Your home forms the central focal point of your world and usually contains your beloved family members as well as your most valuable possessions. Because of this, a house fire is understandably one of the worst disasters imaginable. Although you can’t control every part of life, there are home fire safety steps you can take to protect your house and your loved ones from the risk of fire.
Check Your Smoke Alarms
Most people know that smoke detectors should be installed on every level of the house. However, this is only the first step to keeping your home protected. You also need to test the alarms monthly to make sure they are still working properly.
Also, make sure you change the alarm batteries every six months. Put it on your calendar to ensure you don’t forget, or get into the habit of changing the batteries every time you change your clocks for Daylight Savings Time.
Use Smart Plugs
Smart plugs can be used to control the flow of electricity to appliances and electrical devices. Because you can use your smartphone to program the operation of these plugs, you can turn appliances and devices on and off with the touch of a button. This reduces the probability of a fire because you can control the connection between the power outlet and the device even when you are not home. For example, if you think you may have accidentally left an appliance turned on, you can cut the power from a remote location, thus ensuring that the device doesn’t cause an unintended fire.
Be Cautious When Burning Candles
The lure of scented candles is understandable. The flickering light and wafting scent can add ambiance to any room or situation. However, it’s important to be diligent about the placement and timing of burning candles. In order to avoid an accidental fire, never leave a burning candle unattended and follow these common-sense guidelines:
- Extinguish candles before getting into bed.
- Make sure lit candles are out of reach for pets and children.
- Put out burning candles before leaving a room, even if you plan to come right back.
- Don’t place candles on uneven or unsteady surfaces.
- Avoid using candles for emergency lighting, and instead, rely on flashlights.
Be Cautious With Your Fireplace
Just as candles require supervision, so too does a fire in your fireplace. When building a fire, make sure that your damper is open and that there are no combustible items near the hearth. It’s best to have a screen or glass door as a barrier between the flames and the room. Also, don’t leave a fire burning if you need to leave the room or go to sleep, and ensure that pets and small children keep their distance.
Additionally, you should have both your fireplace and chimney inspected regularly. You may even want to consider a local chimney sweep company that offers service contracts that include yearly inspections and cleanings.
Because the consequences of a house fire can be devastating, it’s important to think about and plan for fire safety in your home. By following a few common-sense tips, you can reduce the risk of fire and increase the level of safety in your home.