5 Safety Measures to Avoid House Fires
Avoiding a house fire seems easy enough, but many people neglect to take the precautions necessary to protect themselves, putting them and their families at risk everyday. Here are some easy ways to avoid house fires:
1. Smoke detectors — Easy to install and maintain
Smoke detectors are cheap, reliable, and very easy to operate. They’re usually connected to the mains and to an independent battery supply. Have your smoke alarms fitted in a systematic pattern throughout the house. A tradesman can help siting them for best effect.Aï¿½
2. Keep and eye on cooking and never cook whilst inebriated or distracted
The bottom line here is “If you can’t do it properly, don’t do it at all.” Never leave food cooking unattended, or cook while you can’t give the cooking your full attention.Aï¿½
There are some ways around these situations:
Prepare food beforehand. This gives you time to do things properly and focus on the job.
Use ready to eat foods like microwave meals. The attention span requirement is lower, and so are the risks.
Order out. A home delivery will solve all problems, and it’s far simpler if you’ve got guests or minding kids than trying to balance these tasks with cooking.Aï¿½
3. Never lie down whilst smoking and keep your matches and lighters hidden
The “smoking in bed” effect also applies to dozing off while lying down and smoking. Don’t do it. The risks are serious, and many people have been severely injured by fires which start under these conditions because they’ve literally been in the middle of the fires. Sit up, stand up, or walk around, but stay vertical to make sure you don’t nod off. Keep flammable matches and lighters well out of the way when smoking.Aï¿½
4. Have your heaters serviced and never have them less than one metre from any other object
Whatever form of heating you use, it will need servicing over time. This is an absolute must. The minimum safe distance from any surface is one metre, to allow the direct heat to dissipate. With synthetics and other plastics, further is better. Synthetics are usually extremely flammable, real fire hazards in these situations.
5. Check your gas and electrical systems regularly
Make a point of checking all your electrical and gas systems. The things to look for are easy to spot:
Malfunctions of any kind, particularly with temperature controls
Plugs or adapters in damaged condition
Any unusual behavior in the systems.
Fuses or damaged gas heaters (pilot lights often go out with damaged gas heaters).
Mains and crawl space wiring should be checked by a licensed electrician. Do not attempt to service or fix gas systems or wiring yourself. It’s not only illegal, it’s usually extremely dangerous, and can actually cause fires.
The best way of avoiding financial damage from fires is a reliableAï¿½house insuranceAï¿½policy. Make a point of checking out what insurers have to offer, including a full package of home and contents and fire insurance.