Fire damage is one of the most dangerous hazards that your house can face. A lot of damage could be caused because of it, but most importantly, it carries with itself a piece of baggage of tremendous emotional pain. The risk of losing someone near and dear to your heart is also significantly high. Hence, with all our might, if we need to take care of our house and protect it from the fire damage here are some tips;
1) Start from basics – Install smoke alarms:
Installing smoke alarms are one of the most common methods of protecting our houses from fire damage. We know that very well. However, while installing, there can be some mistakes concerning the number, their position, or their placement for that matter.
Broadly categorizing, smoke alarms are of two types: photoelectric and ionization smoke detectors. The former detects and reacts faster to smoldering fire spurts, while the latter starts sounding better to flaming fires. As both kinds of fire can occur in the house, it is safe to install both these types.
Every house should contain multiple smoke detectors, and larger buildings should be more vigilant about their fire emergency protocol. Having smoke detectors on every floor is the bare minimum in such types of infrastructure.
Testing of smoke detectors every month, and replacing the batteries two times in a year should suffice. However, these smoke detectors have shelf lives too, so consider changing them every ten years.
2) Learn about fire extinguishers:
In case there are small fires, fire extinguishers are useful. Local fire departments can be contacted for learning how to use fire extinguishers, or a few simple guidelines for the management of fire can be followed. The steps are: PASS.
Pull the pin of the extinguisher.
Aim the nozzle low.
Squeeze the lever of the extinguisher slowly and steadily.
Sweep the extinguisher’s nozzle.
3) Construct the fire escape plan:
Prevention is better than cure, and this statement can’t be ignored when it comes to fire prevention strategies. Fire emergencies can be hazardous as there is no time to gauge the damage. The only way to save ourselves from the fire damages is to have a premeditated plan in place. Dialing 911, knowing what the smoke detectors sound like and what to do when it starts ringing. Besides, knowing the basic floor plan of the house helps a lot.
Discussing the plan with everyone in the house, and revising the ways by which escape can be done is crucial. Once all of the members of the house are out, one place should be agreed upon, and all of them should meet there and decide accordingly.
4) Take electric safety seriously:
Trained electricians should be appointed to get the electrical wires fixed. An overall check should be done to see if there is any loose or broken end of the cable that can cause a mishap. Special care should be taken to not keep wires around the door, or beneath the carpet, as that can be a progenitor of problems like short circuits due to excessive friction. All electric appliances should be handled with utmost precision, and children shouldn’t be loitering around near high electric power sources or fire sources.
5) Get Insurance and file “Partial loss” claims:
No matter how much we prepare for disasters, they come when we are least prepared for them. The insurance policy helps us bounce back to normalcy if fire damage has caused loss to a part of your property. As the house isn’t completely disheveled, the claim submitted to the insurance company is known as “partial losses” claim. While filing such a claim, we need to be vigilant about any hidden loss, the inadequacy of cleaning, delays, issues with replacement. Documenting all of the damages in a chronological format, and then exercising the rights as and when required is necessary for getting the job done.
If there is a fire in the neighbour’s house, it doesn’t mean we are out of danger completely. We need to get our own homes checked for thermal damage by professionals. In the initial days, it is advisable not to stay inside the house and find a makeshift shelter for a few days.
6) Be mindful of the cooking area:
Understandably, that area is highly prone to thermal accidents and needs to be taken care of thoroughly without any space for a second thought.
The electric devices or heating devices should be well maintained. In case there is any problem, qualified technicians should be called to fix it. Stocking up wood or any other combustible might not be the best idea. The chimney flues should be cleaned regularly.