Preventing Fire Damage in Your Home
Fires are not always completely devastating. A fire will not always sweep through your entire home; more frequently, fire damage may be small and restricted to a single area. Even so, it is often very costly to clean up after and repair. You can protect your home from extreme fire damage by being proactive and preparing ahead of time.
Begin by Ensuring Safety
Whenever you think about fire planning, begin with safety. Every room in your home should have at least two clear, unobstructed exits. Most rooms will have a window and a door. Do not block these exits.
Protect Your Most Important Possessions
Your most important possessions and documents should go in a fireproof safe. Safe companies sell many fireproof safes of varying sizes for documents, jewelry, and other important things. These safes will survive most fires intact.
Important documents could include:
- Insurance documents
- Mortgage deeds and car titles
- Birth certificates and marriage certificates
- Copies of passports and social security cards
If a fire wipes out everything, you may find it difficult to get back even some of the most basic items, such as your identity.
Remove Risk Factors
What are risk factors with fire? Examples could be overloaded outlets, loose papers, and crowded and cluttered areas. By cleaning up your home, you can prevent a fire. Look for appliances that could malfunction or get hot. Do not keep appliances plugged in if you do not frequently use them.
Outside your home, risk factors include dry brush, dead trees, bushes, and plants that are too close to your home. Semi-annually, you should inspect your property and remove any built-up debris, such as dry, dead leaves.
Install Preventative Measures
Regularly test fire alarms to make sure they work. Advanced fire alarms, such as smart alarms, can be useful to let you know when a fire has started, even if you are not home. Many security systems also come with this type of technology built in.
Every home should likewise have a fire extinguisher. A small, portable fire extinguisher can make short work of small fires, though large fires should simply lead to an evacuation. Make sure your fire extinguishers are pressurized and have not expired.
Be Especially Careful With Gas and Fire Appliances
Always care for gas appliances, fireplaces, and wood-burning stoves conscientiously. Never leave gas appliances like stoves on when you are not at home. Wood-burning stoves and fireplaces should be completely out before going to sleep.
With appliances that use fire, you should make sure that you properly clean and maintain them every year. Fireplaces can become dangerous if you do not properly clean them, as they can clog and fill a home with carbon monoxide.
Don’t Leave Windows Open
At night, consider closing your windows and turning off any fans. Air circulation is a major cause of fires spreading quickly. Though it may seem that having open entrances and exits can help, this could actually lead to the fire building before you can react.
Likewise, homeowners with homes with forced air systems may want to check with their air conditioning service to make sure their home is balanced. Unbalanced systems are either pressurized or de-pressurized, which means air will flow in or out of it readily.
When fire damage does occur, get it treated as quickly as possible. Not only can smoke cause discoloration and odors throughout the property, but structural damage can get worse if unaddressed. If you have experienced fire damage, contact the experts at Apex Contracting and Restoration. We will gladly answer your questions and go over our restoration process to make your home like new again.
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