Home fires are deadly. Within minutes, a fire in your home can damage your property, the structure, and threaten the lives of you and your loved ones.
While it’s impossible to completely prevent a house fire, there are plenty of ways you can drastically reduce the likelihood and potential damage to your home.
Without further ado, here are 5 of the best ways to prevent fire damage to your home.
1. Upgrade your smoke detectors
This one should be common sense, but too many homeowners don’t check their smoke detectors more than every couple of years.
The good news is that smart smoke detectors, such as the Nest Protect, offer additional ways to keep your safe at a reasonable price. The Nest Protect in particular will notify your phone if the alarm goes off, send you essential safety tips during an emergency, and let you call your emergency contacts with the push of a button.
2. Make sure your landscaping is fire proof
In San Diego, wildfires are a reality. If your home is in a fire-prone area, one of the best things you can do to protect yourself is to install fire-resistant landscaping. Relying heavily on hardscaping, fire-retardant plants like succulents, and keeping taller plants and trees away from your walls can all have massive impacts on keeping a wildfire at bay.
P.S. If you have a fire pit in your yard, make sure you know how to safely landscape around a fire pit.
3. Learn how to extinguish a cooking fire the right way
Cooking fires don’t operate on the same rules as other kinds of fires. If fire breaks out while cooking something with a high fat or oil content, it’s vital that you do not try to put it out using water. Putting water on an oil fire will cause it to erupt.
Instead, turn the heat off and smother the fire with a lid if possible. If the fire is small, baking soda (but absolutely not flour) can help safely extinguish it. If not, a class B dry chemical fire extinguisher will do the job, but at the cost of contaminating your kitchen. Read more here.
4. Avoid electrical fires
Electrical malfunctions cause fires in over 50,000 American homes each year, and many homeowners do not know enough about the issue to prevent them. Be sure to have old wiring inspected every few years, avoid aluminum wiring, and replace old circuits with AFCIs. Also, don’t leave extension cords plugged in, learn how to extinguish an electrical fire, and avoid cheap counterfeit electrical products. Learn more here.
5. Don’t neglect maintenance to anything that uses natural gas
Natural gas is useful for a lot of applications, but it’s particularly dangerous. Don’t neglect maintenance to any gas furnaces, water heaters, or gas barbecues. Call a leak detection specialist at the first sign of trouble.