A house fire is probably many people’s worst fear, and not just because it can destroy a lifetime of valuable possessions but also because it can actually be life-threatening. Moreover, as dangerous as the flames are, it’s actually the smoke that is more likely to make you pass out and suffocate. All in all, it’s safe to say that fire and smoke is not something that should be taken lightly. With that in mind, here are a few ways to protect your home from these hazards.
What to do if your house catches on fire?
Knowing what to do in case of fire can save both your life and your house. So, needless to say, if you can extinguish the fire, do it. If you cannot, you need to get to safety before smoke fills your house, and you need to call for help. Now, if there already is some smoke and you can’t exactly run out in seconds, you should crawl your way out, as smoke tends to go upwards.
How to prevent fires?
Of course, prevention is always better than cure, so it’s essential that you do everything you can in order to prevent fire. For starters, you should test your fire alarms at least once a month, and you should make sure to replace the battery as well. You should replace the battery once a year, even if the alarms only activated when you were testing them. After all, you don’t want them to malfunction when you need them the most.
Next, don’t let a small fire grown into a bigger one if you can stop it right away. Getting a fire extinguisher before you need it gives you a chance to learn how to use it. Even if you never actually need to use it, it can still give you peace of mind knowing that you have it. So, get at least two for your home, and one smaller extinguisher for your vehicle.
Also, you should come up with a safety plan, especially if you have kids. Most of us have gone through fire drills in school, but not many people organize such drills at home. So, come up with the best plan in case of fire, and make sure your kids are well familiar with it. The plan should include the safest route out of the home, what to do when the alarm goes off, and where to meet in case you get separated. Practice this together until everybody gets it right, and repeat the drill at least twice a year so nobody forgets it.
What are the health risks?
Besides damaging your property, fire and smoke can also cause some serious health problems. Believe it or not, the smoke can actually linger in your home for weeks after the fire. Not to mention how difficult soot can be to remove. Some of the possible health issues include bronchitis and other respiratory issues, skin problems, eye irritation, and in some cases, smoke can even lead to cancer, stroke, heart attack, and long-term problems for infants.
The reason why fire and smoke can be so dangerous is because of the things they melt. Many items, like carpets, fabrics, wool products, and plastics, release harmful chemicals when burned – these chemicals are what causes all the serious damage. This is also why home restorations after a home fire should always be done by professionals.
To sum up, fire in a home can be extremely dangerous, and besides destroying your property, it can cause some serious health problems as well. This is why you should do everything you can to prevent fires when possible and extinguish them quickly if possible. By being well-prepared, you would have one less thing to worry about, and your family would feel much more comfortable in your home.
This is a guest post by Jack Kewell.