Fire is as a much a threat to homes as tornados, high winds, thunderstorms or even floods. The only thing that makes fires more dangerous is that they do not have a season. Fire can break out during any season: winter, spring, summer, or autumn. This is why it’s very important to prepare for and prevent fires as much as one can. Unlike other types of severe storms, fire continues until it burns everything in its path, destroying thousands of dollars of valuables and claiming lives.

Prevention is better than cure

The first thing you need to do to secure your home, is to evaluate your surroundings and identify things that can start a fire. Some of the things to look out for include:

  • Cooking equipment: When a pot or pan overheats or splatters greases, it can take seconds to cause a fire,
  • Storm shelter: ensure that you have access to a storm shelter in case of a fire as it’ll help protect your valuables in a short,
  • Heating equipment: have your furnace inspected annually by a qualified technician, and your chimney cleaned and inspected annually,
  • Careless smoking: make the bedroom off-limits to smoking, and supervise smokers who may become drowsy (i.e. on medication, drinking) or forget to extinguish their cigarette,
  • Electrical equipment: ensure that your electrical appliances don’t have loose or frayed cords/plugs and that your outlets aren’t overloaded with plugs,
  • Candles: keep candles in a sturdy holder on a level surface, away from combustible materials and out of the reach of children or pets,
  • Children playing with fire: children cause fires out of curiosity (what happens when something burns) or mischief (they’re angry, upset or destructive, and fire is a major taboo to break),
  • Flammable liquids: flammable liquids – fuels, solvents, cleaning agents, thinners, adhesives, paints, and other raw materials – can ignite or explode if stored improperly

Fire Safety Tips

  • Ensure that all household members know two ways to escape from every room of your home. Make sure everyone knows where to meet outside in case of fire,
  • Practice escaping from your home at least twice a year and at different times of the day. Practice waking up to smoke alarms, low crawling and meeting outside. Make sure everyone knows how to call 9-1-1,
  • Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area,
  • Clear combustible debris from around your home. This includes obvious things like dry grass, brush, stacks of firewood and debris – and some not so obvious things like a wood fence and even a wooden deck,
  • Buffer Home Heaters. Most home fires are started by home heating equipment. Use caution and common sense when using propane, electric or other home heating equipment,
  • Since most fires start between midnight and 4 a.m., the key to survival is being awake and alert. Working smoke detectors can save members of your household. Install at least one smoke detector on each floor and one near each bedroom area

We hope your family never has to experience fire but it’s always better to be knowledgeable and safe than sorry. If this article has been of help to you please share with your friends on Facebook and other social media pages.