Sadly there has been a rash of house fires in Tuscaloosa recently. House fires occur everyday across this country, and while many home owners have fire insurance, it is important to be proactive and diligent in preventing a house fire from happening. Here are a few simple steps to reduce the chance of a house fire:
Cooking: Experts say that 40% of fires occur due to negligent cooking practices. Make sure your outdoor grill is positioned away from siding, deck railing, and low hanging branches. Regularly remove the grease buildup in the tray below the grill, it can build up and cause fires. When cooking indoors remember to turn off your stove rather than leave it unattended, also make sure that no flammable objects (oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels, or curtains) are close to a hot stove.
Smoking: If you smoke, make sure you properly dispose of your used cigarettes. Smoldering cigarette butts can spark a fire outside that could extend into the home. Cigarettes are the number one cause of house-fire related deaths.
Electrical: In an average year electrical fires cause over $868 million in property damage per the U.S. Fire Administration. To avoid this liability do not used damaged or loose electrical cords. Avoid running extension cords across doorways and under carpets. If you have small children in the house, make sure to have tamper-resistant outlets. This is often overlooked, but make sure you do not use bulbs that exceed a lamp’s recommended voltage.
Heating: Now that we are facing the start of the winter months, it’s critical that we examine how we heat our homes. No matter how you heat your home, you are introducing a new potential fire hazard. Make sure that anything flammable is at least three feet away from heating appliances. Keep your young children away from fires and heating appliances such as space heaters. Turn off your portable heaters when the device is unattended, this includes when you go to bed.
The above video is both sobering and informative.
As with a lot of things that come with being a home owner, planning and preventing a house fire is not exactly enjoyable. But it is important to be proactive about this, because not only are you protecting your investment, but you’re also protecting the lives of you, your family, and your neighbors.
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”