There are few things more devastating than a house fire. After all, your home is where your heart is, and flames can destroy a lifetime of memories in a matter of minutes. Even worse, it can seriously endanger the lives of you and your loved ones. More than 3,500 Americans die in house fires every year, with the risk of dying in a fire vastly higher in rural states.
Even relatively contained fires can cause a huge amount of distress for your family and leave you with an eye-watering insurance bill. This post will explain four things you can do to limit the possibility of a fire starting in your home.
1) Have a restoration service on speed dial
As the saying goes, prevention is always better than a cure – but accidents can unfortunately happen. If a fire starts in your home, the story isn’t over once the blaze has been put out. Fire damage can be difficult to repair and dangerous to live with. Leftover smoke, for example, can cause breathing complications and even lung problems if it’s not cleared properly.
Whether you live in Illinois or Alabama, identify a fire damage restoration company and add their number to your speed dial. If the worst should happen, this will give you peace of mind that the aftermath can be dealt with quickly and professionally. From small cooker fires to whole-house infernos, a good restoration business will know how to carry out repairs and work with your insurance company throughout the process.
2) Be careful where you place your candles
Scented candles are a great way to add some personality and style to your home. But did you know that an average of 23 house fires are started by candles every day across the US? That’s almost one an hour! These fires kill around 80 Americans a year – and cause a staggering $264 million of property damage.
The good news is that being vigilant about where you place your candles, and how long you leave them burning for, can distinctly lower your risk of starting a fire. Make sure you keep naked flames at least 1 foot away from soft furnishings like curtains, or anything else that’s easily flammable. Use sturdy candle holders that won’t tip over and always blow out your flame before leaving the room.
3) Check your household appliances
It’s important to make sure that your appliances aren’t a fire hazard.
- When cleaning your cooker or stove, check that grease isn’t accumulating in any corners, as this can combust if your appliance overheats.
- If you use a tumble dryer, regularly remove the lint as this has been proven to ignite.
- Finally, inspect your plug sockets and power cords for signs of damage, such as fraying or loose wires, and contact the manufacturer if you’re in any doubt as to whether an appliance is faulty.
4) Clear your yard of combustible materials
So, you’ve taken steps to ensure your house is safe inside. What about the outside? The next time you’re sprucing up your backyard, think about the plants that are nearest your home. Trees, leaves and vegetation might look beautiful, but they can spread fire to and from your house. A small internal fire could soon set your backyard ablaze.
The best way to prevent this from happening is to make sure you trim any overhanging branches near your windows and roof. If you have guttering or eaves troughs around your house, regularly clear them of fallen leaves and debris. This will limit the build-up of combustible materials.