In Canada, house fires are pretty common. There are around 24,000 house fires each year that result in 377 deaths and 3,048 injuries annually. Most of the culprits for these house fires can be narrowed down to cooking equipment, flammable liquids, and cigarettes. Fires are also most likely to happen in the kitchen, bedrooms, and living rooms.
Unfortunately, accidents happen, and no one can predict when a fire is about to happen. Although it’s near impossible to prevent a fire from completely happening, there are a lot of things homeowners can do to diminish the chances of fires from ultimately damaging their homes or vacation rental properties.
Fire damage is a real problem and can cause fatal results. If a fire were to occur in closed spaces with little ventilation, such as basements, a home could have structural damage. Not to mention, cleaning up fire damage can be quite costly, if the damage is extensive. It can also be a real estate nightmare since damages from fires can be irreparable.
Cleaning up after a fire isn’t as easy as you think. Most of the time, the residue a fire leaves can last a long time. A bit of baking soda and vinegar won’t be enough to clean up the mess. You would need to hire a professional fire damage restoration company to help you clean up and restore your home. This can cost around $500-$10,000— which isn’t cheap.
Here are a few things you can do to prevent a fire from happening or reduce the damage it causes.
Inspect Appliances Regularly
Outdated appliances like defective pressure cookers can be dangerous since their safety features might have stopped working. So, it’s essential to inspect your appliances regularly and keep an eye out for any irregularities. If you think your appliance isn’t working correctly, then it’s time to update it or get it repaired. If you’re not sure, it’s a good idea to keep them away from flammable materials and moisture in the meantime until you get professionally inspected or replaced. Michael Dean, co-founder of Pool Research says that regular maintenance of all elements that could become fire hazards is a requirement for fire safety.
Correctly Store Flammable Items
Flammable items cover a wide range of causes of house fires. To prevent flammable items from catching fire, always store them correctly and safely. So, if you spot any of your cooking oils or flammable sprays lying around, it’s time to put them away in the right place— preferably in a container placed in a dry and cool area. Another thing you can do is purchase non-flammable items for your home to reduce the chances of potential fires.
Install Smoke Detectors
When there’s a fire, every second counts. Smoke and fire detectors might just save your life in a house fire. They signal you to escape the home before it gets too structurally damaged. Early detection will help you prevent fatal results and might even help you save your home from irreparable damage.
Check for Electrical Malfunctions
Outdated electrical panels and damaged electrical sockets can cause a fire. Since they might be hard to identify early on, it’s recommended that you get a professional electrician to inspect your electrical panel and sockets to make sure that they are working correctly and if they need to be upgraded. An electric panel upgrade or maintenance might reduce the chances of electrical malfunction and fires.
Use Fireproof Paint
You might not know it, but fireproof paint exists. It’s a cheap way to make your home a bit safer. It acts as a glaze and provides an additional surface between the fire and flammable materials. Most of these fire-resistant paints have a 1-2 hour fire protection guarantee, which is more than enough for you to escape your home in a fire. Fireproof paint is excellent for homes with a lot of exposed wood to make everything safer.
The Bottom Line
Fires have been proven to damage a home extensively. In fatal house fires, more than ⅓ of homes did not have a functioning smoke detector. Although there might not be a sure way to prevent a fire from happening altogether, having smoke detectors, checking your appliances regularly, and storing flammable items correctly might be the best way to reduce fire damage and reduce the chances of fires significantly.