Owning a home means that you’re the one responsible for its safety. In 2022 alone, house fires caused 2,620 deaths, an incredibly high and horrifying figure. Even today, something as primal as the fear of fire is still to be taken seriously. So, is there anything you can do about it? Of course!
While you can never make your home 100% fireproof, you can do quite a bit to reduce the risk. Here are a few ways to better fireproof your home and keep your family and property safe.
Use Fire Retardant Materials
The simplest way to make your home fireproof is to use non-combustible materials. This is a scenario that seems counterintuitive to many people. After all, you’re supposed to prevent fire from ever erupting. Now, suddenly, you’re making interior design choices with the assumption that fire will erupt. The truth is that wishful thinking will get you nowhere.
One of the first things you must consider is the immediate surrounding of potential fire sources. For instance, the materials surrounding your stove, heat source, or outlets need more attention. Ensure no combustible materials are around, and you’ll already make a difference.
When it comes to home construction itself, there’s not much you can do. This shouldn’t be an issue if you have a steel construction or brick-and-mortar home. However, you can’t replace your timber frame to make the house more flame-resistant. Instead, you can take preventive measures like using fire proof paints. You would be surprised at how much difference this can make.
Lastly, while the pre-existing furniture is what it is, consider fire prevention when making a new purchase. This will already make a difference.
Get a Fire Extinguisher
The next thing you need is a fire extinguisher. This item lets you nip the flame in its bud and protect your home, family, and property. However, for all of this to work, you need to:
- Own a fire extinguisher
- Know how to use it
- Make it easily accessible
- Ensure that it hasn’t expired
So, let’s address each of these issues individually.
When buying a fire extinguisher, you must pick the right one. As a homeowner, you’re looking for a 2-A:10-B:C rated extinguisher. Ideally, you would pick a dry powder extinguisher since they can be used on A, B, and C types of fire. This way, you get a universal solution for your home.
The use of a fire extinguisher is quite simple. You aim the nozzle toward the base of the fire and squeeze the handle. To stop, you just release the handle. Still, it might be a good idea to read the instructions when you buy an extinguisher and even watch a YouTube video on the subject matter. You need to do this immediately since you won’t have time for reading or tutorials when the fire erupts.
Ideally, these extinguishers should be on every level of your home, and the distance between them should not exceed 40 feet. Add to this all the locations where the fire can start (kitchen, near your primary heat source, etc.), and you’ll provide an optimal fire-extinguishing cover.
Install Smoke Alarms and Sprinklers
The biggest problem with your early response is that you can’t rely on your ability to act responsibly every single time. Panic is something you need to consider, and when it comes to the fight, flight, or freeze response, many people respond with the latter two. So, ideally, you need an automated system that is not susceptible to panic. This is where smoke alarms and sprinklers come to play.
A smoke alarm will warn you and the fire department about smoke in your home. To work properly, you must ensure alarms are on every level of your home, near the stairway, and in the basement. This way, you’ll get the optimal coverage of your home and be able to respond promptly.
Smoke detectors need to be checked monthly. While this sounds like too much work, you must understand that doing this doesn’t take more than a few seconds. All you need to do is press the button for a few seconds and see if there’s a response. In other words, you can check all the detectors in your home in a minute or two.
Fire sprinklers save lives and property. Many people avoid installing them because they dread having to reroute their piping. They don’t realize that they don’t have to do this to begin this. Instead, you can install the standalone fire sprinkler system. This system uses micro-piping, which is both simpler and more reliable.
Don’t Forget Your Yard
It’s also worth mentioning that your property doesn’t end with your structure walls. Your yard is also at risk. Seeing as some people have outdoor barbecues, fire pits, and even outdoor fireplaces, it could serve as a source of fire. Even if that’s not the case, the flames from your home could spread to the entire neighborhood if your backyard is not fireproof.
First, you need to keep your yard tidy. Clutter, like piles of leaves and rotten branches, is highly combustible. So, make sure that they’re not just lying around your property. Besides being a fireproofing practice, it’s also practical advice and makes your yard look nicer.
The best thing you can do is create ignition-resistant zones. A stone pathway, heavy wood retaining wall, a patio, or a swimming pool can all serve this purpose. Landscaping rocks are a great way to create this zone, as well. Fire containment is not the first thing in your mind when designing your backyard, but it should, at least, be in the back of your mind.
In the end, there’s something quite paradoxical about fireproofing your home. After all, you’re taking measures you hope never to test out. You’re spending money on measures that, if everything goes right, you’re never, ever going to need. However, if it makes it easier, you can look at it from another perspective. You’re not just investing in fireproofing your home. You’re also buying your peace of mind. This alone should be quite invaluable.