Safety Steps to Prevent Home Fires This Winter and Spring
According to the National Fire Protection Association, an average of 346,800 U.S. homes are damaged by a house fire every year. What’s worse is that over 26% of fires reported between 2015 and 2019 happened in homes, causing 75% of all civilian fire deaths. Annually, home fires injure over 2,000 people and cause a whopping total of $7.3 billion in direct property damage.
The most tragic aspect of these figures is that most of these home fires and damages are entirely preventable! So, how can you keep your home and family safe from fires this winter? Get started with this guide by DRYmedic.
Install—and Maintain!—Smoke Detectors
Fires can spread in just a few seconds, causing the heat inside the house to reach 1,100 degrees Fahrenheit in just over 3 minutes. Fire detectors and smoke alarms can help you identify fire and react to it within seconds, increasing the chances of you and your family surviving a house fire by 2-3 times.
Keep an Eye on Your Heating
According to a study by the US Red Cross, the likelihood of home fires drastically increases during the fall and winter months, especially December and January. That is because we all tend to spend more time indoors—but also because we use our heating equipment. This use of heating equipment can cause problems well into spring as fluctuating temperatures have us turning the heat on intermittently for weeks.
Heating accounts for 44% of home fires and is the second leading cause of home fire damage and injuries. Make sure to keep your heating equipment in tip-top shape with regular HVAC maintenance and schedule a professional audit if you notice any unusual sounds, smells, or condensation in your home.
Maintain Your Appliances
Faulty appliances or wiring are the number one cause of house fires. As we all become more reliant on technology and appliances, the house’s electrical system is under constant pressure. Our highly wired homes leave even more vulnerabilities and opportunities to overload the system.
Make sure to speak to an experienced electrician to audit, maintain, and inspect your electrical appliances. Additionally, you should consider investing in surge protectors and be mindful about unplugging any items that are not currently in use.
Remove Flammable Items and Reduce Clutter
The more flammable items you have in the house, the more chances the fire has to spread quickly across the property. Make sure to install fire-safe doors, and opt to invest in fire-repellent materials, such as brick and concrete, treated lumber, and fire-rated doors and windows. Also, be mindful about keeping flammable items away from any source of heat.
Don’t Leave Flames Unattended
A lit fireplace and scented candles can truly create the perfect, warm atmosphere during the cold winter months. However, unattended flames can suddenly burn out of control and cause a home fire. Make sure to always keep an eye on any candle or open flame in the home, including the fireplace, wood stove, and fire pit.
Smoking indoors and poorly disposed of cigarette ashes represent one of the main causes of home fires. If you smoke, make sure to designate an area outside the house and keep the entire property smoke-free to prevent fire and smoke damage during the winter months.
Partner With a Fire Damage Restoration Expert
It’s crucial to take home fire safety measures to heart to keep your family and belongings protected from fires. But if a fire does happen, it’s also essential to know who to call. A fire restoration expert at DRYmedic can help you restore any fire damage, clean up your home, and ensure that you can return to enjoying your daily life in no time.
DRYmedic: Expert Disaster & Fire Restoration Services in Bloomfield, MI and Grand Rapids, MI
At DRYmedic, we hope that you never have to call us—but if you do, we hope that you will never regret choosing us. We’ve been helping Michigan families and businesses recover from fires and other disasters for over 20 years with 24/7 emergency service, 1-hour response time, and unmatched customer service. Call us now at (248) 605-3519!