Fire Prevention Day: Home Safety Checklist

It’s Fire Prevention Day and you may not be aware of all of the potential fire hazards that are in your home. Fire prevention is no joke and ensuring that your home is up to date and that  the risks of home fires are minimal is essential for any homeowner.

house on fire

Here are some simple fire prevention facts and tips to keep your home and family safe!

Electrical Fire Prevention:

  •  Electrical Fire Facts:
    • Home electrical fires claim an average of 485 lives in the U.S. each year and another 2,305 more are injured
    • There are an average 67,800 electrical fires in the U.S. each year
    • Electrical fires cost an estimated $868 million in property losses every year
    • Fire deaths are higheland on firest in winter months with December being the most dangerous month for electrical fires.
      • More indoor activities and increased in usage of lighting, heating and appliance are the main causes for the increased number of electrical fires during the winter months.
    • Most electrical wiring fires start in the bedroom.
  • Causes of Electrical Fire:
    • Most electrical fires result from problems with “fixed wiring” such as faulty electrical outlets and old wiring.
      • In urban areas, faulty wiring accounts for 33% of residential electrical fires.
    • Problems with cords and plugs, such as extension and appliance cords, also cause many home electrical fires.
    • Many avoidable electrical fires can be traced to the misuse of electric cords, such as overloading circuits, poor maintenance and running the cords under rugs or in high traffic areas.
  • Home Appliances to Watch Out For:
    • Electric stoves and ovens
    • Dryersold tv
    • Central heating units
    • Televisions and radios
  • Use These Safety Measure for Your Electrical Fire Prevention Strategy:
    • Routinely check your electrical appliances and wiring.
    • Frayed wires can cause fires. Replace all worn, old or damaged appliance cords immediately.
    • Use electrical extension cords wisely and don’t overload them.
    • Keep electrical appliances away from wet floors and counters; pay special care to electrical appliances in the bathroom and kitchen.
    • When buying electrical appliances look for products which meet the Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL) standard for safety.
    • Don’t allow children to play with or around electrical appliances like space heaters, irons and hair dryers.
    • Keep clothes, curtains and other potentially combustible items at least three feet from all heaters.
    • If an appliance has a three-prong plug, use it only in a three-slot outlet. Never force it to fit into a two-slot outlet or extension cord.
    • Never overload extension cords or wall sockets.
    • Immediately shut off, then professionally replace, light switches that are hot to the touch and lights that flicker.
    • Use safety closures to “child-proof” electrical outlets.
    • Check your electrical tools regularly for signs of wear.
      • If the cords are frayed or cracked, replace them.
        • Replace any tool if it causes even small electrical shocks, overheats, shorts out or gives off smoke or sparks.

Heating and Cooling Systems and Fire Prevention 101:

  • Natural Gas Appliances Fire Safety Tips:
    • Follow directions from the manufacturer for using and taking care of gas appliances. Seek professional help when necessary.
    • Keep combustibles such as papers, fluids, paints, curtains and rags away from all natural gas appliances.
    • Keep gas ranges clean.
      • Make sure burner bowls are free of used matches, grease, paper, etc.
    • Have a fire extinguisher near gas appliances at all times.
      • Use a CO2 or dry-chemical extinguisher for the kitchen.
    • Teach children never to light or play with the controls of any gas appliances.
    • Keep gas burner/firethe pilot lights of your gas range lit.
      • If you put them out to save energy, a dangerous gas build-up can occur if someone accidentally turns on the range.
    • Look for a certification seal when purchasing a new gas appliance.
      • This ensures that the equipment design meets strict safety standards.
    • Never use your gas range to heat your home or apartment.
      • This practice creates a serious fire hazard and puts you and your family at risk from dangerous carbon monoxide fumes.
  • If You Smell Natural Gas:
    • Open windows or doors and leave your home.
    • Do not look for the source of the smell with any open flame (even using a flashlight could be dangerous).
    • If the smell is very strong, or you hear a blowing or hissing noise, leave immediately.
    • Do not use anything that could generate a spark
    • Do not use the telephone
    • Do not turn light switches or equipment using electricity on or off.
    • Do not turn vehicle ignitions on or off.
    • Go to a neighboring phone and call the fire department or 911.
  • Fire Prevention and Your Heating Systems:
    • Heat pumps and oil-fired furnaces and boilers need a yearly professional tune-up
    • A close inspection will uncover leaks, soot, rust, rot, corroded electrical contacts and frayed wires and other potential fire risks.
  • What You Need to Know About Dryer Vents and Fire Prevention:
    • Almost 16,000 residential fires each year involve lint-clogged dryer vents
    • Cleaning your lint trap after every load will aid in your dryer vent fire prevention plan, but this action is not enough on its own to prevent a clothes dryer fire.
    • According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, these clothes dryer fires result in 20 deaths, 370 injuries and over $75 million in property damage each year.
    • Periodic cleaning of your dryer vent helps eliminate the risk to your home and family.
    • If you haven’t cleaned or checked your vent in the last four years, you should do it now.
    • Tiger Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning and Electrical Services has invested in the proper tools to clean your dryer vent quickly and without leaving a mess in your home. Call 1-888-9TIGER4 to have your vents professionally cleaned.

Fire Prevention and Your Water Heater

  • Water heaters are not only fire hazards but a neglected water heater can potentially cause an explosion
  • Water heaters come equipped with temperature and pressure valves
    • These valves are designed to open up and provide ventilation, if your water heater over heats or pressure builds up.
    • If these valves malfunction and fail to open, the pressure and temperature in your water heater can build up, causing an explosion.
    • For your safety, you should have your temperature and pressure valve checked once a year by a professional plumber.
  • Combustion Chamber Hatch in Gas Water Heaters
    • If dust or debris accumulates underneath your water heater it can lead to issues with your combustion chamber hatch, turning your water heater into a fire hazard.
    • For ultimate fire prevention and protection, you should have the area around your combustion chamber hatch inspected and clean by a professional plumber yearly.

When it Comes to Fire Prevention Smoke Alarms are Your Best Friend

  • Smoke alarms are your number one defense against a potential deadly house fire
    • In the event of a fire, properly installed and maintained smoke alarms will provide an early warning that could save your life.
  • Where Should You Put Smoke Alarms in Your Home?smoke alarm
    • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including the basement.
    • Many fatal fires begin late at night or in the early morning.
    • So for extra safety, install smoke alarms both inside and outside sleeping areas.
    • Since smoke and many deadly gases rise, installing your smoke alarms at the proper level will provide you with the earliest warning possible.
    • Always follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions or have an Electrician professional install them for your piece of mind.

Fire prevention is no joke and if you have any concerns about the potential fire hazards of your homes plumbing, heating, cooling or electrical systems call 1-888-9TIGER4 or contact us to have your systems evaluated for potential fire risks.

Be sure to check out Tiger Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning and Electrical Services on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram for more fire prevention advice and valuable information!


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