While most people prioritize the safety and security of their homes, they often overlook the potential accidents and injuries posed by home fires. According to a National Fire Prevention Agency (NFPA) report, fires resulted in $12.1 billion in home damages and caused 15,200 injuries and 3,500 deaths in 2020. For this reason, it is critical to prevent home fires to protect your property and your loved ones. Read on for five ways to keep your home safe from home fires.
1. Change air filters and remove lint
The heating and cooling system requires an air filter to remove dirt, debris, dust, chemicals, and pet danders from entering the system. Over time, these unwanted particles accumulate in the filters clogging them. Not only could this compromise the indoor air quality and make the system work harder to heat or cool your home. The heat from the furnace could ignite the lint resulting in massive fires, so ensure you clean or replace the filters frequently.
Be sure to also remove the accumulated unwanted particles from your dryer filters each time you do your laundry. Even the most minimal amount of lint could cause significant damage to your property due to fire.
2. Unplug appliances you are not using
A surge of electricity flowing through appliances makes your home vulnerable to fire hazards. Even when not in use, devices like television, computers, sound systems, and gaming systems use electricity. If any of these systems overheat or experience an electricity surge, it could lead to a home fire.
Be sure to unplug all unused appliances to lower the chances of fire and cut the electricity bill. You could also invest in circuit breakers to halt the electricity flow in case of an overload or fault to minimize the risk of a home fire.
3. Check smoke detectors
Smoke and fire detectors are your primary line of defense against home fires. When these devices detect heat and smoke, the sensors sound an alarm, enabling you to catch an issue before it escalates into an emergency. However, you should keep the fire and smoke detectors in excellent condition to protect your home. Below are ways to maintain smoke and fire detectors
- Test the devices at least once every month
- Change the batteries whenever you hear a low-battery alert
- Replace the smoke and fire detectors every ten years. You could consider investing in an intelligent smoke alarm system.
4. Avoid smoking inside the house
If you often smoke, consider doing so in well-ventilated areas. You should also ensure you put out the cigarettes entirely before discarding them. Cigarettes have numerous materials and additives that could keep burning if not properly put out. This flame could ignite your home, resulting in massive fires.
5. Plug appliances in surge protectors
One of the biggest causes of electrical fires is a surge in power. Plugging appliances in a surge protector reduces the risk of excessive power getting to electronic devices, which could cause a fire.
A home fire can cause significant damage to your property and pose a danger to your loved ones. Unplug unused appliances, check fire and smoke detectors, plug items in surge protectors, change air filters, remove lint, and avoid smoking inside the house to protect your home from a fire.