More than 30.000 Americans die in accidents in their own homes every year. And one of the worst that can befall you is fire. Home fires are exceedingly common with more than 350.000 occurring in an average year in the US. If one happens in your home, you may have as little as two minutes to get out. So, your best bet is to avoid fires altogether. That’s why you need to take home fire prevention very seriously. What you do to prevent and prepare for a home fire could quite literally be the difference between life and death. When building or remodeling your kitchen, Top Rated General Contractors will make sure that the construction is as safe as possible and all the wiring is done properly. But what can you do after that to ensure your own safety in the home?
Good electrical installation and gas lines are the basis of home fire prevention
Most house fires are accidental and start with a mistake you make yourself. But before you can start thinking about all the bad and potentially dangerous habits you need to correct, there needs to be a solid foundation to work with. After all, if faulty wiring causes sparks from time to time, it won’t matter that you’re taking every precaution known to man – a fire will start anyway. That is why it’s important to start with proper installations in your home.
Nowadays, most of the things in our home run on electricity. What is more, many of our appliances stay plugged in even when we are not around to monitor them. So, it’s extremely important to make sure that you have quality wiring installed by a professional throughout your home. Next, you need to get your gas installed professionally.
Gas fires can be hard to detect in time and are very deadly as a consequence. Therefore, opting for DIY kitchen remodeling Los Angeles is a bad idea. It should be left in the hands of professionals who know how to avoid damaging gaslines and will have a professional install new ones if necessary.
Home fire prevention is all about being prepared
You can’t always prevent a house fire. But you can always be prepared for it. If a fire does start, you’ll only have minutes to either stop it from spreading or get out of its way. So it’s extremely important to have the means for early detection and plans for worst-case scenarios.
Install smoke alarms
Smoke and gas detectors are some of the most wide-spread means of combating fire danger in residences across the world. You’ll want to install them in your own home as well. You should have a fire alarm on every floor of your house. This includes the basement. A good ADU contractor Los Angeles will even suggest one for your converted garage. If you can, install a fire alarm in every room of the house. If that’s not possible, install fire alarms in every kitchen and every bedroom at the very least. Since smoke rises, you’ll want to place your fire alarms either on the ceiling or high up on the wall (no more than a foot from the ceiling). If you use gas, you should also install gas detectors in the kitchen and everywhere else where you have exposed gas lines.
Finally, smoke alarms are only useful if they’re actually functional. So, make sure to test them at least once a month. It’s crucial that you are able to hear them throughout the house. And remember to replace batteries when necessary.
Have an escape plan
You probably know your home like the back of your palm. But when there’s an emergency, panic can easily make you forget even the most basic things. So it’s very important to know where the nearest viable exit is from every point in the house. Map out the fastest and safest escape routes from every room (in your head or on paper). That way, if something happens, you’ll know how to get out quickly.
Keep fire extinguishers in the house
A fire is not dangerous as long as it’s contained. So if one starts, you’ll need a way to put it out before it turns into an emergency. This is where fire extinguishers come in. While it’s possible to put some fires out by depriving them of oxygen or pouring water on them, fire extinguishers are the only thing that works all the time and is always safe to use. So have them in strategic places around the house (kitchen and bedrooms, for example). Learn how to use them and check that they’re still functional every couple of months.
Good habits are a part of home fire prevention
It should come as no surprise that the majority of home fires start as cooking accidents in the kitchen. The next biggest cause is improper use of heating appliances. So you could say that it’s often our own mistakes that cause a fire. Learn how to practice safe habits to prevent this.
Be careful with potential fire hazards
If you put your mind to it, you can pretty easily identify potential fire hazards in your home. The stove is an obvious one. An open flame of any kind (including a candle) is always a risk. Heat sources (like space heaters) in close proximity with flammable things (like curtains or old books or dry wood) can cause a disaster. But if you’re mindful of things like this in your Los Angeles interior design, if you make sure all your appliances are well-positioned and functioning, and if you’re careful with open flames, you can easily avoid fires in your home.
Watch your appliances
While leaving some appliances constantly plugged won’t affect your fire safety, some appliances you must monitor. Don’t leave your stove, grill, or space heater on if you’re not around. Even with best practices, the risk of a fire is too great. If no one is around to stop that fire from spreading, you could easily lose your home over something as simple as leaving the heater on while you go to the store. Don’t take that chance.
Stay ready for potential danger
You need to regularly check your fire alarms, electrical wiring, gas lines, and even appliances. Nothing lasts forever and you need to stay vigilant if you want to avoid a fire. So make sure that, as time passes, you remain safe. If you notice that something is not working as it should, fix it or replace it. Fire prevention is an ongoing effort, not something you do once and forget about.
When home fire prevention fails: what to do in the case of a fire
Sometimes, home fire prevention is not enough. Even if you do your best, mistakes happen and you can’t control every factor. So there’s always a possibility that a fire will start despite your best efforts. If that happens, knowing how to behave could save your life. So get informed about what to do when a fire starts: if it’s a small fire, try to extinguish it with a fire extinguisher before it gets out of control. If you can’t stop the fire, leave your belongings where they are and get out – it’s more important to save yourself than your things. Don’t open doors that are hot to the touch; use other exits instead. If you must go through smoke, get low and crawl out – smoke rises to the top so you can avoid it this way.
- The final and most important piece of advice – if anything does happen, your first priority should be to get out of the house safely and call 911 immediately.