4 Important Ways to Fireproof Your Home

Simple Tips to Help Fireproof Your Home  

House fires caused approximately $8 billion in property damage, more than 2,800 fatalities and more than 11,000 injuries in 2018. With people staying home more than ever these days, it is imperative to keep the property fire-safe. Homeowners insurance often will pay for fire damage. However, simple prevention methods are often key when keeping fire risks low. What are some of these simple tricks? 

  • Keep Batteries in Your Smoke Alarms  

Working fire and carbon monoxide alarms often prove lifesaving in the event of fires. A good rule of thumb is to change the batteries twice a year when you adjust your clocks for daylight savings time. If you hear your alarms beeping with no sign of a fire around, then it might mean the batteries are low.  

Don’t forget, many smart home systems now offer fire and carbon monoxide alarms. These systems can alert you to fires on your mobile device, and some can even automatically call 9-1-1.  

For extra protection, keep at least one fire extinguisher in your home. Extinguishers have a shelf life of several years, but you will need to replace yours periodically.  

  • Service Outlets, the HVAC System and Appliances  

From 2012 – 2016, more than 44,000 of home fires started due to problems in the home’s electrical setup. Take care of your electrical system with a few practical steps:  

  • Never overload your electrical outlets and use surge protectors for additional protection.  

  • Cover outlets that you are not using with a plastic protector.  

  • Do not stick any foreign objects into outlets.  

  • If you notice that your outlets spark or that you frequently blow fuses, then this might indicate a problem in your wiring.  

  • Do not plug in appliances if their power switch is on.  

  • If cords begin to fray, then use might become dangerous.  

  • Have your heater, air conditioner and water heater serviced regularly. Shut these items down if you notice strange odors, smoke or abnormal sounds.  

  • When replacing bulbs or other electrical parts, only use the appropriate wattage. 

  • Don't leave appliances running when you leave home. 

When problems arise in electrical systems, shut down the item and call a repairman. Do not use the item again until someone takes a look at it. 

  • Separate Flammable and Non-Flammable Items  

Your home can house a multitude of flammable items like carpet, rugs, drapes, furniture and clothing. Never let these items meet open flames or heat sources.  

  • Keep washcloths away from the stove.  

  • Don’t place flammable items on top of or near a lit fireplace, candle or furnace.  

  • Do not drape clothing over your radiator to let it dry.  

  • Don’t place furniture near outlets or sit appliances on fabric-covered surfaces.  

Different fibers used in furnishings might help retard the ability of a fire to spread. However, others might cause the fire to spread faster. You can learn more about these items by inspecting their manufacturer’s label.