Home Fire Prevention Advice
Only a few days ago, a wildfire broke out in California, around Highway 14 and Mint Canyon. Although the changing of the seasons is happening right now, the danger for wildfires is always present if you live in a warmer populated area like California. You should be on guard against unpredictable weather conditions and know what types of dangers you are exposed to in your geographical area. When you are thinking about the potential for fire, it is smart to take a few steps to prevent possible flare-ups in your home. There are common fire causes sitting in most homes that should be watched. Through simple planning and some thought, most of these can be avoided or prevented. Remember that all your preventative effort goes into potentially avoiding disaster or stopping it short should you encounter it.
Fire requires three elements to ignite – oxygen, heat, and flammable materials. Take a moment to consider your home. Areas like the kitchen, the garage, and storage rooms can all contain a house fire waiting to happen. In addition to areas in your home, think about your daily habits. Do you regularly leave the kitchen when you have a gas burner on? Do you smoke in your living or bedroom? When it is cold outside, do you use an electric blanket? Take the time to consider your personal habits and living area and those few moments to plan might make a huge difference if the worst actually happens.
Personal smoking is a common cause of fires in homes because of carelessly discarded cigarette butts. A lighted cigarette or cigar butt can easily cause fire damage in your home, office, or perhaps a public area if not properly discarded. If you choose to smoke in your own home, take precautions to properly put out a butt before discarding it. Dropping a lighted butt in the trash, for example, has the potential to light up the contents of the trash bin. If you are in bed or on a couch, take the time to properly discard the butts in a non-flammable container or receptacle. Some might advise you to refrain from smoking indoors altogether.
Another common cause of house fires comes from kitchen cooking. Cooking requires heat and the kitchen is home to electric or gas stovetops, ovens, small appliances, and constant movement. When cooking, avoid wearing loose clothing that can be caught. Never leave the kitchen when you are operating the stove and be aware of when the oven is on. In college, I once had a roommate who stored his portable grill in the over. We lent our kitchen to a friend, who did not bother checking the oven before preheating it. The grill melted inside the over, leaving charred plastic, misshapen metal and electrical wiring all over the inside of the oven. Fortunately, the horrible smell alerted the occupants of the apartment before the fire alarm or a real house fire broke out. The moral of the story is to be aware when you are cooking – always check your tools and use caution when using flammable items. Oil, grease, and gas are a potent combination and vigilance should always be used to avoid fire damage.
If a home catches on fire, you should use common sense. If it is a smaller blaze, put it out using baking soda or a fire extinguisher. If the blaze is past a tiny little flame and well on its way to consuming your home, immediately call the local fire department. In the aftermath of a fire, do not approach your home – even if the flames are out. Flare-ups are hazardous and the aftermath of a house fire is very dangerous if you are uninformed. Contact a local fire restoration company if you need help repairing a home or have questions about what to do after a fire. Other good resources are civic centers, the fire department, and the American Red Cross.
If you have fire or smoke damage, call Restoration Local 24/7 at 1-888-443-3110 for a free estimate!