You’ve worked hard to maintain your home so it’s important to protect your property, your family, and your belongings. House fires cost homeowners thousands of dollars every year and claim thousands of lives. However, most deadly fires can be avoided with proper precautions. Here are eight ways to practice fire safety in your home.

Check Smoke Alarms for Fire Safety

While it is common sense to have smoke detectors in the home, fires grow out of control when alarms fail to sound. For fire safety, check each alarm’s batteries once a month. Place smoke alarms in every bedroom and hallway, and at least one on each level of your home, including the basement and attic. It’s also important to regularly clear your alarms of dust and make sure nothing is obstructing them.

Create a Fire Safety Plan

You and your family should have a solid plan in place to deal with a fire. Designate a meeting place that is a safe distance away from your home and determine primary and secondary fire exits. Have your family practice the escape route to make sure everyone is familiar with the plan.

Clear Obstructions

Clear hallways from any furniture and clutter and make sure all entries and exits are accessible. Windows and doors should not be blocked or obstructed. With paths and exit points from the home clear, your family can escape quickly without tripping on clutter or furniture.

Practice Fire Safety When Cooking

According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking accidents are a primary cause of house fires and fire-related deaths. When cooking indoors, stay in the kitchen, and don’t leave the stove unattended.

Grills should always be supervised while in use. When you’re finished with the grill, let it cool completely before cleaning, and be sure to disconnect the gas tank. Place outdoor fryers, grills, and smokers at least 10 feet away from the home, covered structures, and any flammable materials.

Fire Extinguishers

Keep at least one fire extinguisher on each level of your home. These are essential items for home safety. Fires are most likely to break out in the kitchen, so you’ll want an extinguisher in or adjacent to your kitchen. If you have a garage, shed, or workshop, keep a fire extinguisher in those areas too.

Take Care with Portable Heaters

Portable heaters are a common cause of house fires in the United States. Left unattended, portable heaters can overheat and short circuit. If they’re close to walls, furniture, or bedding, they might generate enough heat to start a fire.

If you use a portable space heater, make sure to keep it well away from any furniture or upholstery and always turn it off when leaving the room.

Professional Electrical Work

If you need electrical repairs in the home, hire a certified electrician who you trust. Shoddy electrical work may cause electrical fires. A professional electrician knows about the wiring in a home and most carry insurance to cover their work. If their work happens to cause a fire, then they may be liable for damages.

Open Flames

Candles, fire pits, mosquito-repellent torches, and other open flames should be monitored at all times and always extinguished safely. Before starting an outdoor fire, make sure the weather conditions are safe to do so. Place a fire extinguisher or bucket of sand close to your fire pit to keep flames under control.

Coastline Home Inspection provides home inspections to the Hampton Roads area. Contact us to schedule an appointment.