National Fire Safety Month: Protecting Your Home from Fires
Fires are one of the most dangerous, destructive disasters that can cause harm to your home. Its flames produce high temperatures that will char and ruin your home’s structure and all of your personal belongings, potentially leaving the building in an unstable condition. Its corrosive byproducts will continue to cause harm even after the fire is out and may even result in irreversible damage.
Knowing this, it’s important to do what you can to protect your home from the threat of a fire. There’s no better time to do that than during October, because it marks National Fire Safety Month: a period dedicated to informing the public and spreading information about fire safety and its importance.
Continue reading to learn how you can protect your home from the threat of fires.
1. Check and/or Install Smoke Alarms
Smoke alarms are key items to have in your home to protect it from fires. They will notify you of any smoke early enough to tend to any potential incidents that can result in a fire. You should have at least one smoke alarm installed on every floor of your home. Near the kitchen and in hallways are ideal locations for them. Depending on the size of your home, you may need to install multiple alarms per floor. These alarms should be replaced every 8-10 years, so purchase and install new ones if you’re past that timeline.
Nowadays, technology is advanced enough where you can purchase smoke alarms that are paired with mobile apps. The app will inform you of any hazards.
Smoke detectors, however, can only be of help if they’re functioning properly and have working batteries. At the least, you should test your smoke alarms each month, and you should replace their batteries twice a year. A good rule of thumb is to replace smoke alarm batteries every spring and fall.
When you change the batteries for your home’s smoke alarms, make sure you also switch out the batteries for your carbon monoxide detectors, which you are required to have at home.
2. Get a Proper Fire Extinguisher
Fire extinguishers are important for fire prevention, but they are only effective if used properly. There are five different types of fire extinguishers, and each type is designed to extinguish a different kind of fire:
- Class A: Fires concerning normal combustible materials such as papers and wood
- Class B: Fires concerning flammable liquids like gasoline and oil
- Class C: Fires concerning electrical equipment that’s energized, including appliances and machinery
- Class D: Fires concerning combustible metals such as titanium and magnesium
- Class K: Fires concerning cooking oils and fats that combust
If you don’t use the correct fire extinguisher on a fire, then not only will it keep the fire alive, but it can even worsen the fire. For example, class K fire extinguishers are often stored in kitchens to protect against any kitchen fires that form as a result of cooking incidents. But using a non-class K fire extinguisher on that fire can make the cooking fire even worse because it’s not equipped to counter the fats and oils.
Just like you need to check that your home’s smoke alarms are working, you need to test that your home’s fire extinguishers are working properly. You don’t want to find out that a fire extinguisher isn’t working when you need it the most.
To use a fire extinguisher, refer to the acronym PASS:
- Pull the extinguisher’s pin.
- Aim the extinguisher at the bottom of the fire, standing at 6-10 feet from the flames.
- Squeeze the lever to spray.
- Sweep the fire, moving left to right until the fire is out.
3. Use Fire-Resistant Products
If you are constructing, repairing, or renovating your home, then you can protect it from a fire by using fire-resistant products. Brick, concrete, fire-resistant glass, gypsum, and stucco are among the materials you can use to build a home. These materials won’t prevent fires, but they’ll make it so your home is better protected against a fire, which can also offer you and your family better protection against the fire and its features.
What to Do If There’s a House Fire
Although October is National Fire Safety Month, fire prevention and safety are two things that you should always practice. But accidents happen, and homes catch on fire.
If a fire does break out in your home, your first priority is to evacuate the building and make sure everyone is safe and accounted for. Then call your local fire department to have the fire put out. When the fire has been extinguished, it’s time to handle the fire damage. Call a professional fire damage restoration service to clean and restore the fire damage that your home has sustained.
ServiceMaster EMT has fire damage restoration services to help out residential and commercial properties that have sustained fire damage. Get in touch with us immediately to prevent the damage and effects, such as the harm done by smoke and soot, from becoming permanent. Our trained technicians will thoroughly clean and restore your property, returning your home to its pre-loss condition.
Don’t hesitate to give us a call in the event of an emergency. ServiceMaster EMT is available 24/7 at (800) 376-6678 in Southern California and Nevada to provide complete fire damage restoration services.