Whilst thankfully very rare, when a house fire does occur it devastates your home. There is not just the damage the fire causes to the structure and contents of your home, but also the smoke damage that can impregnate everywhere. As well as the huge stress and upset it causes families as treasured possessions are lost, and they are forced to leave their home for the process of repair and restoration.
To help protect your family and your home from the risk of fire, here are four of the ways that you can prevent a house fire turning your world upside down.
1. Fireplace Safety
Open fires and stoves are becoming an increasingly popular feature in many homes. However, the fire can pop and spit embers onto nearby rugs, furniture and nearby piles of newspaper or kindling, which can then catch fire. The best way to prevent a house fire is to ensure you are purchasing quality wood to burn. You should also invest in a glass or mesh screen to protect flying embers.
Chimneys should be swept once a year to allow the free passage of dangerous combustion gasses. Regular sweeping will remove soot, bird nests, cobwebs and any other blockages. It also removes creosote, which will help to prevent dangerous chimneyfires.
Fireplaces can also wear out, and need to be checked yearly for a variety of problems. These include a cracked hearth (base), damaged inserts, and fallen flue tiles (these are the insulation in your chimney that protect your home from excessive heat). It’s a good idea to have bring in a qualified chimney technician to do the appropriate checks for you.
2. Home Electrical System
Your home electrics are the most important part of fire safety. You use electricity every day, and you need to make sure that your wiring and electrical system is to the best quality. Here are few regular checks to make:
- Take a look at your attic and in crawl spaces where pests can damage your wiring.
- Look for any overloaded plug sockets
- Check your fuse box for any tripped wires. They could be flipped because of a broken fuse somewhere in your home
- Notice flickering lights or consistent power surges, this could be because of outside factors or a bad connection in your home
- For a complete wiring check, you should call a qualified electrician. Do not attempt to change any wiring or conduct any wiring work on your own
3. Extension Leads
Extension leads are extremely helpful as they give us the ability to lead up multiple applications to a single plug socket. They also allow us to plus in applications that are too far away from the plug, giving us flexibility in we place our appliances in our home. Unfortunately, this helpfulness can lead be a problem in the long run as the multiple plugs attached to a single socket can cause it to become overloaded.
This is a fire hazard. If you need to attach lots of appliances to the same extension lead, then need ensure your lead is of a high quality. You should also ensure that the socket is not turned on 100% percent of the time.
4. Space Heater Safety
Be very careful with space heaters. They are a serious fire safety hazard. They get extremely hot, and can set fire to curtains or furniture. It is important to keep your space heater at least 3 feet away from any piece of furniture or decoration. It is also important to ensure that your space heater is away from the flow of foot traffic, as this will reduce the risk of someone knocking it over.
It is also recommended to not use an extension lead when plugging in a space heater, as this increases the risk of someone tripping over it. You should also only stand the heater on a flat floor that is made of marble or stone. Raising it off the floor on a table or chair where it can be knocked over is a particular hazard to avoid.Fires are extremely dangerous, and the best way to protect your home is to know where your home is most vulnerable. It is important to install a smoke and a carbon monoxide alarm, and ensure they have adequate power by checking their batteries every year.
If you have been the victim of of fire damage and require help through the insurance claims and bringing about swift and stress free repairs, please feel free to contact Tangible Building Services for advice. You can call us on 0800 328 4188 or send us an enquiry via our contact page.