in a jiffy, extension cords can become a fire hazard. Limit the use of extension cords. Along the same lines, when using power strips or surge protectors, trust only name brand ones.
4. Test the Smoke Alarm
An alarming fact is that 60 percent of homeowners fail to test their smoke detectors each month. Hardwired or battery-powered smoke alarms require monthly testing. All it takes is a push of the button. A loud siren means the alarm works; a faint alarm signals the need for new batteries.
Adequate protection means installing a smoke alarm on each level in the home. Equally critical is maintaining the alarms regularly. When the smoke alarm suddenly sounds, the household members should know exactly what to do. Here is where planning an escape comes in.
5. Implement a Fire Escape Plan
A fire escape plan identifies two exits in every room. If a fire is suspected, never open the door right away. First, feel the door to determine if it is hot; if so, a blazing fire is on the other side. The alternate exit is the next best path out.
When billowy smoke gushes from a fire, crawl along the floor toward the exit. Family members should meet at the pre-arranged spot hashed out during practice runs of the home fire drill. Immediately call 911 to alert the fire department. Do not go back inside a burning building. Here are some additional tips on what to do after a fire.
6. Practice Bonfire Safety
A fire pit is lit up when outdoor temps are warm and inviting. To prevent fires, the fire pit should consist of nonflammable materials, such as stone or concrete. Windy days are rarely ideal for an outdoor fire. Plus, like the kitchen stove, fire pits should never be left unattended.
7. Enjoy the Fireplace Responsibly
An indoor fireplace might be lit when chilly weather descends. Use the fireplace sensibly to prevent a house fire. Like the stove and the fire pit, always be present when the fireplace burns. Fireplace ashes should have an ample cooling period prior to disposal in a designated metal container.
Here are some additional home maintenance tips to prevent fires.
Fire Damage Restoration
A blaze can take over a home in the blink of an eye. In the aftermath of a fiery disaster, Target Restoration is prepared to help you restore your home to its pre-loss condition. Our smoke and fire damage restoration services are among the most dependable in the Lone Star State.
While practicing fire prevention tactics is a homeowner’s best safety measure, Target Restoration is the answer to unexpected disasters, providing complete restoration services. Experienced Target Restoration crews are available for emergency situations. Our dedicated specialists are available 24 hours a day to respond to crises.
Home and business owners in Waco and central Texas rely on the best in fire damage restoration, Target Restoration. Keep Target Restoration’s contact information handy as an important part of National Fire Safety Month.
In the event that a fire has devastated your home or commercial building in Waco, TX and the surrounding areas, contact Target Restoration at (877) 741-9026.