Firefighter Warns: Avoid A Fire In Your Home By Following These 5 Important Tips

There are many frightening things that could happen around the home. We might have a slip and fall accident or perhaps we may have a pipe burst and it could cause a flood. Although those problems can be stressful to consider, they really pale in comparison to the effect of a house fire. Not only is it something that can destroy the home from the inside out, it also has a great potential of causing serious bodily harm or even death.

Most of us don’t want to spend a lot of time thinking about the potential for a house fire, but that doesn’t mean we should ignore it. One of the best times for you to consider the possibility is during Fire Prevention Week. Firefighters use that particular week in the year to put out some warnings about dangers that may be hiding right under your nose. You might not think that they can cause a fire but they do in many cases. These tips come directly from firefighters and can increase your awareness of fire safety.

1. Dryer

It may be a pain in the neck but make sure that you remove the lint filter from your dryer every time you do a load and clean it. If you don’t, you may get more than what you bargained for. The dryer gets warm, quite obviously, and if there is a lot of dust and fluff buildup on the filter, it could get hot enough to cause a spark and lead to a fire. The same is also true of dust that builds up in the ventilation ducts.

Every year, there are approximately 3000 home fires caused by the clothes dryer. It results in 100 injuries, $35 million in property loss and unfortunately, an estimated 5 deaths. Use a filter by all means but remove the lint after every cycle and clean the back of the dryer regularly.

2. Power strip

Be cautious about any broken or worn extension cables before you plug them into a power strip. Don’t put the cables under carpets or run them through a doorway. If you are plugging in a major appliance never use a power strip. You should plug that directly into the socket in the wall.

You should also be cautious about overloading power strips and always use those that have internal overload protection. A fire can flare up in less than 30 seconds so pay attention to this important factor.

3. Fire extinguishers

You might have a fire extinguisher around the home or at your place of employment but do you know how to use them? Remember the word PASS and you will remember how to use them.

Pull the pin. Hold the extinguisher with the nozzle pointing away from you and release the locking mechanism.
Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.
Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.
Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side.

You should also keep them in an easy to access place and make sure the pressure level is checked regularly.

4. Lights

You might not give it much thought but lights are a common cause of house fires. When there is brittle wiring, it can cause a lightbulb to flare up. The wires in the bulb become brittle because of the excess heat and it could cause a bulb to catch fire.

In order to reduce this potential risk, do not leave overhead lights inside the home on all night long. Choose a lightbulb that is a proper match for the wattage on the fixture and don’t run them if you don’t need to have them on.

5. Fire alarm

Although this is at the bottom of the list, it certainly is not the least important. Three out of every five deaths that occur because of a house fire could have been prevented if a working smoke alarm was in place. Be sure you have them installed and checked them regularly by testing them every month to ensure that they are working. If the smoke detector is 10 years old or older, replace it.

It is a good idea to change the batteries in your smoke detector every year. You should also have a fire detector on every floor of the home and in the bedrooms because most home fires happen while people are sleeping.