Neglected gadgets and electrical equipment, unsupervised open flames, and faulty electrical connections or wiring were the top three reported causes of property fires around the world.
Even if you are living in a high-rise property, you will still have to be more prepared because it will be harder to access help.
While your condominium is covered by fire insurance, you need to be prepared for anything. For example, E&O insurance in real estate can provide financial resources for settlements, if needed, or even grant an attorney in special cases. It is always preferable to prevent an issue instead of dealing with it down the line.
Unfortunately, for a lot of people, the need for fire preparation is often only realized when it is too late.
People often get too complacent and think that a house fire will not happen to them. However, with a simple accident in the kitchen or a minor flicker of an ember from your fireplace, your life can drastically change in an instant.
It does not matter if you’re a homeowner, property management agent, or landlord. Here are 7 fire safety tips for your property.
Remember Natural Gas Safety
A lot of properties utilize natural gas for heating water, cooking, and powering the furnace. However, a leak in the natural gas fittings or lines can lead to a house fire.
On its own, natural gas has no odor. That is why utility providers add an odorant that smells like rotten eggs for safety.
If you smell natural gas, contact 911 right away and get your family out of your property. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t call for help while you’re still inside.
Your phone might generate a spark that can lead to an explosion.
If you’ve got a furnace that uses natural gas, make sure you hire a professional HVAC technician to service it every year. This will guarantee all the fittings and pipes are in excellent shape.
Also, it is vital you keep the area around your furnace clean by keeping the site free of clutter, debris, dust, and dirt.
Always Monitor Burning Candles
Whenever you’re using candles, make sure you are also using a unique candle holder. You should not place the candle in a place where pets, kids, or anybody else can knock it over.
Also, make sure your candles aren’t located in an area where there are flammable items. This can include papers, books, or curtains since this can easily result in fire incidents.
However, professionals recommend that you avoid using candles as much as possible.
Lighters and Matches Are for Adults Only
Store all lighters and match them up high. Make sure your kids cannot reach them or see them. It’s also ideal to place them inside a locked cabinet.
Also, make sure you teach your kids that lighters and matches are tools for adults only. Tell your kids that if they find lighters or matches, they should immediately give them to an adult.
As much as possible, use child-proof lighters.
Examine Electrical Safety
According to professionals, faulty electrical outlets and old appliances are one of the most common causes of electrical fires.
Make sure you hire a professional electrician if your electrical outlets are old and have them replaced as soon as possible.
For those who don’t know, there are a couple of ways you can follow to figure out if your electrical outlets require replacement. This includes:
- - Frayed Wires
Get rid of the plastic covers of your electrical outlet and check the wiring. Wires can fray or crack from bending, heat, or age.
Screws or nails can also pinch them. Contact a professional electrician immediately if you notice any damage.
- - Sounds
If you hear popping or buzzing sounds coming from an electrical outlet, turn off the power to that area of your house and contact a professional electrician right away.
- - Loose Connections
Replace the outlet immediately if any outlets are loose in the wall or they don’t tightly hold a plug anymore.
- - Smoke
Smoke from any electrical outlet is a sign of a major fire risk.
- - Heat or Warmth
Feel the outlet by using your hands. Replace your outlet immediately if you detect any warmth or notice indications of melting or scorching on the plastic.
Aside from these things, make sure you aren’t using more electricity than your circuits can handle.
For instance, you are overloading your circuits if you are constantly tripping the breakers of your home or you notice lights dimming when you utilize several outlets at once.
Have a Fire Escape Plan
It’s vital to have a fire escape plan for your property. The reason for this is that every second counts when a fire breaks out.
Keep in mind that a fire can turn extremely deadly within 1 minute. Also, most fires break out early in the morning or late at night when everybody is asleep.
Because of this, your loved ones need to know what to do before an emergency occurs. Before the worst occurs, ensure your loved ones know how to get out safely from your property.
That is why professionals recommend you create a fire escape plan. You can do this by simply drawing the floor plan of your house.
Then, look for at least two escape routes for each room in the house. Next, map those escape routes on the grid.
Talk with your family and make sure you include your kids. Teach them how they can escape every room of the house.
Also, show your family the floor plan of the house to help your kids visualize better where they need to go during a fire emergency.
It’s also ideal to assign a meeting place outside your house where every person will gather. It can be the front porch of your neighbor or a tree far from your house.
Also, don’t just create a fire escape plan. You have to practice it as well. You can do this with a fire drill.
Practice the fire drill during the night with the smoke alarms going off. The reason for this is that these are the most common conditions to experience a property fire in.
Also, this will help you figure out if the alarm is loud enough to wake your kids up. If the sound of the fire alarm does not awaken any adults or kids, assign a member of your family to take charge of them during an actual fire.
Conduct a realistic fire drill at least once every 6 months so your family can remember the plan every year.
Prepare Several Fire Extinguishers
If you’ve got a multiple-story property, you need to have a fire extinguisher on each level. This includes your kitchen, garage, basement, and more.
Install the fire extinguishers high on the wall so your kids can’t reach them and you can still access them easily.
Also, you need to know how to utilize your fire extinguishers. Follow the directions and become familiar with how they operate.
The reason for this is that when a fire breaks out, you will not have enough time to learn how to utilize them.
You can also try to contact your local fire department to see if they provide any training for people on how to utilize a fire extinguisher properly.
In addition to that, when buying several fire extinguishers, make sure you purchase the same brand and model.
Keep in mind that fire extinguishers from various manufacturers operate differently. It can be a bit confusing to use them if they have different directions on how to operate them.
It’s also ideal to teach every member of your household how to use a fire extinguisher. This can be extremely useful if a fire breaks out and you’re not there to operate the fire extinguisher.
Install Fire Protection
The best early warning system during a house fire is smoke alarms. Thus, professionals recommend you install smoke alarms on each level of your house.
If you and your kids sleep with the door closed, it’s best to install a smoke alarm inside each room.
Every month, you need to test these alarms to ensure they’re still working. It’s also best to replace their batteries every 12 months. Modern smoke alarms have signals that indicate they have low battery power.
If your property already has smoke alarms, determine how old they are. If they’re more than 10 years old, you need to replace them.
However, where should you install smoke alarms? Are there tips you need to follow? The answer is yes. Here are some things you need to consider:
- - If you’ve got a family member who is deaf or has a hearing problem, make sure you install smoke alarms with bed shakers and strobe lights.
- - Install a smoke alarm on your property as part of a complete security system. Today, modern smoke alarms can send notifications to your phone when they detect smoke in your house.
- - Make sure you place your smoke alarms near or on the ceiling.
- - To prevent false alerts, ensure your smoke alarms are at least 10 feet away from the kitchen.
- - Ensure you’ve got smoke alarms installed in every room of your house. This includes your basement and garage.
From installing fire alarms to replacing old and faulty electrical wirings, these tips will help protect you, your family, and your property in case of a fire.
There are a couple of reasons why a fire can happen in your house. However, there are also a lot of ways you can prevent it from happening in the first place.
The tips mentioned above will help keep you and your family safe in case of a house fire. Make sure you follow these tips to protect your home and loved ones.
From installing fire alarms to replacing faulty wirings, these tips are created to prevent even the most minor fire hazard on your property.