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Protecting Your Home Against House Fires

Photo by Andrew Gaines on Unsplash

It’s everybody’s worst nightmare: a fire starting in your home. And yet, it’s something that can happen so quickly. A few moments are all a tiny spark needs to burst into a powerful blaze. The effects of fire are highly destructive, often leaving nothing in their wake, resulting in a large amount of property damage and the trauma of losing your home. Very often, it can also result in severe injuries and even death. An estimated 358,000 fires occur yearly in the United States, amounting to 7 fatalities.

Fire is unpredictable, and you can’t know for sure if or when it’ll start, where it’ll stem from, or how long it will take to put it out. And while no amount of planning can guarantee 100% protection against such an event, there are a few tips to follow if you want to make sure you’re doing everything in your power to keep your house safe and sound.

Unplug items you’re not using

Computers, TVs and so on could become potential fire hazards if left plugged in all the time. Even if they’re turned off, appliances still consume energy. Electricity continues to flow through even if they’re on standby, and this implies that an unexpected surge, or a difference in the energy flow, can cause one or more gadgets to overheat and start a fire. If you unplug these items when they’re not in use, you decrease the likelihood of a fire starting in your home. To take protection a step further, get a surge protector. These devices protect against voltage spikes in alternating current circuits. This means that they guard against fluctuations in electrical power, a major cause of fires. These spikes can be as short as lasting only one or two microseconds, but they are so powerful that they burn through standard wiring insulation.

Don’t leave flames unsupervised

This includes any type of heat-generating object. So whether you’re a passionate baker or your favorite mode of relaxation is to light a few candles at the end of a long, stressful day and bask in the warm glow, make sure you’re always nearby. If you’re close at all times, you can quickly identify if something is going wrong that’s not supposed to happen. You should also have a fire extinguisher in your home, so you can nip a potential fire in the bud before it has any chance to escalate.

Beware of flammable objects

A material that’s considered inflammable has a flashpoint below roughly 100.04°F. Many items in your household are highly combustible and can ignite very quickly. There are many potential fire hazards in your home, including nail polish and nail polish remover, hand sanitizer, and rubbing alcohol. Other more unexpected things can amplify a fire, such as certain foodstuffs. Garlic, bacon, oranges, flour and powdered non-dairy creamer are examples of foods that can easily catch fire. Make sure that all these items are stored away from direct fires and other heat sources. Certain clothing pieces contain flammable fabrics, so keep an eye out for any warnings listed on the labels. And if you’re starting a fire in your fireplace anytime soon, make sure to keep your hair out of the way. It is highly susceptible to extreme heat.  

In case of the unexpected

Despite taking all the necessary precautions, the unpredictable can happen. If a fire has damaged your property, you’re going to require the assistance of experts to start the process of getting everything back to how it was. If you’re in Texas, hire Dallas Fire Damage Restoration services to correct the damage and restore your home. They will conduct a thorough assessment of your property to determine the scale of the destruction, what can be salvaged and the right way to proceed.

They know the importance of employing the correct restoration process, depending on the extent of the conflagration and what started the fire in the first place. Flames that started because of oils or grease are different from those formed by chemicals like gasoline, and an incorrect repair process will do more harm than good and can result in additional damage. And if you’ve had the misfortune to experience a fire, you know that perhaps the most significant problems standing in the way of rebuilding are smoke and soot. The damage resulting from these fire byproducts is severe, diffusing through surfaces and invading their structure. But when you’re relying on professionals to help you, you can rest assured that you’ll see positive results.

Remove excessive clutter

If there are items scattered on every available surface of your home, you should consider tidying things up a little. When you have a lot of stuff lying around, it’s more difficult to spot where a fire has started. Consequently, it becomes impossible to intervene and put it out, so it’s more likely to spiral out of control. What’s more, if there’s a fire spreading, excessive clutter can hinder escape from the building. If items block exits or corridors, it can be very difficult to reach safety, increasing the risk of injury.

Monitor the electricity

It can sound like a hassle, but it’s imperative to get electricity checkups often. This doesn’t mean you have to check the wiring yourself. Get a trained electrician to run a power evaluation. While it’s good to undergo such monitoring regularly, even in the absence of any cause for concern, you should be especially mindful if you notice certain warning signs. Flickering lights, buzzing switches and hot sockets indicate that you’re long overdue for an electrical inspection. Don’t believe that just because these are seemingly minor problems, you can safely ignore them. Get everything checked and replace any faulty apparatus to be on the safe side of things. When you ignore these issues, you are putting yourself, your family and your home at risk.

House fires are scary events, and it can often seem like there’s simply nothing you can do to guard up against them, that it’s all up to luck. But if you try and remember these tricks. You stand a much higher chance of avoiding disaster.  

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