By Samuel Ott
There’s nothing worse than coming home to find it looking like this, charred with fire damage.
Your life comes to a screeching halt as you watch in horror. It’s a good thing you weren’t inside. Worse yet, what if a family member was? Unfortunately, most house fires can be avoided. It’s all about being safe.
There are many ways a fire can be caused. Here are some tips for what to look for and how to prevent potential fires in and around your home:
- Clean out lint traps: My mother has preached this to me since day one. Every time you do a load of laundry, clean out the lent trap. Lent is highly flammable, so do laundry with care.
- Space heaters need their space: If you use a space heater, keep it clear of any article of clothing, curtains or furnishings. Don’t forget to turn it off before you leave!
- Check wirings and circuits: If you look behind your TV and can’t see the ground or there’s a ball of wire, I think it’s a good time to reorganize. Keeping too many wires and cords together can cause overheating. Plus, you don’t want to overload the circuits. Unplug electrical appliances before going to bed or leaving the house. Plus, this can save on energy costs.
- Test smoke detectors: They can save your life, but only if you keep them alive. Change their batteries twice a year, but it doesn’t stop there. Regularly test to see if they are functioning properly.
- No smoking: Take your smoke break outside. No exceptions. When you throw away your cigarette butts, make sure to wet the end.
- Don’t let your meal cook itself: Never leave your kitchen post without turning off the stove, oven or any other cooking appliance. This is only asking for trouble. Also, make sure to cook safely by keep any flammable objects away from appliances.
If you’re ever unsure about a potential fire hazard, just give it some thought. If you find you keep second guessing yourself, then it might be a good idea not to do it. There are two types of knowledge in these situations, semantic and instinct; what you do because of what you know and what you think you should do. It never hurts to know as much as you can in order to do the right thing, but sometimes it’s your instinct that saves the day.