Whether inside or out, most homes are generally at risk for damage due to fire. If the house is in an urban setting, the chances of wildfire may be somewhat more remote than a forest home, but both abodes need to have their owners take the time to plan and enact certain tasks in order to be most prepared for the eventuality of a fire.
This article will focus on what can be done to help prevent fires from reaching the home, from the outside, as well as instilling safety habits by those occupying the house to help reduce the chance of an internal blaze ever getting started.
If the residence in question happens to be in a more rural or wooded setting, one of the best, and easiest ways to provide fire fighters assistance is to clear away underbrush which might be growing near the structure. Not only is this growth flammable, but it will hinder the professionals ability to put out flames which might be consuming the house.
Depending upon the type of property in question, additional attention may be required for the trees and forest growth surrounding the home. Generally, annual thinning of the forest, pruning and trimming of branches, and removing the dead and dying vegetation will all help divert a fire from ones home.
If one uses the fireplace regularly, installing a chimney or spark arrest on it will help prevent accidental fires from starting on those windy, cold days. And though very few enjoy climbing the ladder and cleaning the gutters, compacted, dried leaves are an excellent fuel source which can easily be ignited by a stray spark of small flame riding the wind.
Both rural and urban homes should have a dedicated hose ready and near the structure. Ideally, if the hose can be placed in a fire resistant storage container, the more it will be useful in case of fire. Do realize, however, that this hose is simply to help clear pathways from the burning home to a safe location and not necessarily for fighting the fire. It can also be used to help prevent a fire in the area from igniting ones roof or adjacent structures.
Though it should go without saying, make sure their are working smoke detectors adequately placed throughout the house. The few moments it takes to check batteries every few months could save someones life, so set some sort of reminder and get that done. It is also a great idea to install and maintain carbon dioxide detectors in ones home as well.
Another seldom thought of or enacted upon tip for home fire safety is creating and practicing a fire evacuation plan. Home owners with children and pets need to take the time to ensure everyone in the home is educated as to what to do in the event of a fire emergency. Special attention need be placed where houses are of split levels or have bedrooms higher than an occupant can comfortably jump or lower themselves to the ground.
It can take practice to develop the confidence to climb down a soft ladder rolled out of a second story window. By taking the time to teach a child or even an older adult, lives can be preserved.
Don’t forget to account for the family pets. While it can be a challenge, if pet doors are available, ensuring they are opened during the evacuation process, the family will have done all it can to help save their furry friends lives along with their own.
Andy West is a freelance writer that has written on various topics including home safes and home safety. He continues to research and learn to try share his knowledge with the community.