Fire prevention for your home is more important than you may realize. In Denver there were 648 home fires according to the 2016 Denver County and City Fire Statistics Report. Many people think about the safety and security of their family, but often overlook the dangers posed by fires. Following are ten simple steps you can take to decrease the risk of potential fire hazards in your home.
1. Use a Smoke Alarm that Ties into a Mobile App
Using a “smart” smoke alarm will alert you to dangers sooner by sending you notifications if dangerous conditions are detected. Often, these fire prevention devices can work with your security system to give you added protection.
2. Keep Your Home Clear of Any Outlying Debris
Dispose of any combustible debris that surrounds your home. Clear away anything that surrounds your home that could cause a house fire. Trim low-hanging foliage to a safe distance from the outer reaches of your home.
3. Install a Fire Extinguisher in Your Home
Having a fire extinguisher on hand can help to quickly extinguish a small fire and prevent it from spreading.
4. Electrical Fire Safety
Do not overload your system by using “daisy chains” of power strips or extension cords. Visually inspect key electrical components, like breakers and switches, on an ongoing basis, making sure they are clean, dry, and tight. Have your electrical system inspected at least every 10 years by a qualified electrician.
5. Cigarette Smoking Fire Safety
If possible, make your home smoke-free. If a resident of your home smokes, encourage them to smoke outside. Create a safe smoking zone outside of your home by place a non-combustible, non-tipping receptacle for ash and butts in an area away from the house.
6. Cooking Fire Safety
Don’t leave the kitchen unattended when something is cooking. Implement cooking fire preventative devices, such as stovetops that sense unattended cooking or limiting the temperature of the cooking surface
7. Laundry Dryer Fire Safety
Clean your dryer lint traps often and check them to make sure they are in good condition. Also the ducting from your dryers should be smooth aluminum, and also be cleaned regularly.
8. Flammable Liquid Fire Safety
Do not store more flammable liquids or aerosols than necessary on your property. Discard all not being used.
9. Barbecue Fire Safety
Place your barbecue a minimum of 10 feet from your home, garage, or any other structure. Do not place your barbecue on your deck if it is made from combustible material.
10. Check the Batteries of Your Smoke Detectors
If your smoke detectors are battery operated check them every quarter to make sure they are operational and replace batteries every six months. In home fires resulting in deaths, 57% of the time a smoke alarm was not present or was not operational, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
In addition to property loss and financial impact, the long term emotional damage to victims and their loved ones as a result of a home fire is incalculable. This list is not exhaustive of all the things you can do to safeguard your home from fire, but implementing these 10 steps provide a good foundation.
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