How to Prevent and Minimize a House Fire

Sunday, January 20, 2013

How to Prevent and Minimize a House FireThousands of homes are damaged or destroyed by fire every year. If you do not want your house to become another statistic, here are some things you can do to prevent a fire or minimize the damage if it happens:

  • Install a fire extinguisher or two around the house. The best places are near the kitchen and any other room where you have a fireplace. Dry chemical and CO2 carbon dioxide extinguishers are the best types, since they can also put out electrical fires.

  • Call an electrician to inspect your house, especially if you live in an old structure or one with a rat population that might nibble on wires. You can even try to get a discount on your insurance premium by telling your insurance company that it has been done.

  • Unless you are especially handy, don’t fiddle around with the electrical insides of appliances.

  • Don’t leave unattended burners on in the kitchen, not even if you just quickly run off to fetch something.

  • If you use small portable heaters, keep them away from objects like chairs and flammable materials like curtains. Also make sure that they are placed on a firm surface where they won’t fall over.

  • If you have a fireplace, use a screen to prevent embers from popping out onto rugs and furniture.

  • Do not smoke in bed or while sleepy or intoxicated.

  • If a fire starts somewhere, try to smother it with a blanket or anything else on hand. Do not use water near electrical equipment and do not spread it by moving burning objects like frying pans.

  • Keep young children away from candles and matches, and teach them how to use them for when they’re older.

  • Don’t overload extension cords, and regularly inspect them for wear and tear damage.

  • Smoke alarms and automatic house sprinkler systems can lower your insurance premiums and protect your house even when you are not home.