Home fires are devastating events, especially if it turns out they could have been prevented in the first place. Fortunately, it doesn’t take much to protect your house from catastrophe. Here are a few of the first steps you should take in order to fire proof your home.
1. Clear dead trees and debris from the perimeter of your house. Dry branches, leaves, and clutter can easily become a fire hazard — even if the blaze starts at your neighbor’s house.
2. Remove frayed and damaged wires. You should remember to regularly check appliances and extension cords for damages.
3. Keep multiple fire extinguishers available. At the very least, keep a single extinguisher in an easily accessible place in the house, and make sure the whole family knows about it.
4. Remove flammable materials from your house. While it’s impossible to completely remove all materials that can combust, try to keep items like paint cans and flammable cleaning supplies to a minimum.
5. Regularly clean out the lint trap. It’s easy to forget to empty the lint from the dryer, but doing so can save you from a lot of headaches in the long run. Try to make it routine to empty the lint trap every time you throw in a load of laundry.
6. Never leave portable heaters or candles unattended. Space heaters and candles are two of the leading causes of home fires because they are so easy to forget about.
In addition to removing fire hazards around and inside your home, you should also take the time to draft out a safety plan — even if you live alone. Make sure you always have multiple exit pathways cleared so that you can escape your home, and remember to regularly check and replace the batteries in your smoke detectors.