Fire can break out in residential homes at any time, on any day of the year, and with little warning. Just last month Gardnertown Magnet School was temporarily evacuated when a small electrical fire broke out I the basement. Luckily, local firefighters were able to stop the fire from spreading and no one was injured. When a fire breaks out in your home it can be costly and emotionally draining. Lifetimes of family memories can go up in smoke within a matter of minutes. At Hudson Valley DKI in Newburgh New York, we believe in fire prevention and safety. As much as we love helping those in need recover from fire damage disaster, we want to help them prevent these devastating disasters. Take the following steps to prevent a fire damage disaster from occurring.
Smoke detectors are one of the first lines of defense when it comes to stopping a house fire. The alarm should be mounted on the ceiling in the center of the room, hall, or stairway. Be sure and check the battery in the alarm every six months. Never install a smoke detector by a window, vent, or doorway. Fire often occur at night while you are sleeping that is why smoke detectors are so important. Smoke detectors will give you an early warning and help save your loved one’s lives if they are placed and maintained properly.
Check all plugins for any signs of damage and avoid overloading plugins or extension cords. If any cord looks frayed replace it immediately. Faulty wiring and old outlets are two main causes of house fires. Keep all appliances free of grease build up and unplug small appliances when not in use. Home appliances such as stoves and dryers are also known to cause house fires. Keep lint trap cleaned out in the dryer if trap becomes clogged it can cause the dryer to overheat and start a fire.
If your home has a wood stove or chimney always open the damper when starting a fire, leave the flu open even if the fire is only smoldering. Have your chimney cleaned yearly to keep chimney free of debris. If your chimney does not already have one, invest in a spark arrestor to prevent sparks from escaping the chimney. Use a chain mesh screen to keep your flooring and furniture safe from sparks. Woodstove chimneys must be clear of debris rust and or cracks. Never use starter fluid to start a fire, water down ashes before discarding them. If you have a gas fireplace make sure there are two separate locations for a gas valve. You will want a backup valve to shut off the gas if a problem arises.
Having a roof made of fire proof materials such as metal, clay or asphalt shingles can go a long way in preventing fire damage. Trim any overhanging branches and keep the roof free of any other debris that could potentially spread fire. Gutters should be cleaned twice a year to prevent the buildup of leaves and any other fire hazardous material.
Following these steps will go a long way in preventing a house but there is no guarantee that a fire still won’t breakout. Make sure you have an escape plan in place, educate family members, be repaired. Hold fire drills regularly so that family members know what to do and where to go if a fire breaks out. You may not be able to protect your loved ones from every calamity but with a little common sense and planning you will be able to spot potential fire hazards and stop them before the unthinkable happens when a fire strikes.
If your home does suffer from fire damage contact your local authorities first and foremost and then call a professional fire damage restoration company to clean up and damage left behind.