In honor of National Fire Prevention Week, October 7th – 13th, brush up on your fire safety knowledge. Structure fires are very prevalent in the U.S. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), U.S fire departments responded to a structure fire every 66 seconds in 2016. While there isn’t a way to eliminate the possibility of a fire completely, there are many daily habits you can adopt to lower your risk. Consider these safety tips to prevent fire and smoke damage to your property in Houston, TX.
It can be easy to forget about maintaining the electrical system of your home or office. Adopting a few everyday habits can make all the difference. Remember to plug appliances that use a lot of power directly into the wall. Extension cords can become a fire hazard when overloaded. In addition, replace any item with a frayed cord right away. If your structure is over 30 years old, you often see flickering lights or the circuit breakers are constantly tripping, you may need electrical maintenance.
During any holiday, the mixture of candles and decorations can be a recipe for disaster. Make sure decorations and other flammable materials are kept away from open flames. When you can, opt for battery powered candles to ensure cobwebs and jack-o-lanterns are kept out of harms’ way.
Protect your home or business by installing fire sprinklers. Everyone has seen these in large commercial buildings but not many people have considered them for their smaller structures. Fires can get out of control quickly causing major damage. According to the NFPA, fire sprinklers can reduce the risk of property loss by 70%. With the popularity of open floor plans and synthetic materials, once a fire starts it only takes a couple of minutes before the structure becomes unsalvageable.
Most buildings have smoke alarms, but they can get turned off due to annoyance or contain dead batteries. Test your smoke alarms often and always keep spare batteries around in case your alarms need it. Also create a fire escape plan and share it with everyone in your home or office.
Cooking is a leading cause of home fires. Never leave the kitchen while the stove is on. Clean your oven often. Leftover grease can ignite and start a fire. If a grease fire does start in your kitchen, turn off the heat source and cover with a lid until it goes out. Do not put water on it or move the pan that is on fire. Place a fire extinguisher in your kitchen within reach of your cooking area but away from your stove and other cooking appliances.
The prevalence of structure fires in the U.S. creates a necessity to implement fire safety measures into your daily life. We hope these tips help protect your structure from a disaster. If you experience fire damage, ServiceMaster Advantage in the Houston Area can help. Contact us 24/7 to receive a quote or emergency cleanup response.