According to the U.S. Fire Administration, fires are seasonal in nature, notably highest during spring and summer seasons. Perhaps it is due to the higher number of activities in residential areas during this time. Most families will host cookouts, BBQ parties, and get-togethers that can increase the risk of fire. Now that more people are allowed to convene, here are some useful tips on how you can fireproof your home:
1. Choose Your Materials
If you are in the process of building your home, it would be in your best interest to choose fire-retardant building materials. While they may be a little costly, it will bring your more benefits later on, as they can serve as your protection in case of serious tragedy. If you are renovating soon, keep this in mind. Go for bricks, steel framing, and concrete panels whenever possible, and consider using fire-retardant paint as well.
2. Check Your Chimneys
For homes with chimneys, make sure to practice regular maintenance. Since they are generally unused during summer, Certified Chimney recommends doing a chimney sweep and inspection to make sure there is no soot build-up that can cause a fire when you use your chimney during the winter season.
3. Install Smoke Alarms
For homes that do not have smoke alarms, it is best to have one installed as soon as possible. If you already have one, make sure that they are functioning, and replace the batteries every six months. Ideally, you should have one on each floor of your home. You also need to test your smoke alarms annually to ensure they are still working.
4. Invest in a Fire Extinguisher
Deadly fires are common in residential areas because most households are not adequately prepared to deal with small fires that may occur in the kitchen and backyard. When you have an easily accessible fire extinguisher, you can easily prevent small fires from worsening. Ideally, you should have a fire extinguisher with an ABC rating. Remember to place them where they are easily accessible, like the kitchen.
5. Install Fire Doors
Residential fires can easily spread and engulf an entire home in less than 10 minutes. However, the installation of fire doors, particularly in strategic areas can help reduce the rapid spread of fire. These fire doors can be efficient in holding back the smoke, flames, and heat for at least half an hour to an hour at most, giving homeowners and family members enough time to escape the fire. In multilevel homes, fire doors are best placed in between a stairwell and every room, except for bathrooms.
6. Build Fire-Protecting Landscape
Wildfires can cause irreparable damage to homes, and now that they’re becoming more common, the best way to prevent an outdoor fire from reaching your home is by building a landscape that can slow it down. This means you have to use hard landscaping such as concrete fencing, and gravel and stone decorations around the house. If there is dry vegetation surrounding your home, especially during summer, clear them out.
If you have a garden, grow fire-resistant plants like honeysuckle, rockrose, ice plant, aloe, cotoneaster, to name a few. You also have to make sure that your plants are adequately watered during summer. The healthier your plants are, the less likely they are to burn.
Make sure to follow these tips to ensure your safety from fire, especially during the summer months.