The winter weather is in full swing. It is that time of the year when most people prefer staying indoors to avoid chilly winds and snow outside. Though this season has its own charm, it often comes with the threat of home fires from heating sources. During winters, people use various heating sources which pose dangers of catching fire.
Residential fire is a common phenomenon which is not limited to the winter season. In fact, the rates of fire accidents are equally high during summers as well. This implies that residential fires pose a huge threat to homeowners irrespective of the season. There are various factors which lead to a fire outbreak in homes. Ignoring these risk elements can start a fire which can become life-threatening. In just five minutes, an entire home can be engulfed in flames and you may not have time to control it. Therefore, it’s important for residents and families to become familiar with how firebreak, the main causes of home fires, and the various methods for fire safety.
Awareness along with proper preventative action is crucial to saving your family and house from the trouble of having to deal with a fire. Homeowners should consider the following tips to reduce their risk of a residential fire.
- Test your smoke alarms.
According to reports, non-working smoke alarms result in three out of five home fire deaths. Therefore, make sure to test your smoke alarm and check their batteries every month and replace yearly. The alarm must be installed on every floor and should be interconnected so that when one sounds, they all sound. It is recommended to replace smoke alarms every 10 years.
- Check the dryer and remove lint
Make sure to always clean out the lint trap from the dryer. It is necessary to check behind and around the dryer for pockets of lint or items of laundry that have fallen under or behind. A clogged filter and lint trap not only decreases the efficiency of your dryer but also reduces the airflow needed to keep heat from building up in vents which results in fires.
- Maintain your heating system
The heating system in the house must be annually inspected and services by a professional to reduce the risk of residential fire. This should include space heaters, chimneys from wood-burning fireplaces. The heat sources must be clean of dust and other flammable items that can be a source of ignition. Change filters regularly to avoid build-up of dust and lint that can easily catch fire. Always call qualified professional to install stationary space-heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer’s instructions. Thus, maintaining your heating system and the furnace is crucial in preventing house fires.
- Regularly inspect wiring
Over time electrical panels and wires become faulty which can be dangerous. You need to check the condition of cords and watch out for frayed wires. As such, it is necessary to call a professional to inspect electrical panels routinely to check for corrosion, hot spots, and repairing or replacing damaged wires. Moreover, limit the number of units plugged into a single circuit, as it can quickly overheat and spark a flame inside your home.
- Be alert in Kitchen
Fire and arson investigators have found out that in most cases, residential fires begin in the kitchen due to high temperatures, flowing gas and flammable materials. Make sure to set rules for working in the kitchen like never leave a pan on a hot stove unattended. Always remember to keep flammable materials away from heat sources like oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper towels or sponges. It is a good practice to always cook with a lid beside the pan. This ensures that in case the pan catches on fire, you can slide the lid over the pan and turn off the burner.
- Stock fire extinguishers
Sometimes acting over smart can be very risky. When you feel things are going out of your control, call the fire department. Always stock your home with a portable fire extinguisher and make sure you know how to use one. Also, it’s crucial that you have an extinguisher that’s the correct type for the fire you’re fighting.