A scary thought for many homeowners, house fires become a reality for over 24,000 Canadians every year. Should a house fire be large enough, it can cause significant damage to your home, destroy your possessions, and even result in the total destruction of your house – not to mention the risk they pose to you and the members of your household.
Luckily, many house fires are avoidable by following these prevention tips and maintaining a good household prevent plan.
1. Install Smoke Alarms & Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Smoke alarms should be installed throughout your home, especially near high-risk areas like the kitchen and woodstoves. Be sure to maintain these detectors and alarms as well. Regularly checking the batteries and testing these alarms can literally save your life.
2. Buy Fire Extinguishers
Make sure your home is equipped with at least one high-quality fire extinguisher. Store them close to areas at a greater risk of small fires, like the kitchen.
3. Keep Heating Systems Maintained
Left without regular maintenance, the heating system in your home has the potential to cause a house fire. Schedule regular upkeep with a professional to keep your house safe. As an added bonus, this can also help to detect inefficiencies in the system.
4. Clear Out Dryer Vents & Filters
Every time you put in a new load of laundry, clean out the lint from your dryer filter. Similarly, schedule for your dryer vents to be cleaned annually to avoid dangerous build up.
5. Practice Safe Cooking Habits
It’s easy to step away from your cooking for a moment during a busy day; however, it only takes that moment for a house fire to start. Make sure you stay in the habit of always watching the stove when you’re cooking.
Keeping cooking oil away from the stove can also decrease the risk of a house fire.
6. Done With It? Unplug It
After you’ve finished with a cooking appliance, make sure you unplug it. Should a circuit board or electric contacts fail in the device, leaving the appliance unplugged mitigates the risk of this failure resulting in a fire.
7. Don’t Divide
Plug dividers can result in overloading electrical outlets. Avoid using these divers.
8. Burn Candles With Caution
For some, candles are necessary to create an ideal atmosphere in their home. However, they pose a fire risk. If you choose to burn them in your home, never leave them unattended.
Make sure you carefully consider where you burn them as well. Check the area for any potentially flammable items above, below, or near the candle. Lastly, keep them well out of the reach of children and pets.
9. Replace Old Cords
We understand wanting to reuse items as much as possible. When it comes to cords, though, stop using any that have become frayed or otherwise damaged. These pose a high fire risk and should be discarded and replaced as soon as possible.
10. Smoke Safely
For any homeowners who smoke in their house, always wet your cigarettes before putting them in the trash. Don’t substitute ashtrays with household items like flower pots or planters – even outside.
Just like candles, don’t leave lit cigarettes unattended. Avoid smoking in bed or while lying down: if you fall asleep while smoking, your lit cigarette can quickly cause a fire.