When it comes to potentially devastating occurrences, house fires definitely top most people’s list and with good reason. A house fire wouldn’t just endanger your life and the lives of those you care for most. It could also destroy the home where you’ve chosen to live out your lives together and make beautiful memories. However, while it’s not possible to guarantee you’ll never have to deal with the aftermath of a house fire at any point in your life, there’s quite a lot you can do to reduce the chances. Be sure to keep the following in mind.
1. Always Monitor Cooking Food
A whopping 50 percent of all house fires start in the kitchen, so it’s important to stay vigilant when it comes to your cooking routine. Kitchen fires can start and blaze out of control much more quickly than most people realize, so always keep a close eye on cooking food. If possible, stay in the kitchen or very nearby while food is cooking, even if you’re baking something in the oven that may take a while. Never walk away from pots or pans cooking on the stovetop.
2. Be Mindful of Heating Equipment
Heating equipment that’s misused or improperly maintained is the next most common cause of house fires, so you’ll want to be careful when using your fireplace, running a space heater, and so forth. (Space heaters are an especially major concern, as they’re responsible for up to 70 percent of all house fires that occur during the winter.) Never leave fireplaces burning or space heaters running unattended, and make sure flammable objects are kept well away from them while they’re in use. Always put fires out completely and turn heaters off before leaving your house or going to sleep as well.
3. Have Your Furnace Serviced
There are many reasons why furnaces and HVAC systems should be regularly inspected and maintained by professionals. Dust and debris can easily build up and cause fire hazards. Ducts can become blocked, obstructing airflow and causing your equipment to work less efficiently. Parts can break or wear out as well, and a professional knows how to handle all of those scenarios. Your home heating system should be serviced at least once a year, but people who also have air conditioning installed as well sometimes opt for twice a year instead — once before summer and again before it’s time to run the heat in the winter.
4. Keep and Maintain Fire Safety Equipment
Having a fire extinguisher nearby can make all the difference when it comes to a house fire. Place one in every room where a fire could possibly break out, and make sure everyone in your household not only knows where they are but knows how to use them. Smoke alarms should also be installed throughout your home, and the batteries should be tested often.
While no one likes to think about the possibility of a house fire robbing them of everything they hold dear, being prepared can drastically reduce the chances of that happening. Make sure fire safety is the priority it should be in your home.