Fire damage can be one of the worst disasters to affect your home. In fact, the damage of home fires in the US is measured in billions of dollars each year. In fact, a recent FEMA report states that the damage to homes and property has increased dramatically in the past decade alone, by as much as 75%. Fortunately, deaths and injuries are not as common, although they still do happen.
That means that prevention is the best key to protect your property and your health from the devastating, and often preventable disasters that are home fires. We reached out to water and fire damage remediation company Risk Free Serv to share their experience with fire damage and recommend some fire safety points.
Smoke Detectors Are Effective
Most local governments require you to have smoke detectors installed in your home, no matter if you live in a house or an apartment building. However, some people are not familiar with how these work or how to keep them in working condition.
For the most part, all you need to do is check the battery in it occasionally to make sure that it works. What’s also important is to know how the smoke alarm sounds and what you need to do if it goes off. Which leads nicely to the next step in your fire safety preparedness.
Have an Evacuation Plan
Make sure that everyone in your household knows what to do if they hear the smoke alarm or if they see fire. Your fire evacuation plan doesn’t need to be overly complicated or detailed. It doesn’t even need to be put in writing.
Just as long as everyone knows what to do and where to go should be enough to prevent physical injuries if not material damage.
Have Your Home Inspected for Electrical Fire Risks
One of the most common fire causes in homes is faulty electrical installations. Whether it is frayed or otherwise damaged cords of appliances or your home’s electrical installations, keeping an eye on your electricity use is a good idea.
For instance, if you feel that the light switches or wall outlets are hot to the touch, chances are that there is something wrong. Stop using that electrical appliance and call a professional electrician to help you. Similarly, if you can smell the characteristically electric smell when you turn an appliance or hear some weird noise, stop using it and consult an expert.
Practice Safe Cooking Practices
Another major cause of fires in homes in the US is cooking fires. Most commonly, if you fry things in oil over an open fire of a gas stove, spilling some oil out can result in a small fire. If you don’t respond quickly and correctly, this small fire can escalate.
Most fire safety experts claim that frying things in oil should be done on an electrical stove rather than on a gas one. If, however, you do use this combination, keep in mind that starving the fire of oxygen (by using a pot lid on the pan or a fire extinguisher) is the best way to stop the fire. Do not use water to put out the fire, as it will, more likely than not, only make things worse.
Home Fire Remediation
If a house fire does occur, you also need to know the proper ways of dealing with fire damage. The most important one is this – do not enter the room which was recently in a fire without a breathing mask. The residual noxious gases can be quite damaging to your lungs.
Fire restoration should really be left to professionals, as they have all the tools and the skill needed to get your home into a functional order.