Effective Fire Prevention Tips for your Home
There are several fire prevention tips that can help people to improve their safety. Following these avert accidents, damage to property, and other destructive effects of fires.
Some causes of fire, such as misuse of naked flames, are obvious. However, there are other causes such as electrical short circuits within an equipment which are indirect. As such, knowing what causes a fire is essential if you want to prevent it from starting. For example, misusing an open flame near some materials can ignite them and cause a fire. Likewise, an invisible short circuit in electrical equipment will start a fire if the protection is inadequate.
The common fire prevention tips
There are several possible causes of fire. These differ according to the activity, material, or environment. The fire prevention tips and methods to stop the fires from spreading will thus depend on these factors. Below are some tips you can use to improve fire safety for yourself and others.
Be alert when performing critical tasks
Some tasks need total concentration. And you should avoid performing them when under the influence of alcohol or medication that impairs your judgment.
Be careful when cooking, ironing or carrying out a task that can cause a fire. This includes activities involving cooking equipment, open flames, smoking, and more. Do not leave stoves or ovens unattended in the kitchen. Also, keep wooden spoons, dishtowels and other items that can catch fire away from the heat and flames.
Avoid overloading the electrical power wiring and outlet
Overloading the electrical system causes the conductors to overheat and damage their insulation. This occurs when you connect a big load to the standard electrical outlet with a lower rating. An overload may also occur when you connect many appliances to one electrical outlet.
If this goes on for a long time, the heat destroys the cable insulation, leading to short circuits or arcing. The sparks or heat from such faults can ignite flammable materials and cause fires.
Engage a qualified electrician to determine if your system is adequate for all your appliances. And upgrade the wiring if you do not have the capacity to support your entire load. You may also need an upgrade if you plan to install large electrical equipment or add extra circuits.
Maintain the electrical equipment and wiring
Electrical faults in appliances occur due to bad power or poor maintenance. In most cases, this causes the components to overheat. The heat may then blow up the components and cause fires in the system. Flames from such faults may spread to materials in the vicinity and aid to spread the fire further.
There are several electrical fire prevention tips for building owners and consumers. First, always engage qualified electricians to check and maintain the electrical equipment and wiring. Also, you must replace or repair faulty components, while ensuring that there is proper grounding and protection.
Be careful when using open flames
If using items such as candles, maintain a safe distance from materials that can catch fire and burn. Make sure that you have at least 12 inches between the flame and the materials. Also, never keep flammable materials such as petrol and paints in a room with naked flames. You also need to ensure that the cooking gas is not leaking and that you can lock it whenever it is not in use.
Ensure that you put off the candle or stove when leaving the room or going to sleep.
Install fire alarms
The alarm does not prevent the start of a fire, but it will detect and warn you in case there is an outbreak. This gives you an opportunity to extinguish the fire, call for help, or evacuate the building.
What the alarm does after detecting a fire depends on its model and features.
Generally, an alarm can detect heat, smoke or both. It then sends an alert while sounding an alarm to warn occupants about the danger. Some models can send alerts to the fire departments, or a designated person. Also, some systems may activate the fire extinguishing mechanism.
To ensure safety, maintain and test the fire alarm system on a regular basis. This ensures that it will provide the required level of protection.
Educate the children about the fire risks
Children are usually at a higher risk whenever a fire or any other disaster occurs. It is thus essential to teach them about the dangers and causes of fire, and how to avoid them.
A child may start a fire when playing with matches, lighters and other dangerous items. Keep these and other materials that can ignite out of the children’s reach. If possible, invest in child-resistant lighters and flameless candles. But, it is still important to prevent the children from playing with these lighters.
Invest in a fire extinguisher
Install the appropriate fire extinguisher in an accessible location. Educate the family members or workers on how to operate the extinguisher. However, you must perform regular checks and replace or repair defective units.
There are various types of fire extinguishers depending on the nature of the fire it suppresses. Water can extinguish general fires, but may not work for electrical and petrol fires. Complex installations such as data rooms need special fire suppression systems.
What to do in case of fire?
There are other causes of fires beside those that start from within the house or business premises. The fire may spread from adjoining rooms or buildings, or start from unforeseen causes.
You should alert others whenever there is a fire and also vacate the affected area. If the fire is starting, you may attempt to put it off using the extinguisher or other means. However, do not do anything that puts your life at risk. Evacuate the children and the elderly and ensure that everybody is safe. Finally, never enter the building when it under fire.
People can use the common fire prevention tips to avoid loss of property and life. Observing these reduces the chances of accidental fires, injuries, deaths, and property damage. In particular, avoid keeping flammable materials near the flames or sources of heat.
Besides responsible behavior, install appropriate fire alarms and extinguishers in easy to access locations.