Fire is one of the most destructive hazards. It’s one of the leading causes of property damage, including residential ones.
There are many fire incidents reported each year worldwide for many reasons. Some are even impossible to avoid because of their nature. This is why fire-proofing is one of the best options that is considered by many.
Tips To Fire-Proof Your Home
Fire damage can be devastating, plus the aftermath can be frustrating as well. Fortunately, there are companies that offer fire damage restoration to care for the property while victims are recovering. Some of these companies will even help you to file and win claims against insurance.
However, it would still be best if you’ll be able to prevent the fire from totally burning your home rather than becoming a victim. There are many ways you can do to prevent fire from entirely damaging your property.
Fire-Proof Your Home From The Outside
There are three risk zones around your home that you must also consider if you want to fire-proof your entire house. The three risk zones are called Zone 1, 2, and 3.
Zone 1 –
Zone 1 is the area within five feet of your house. There should be no plants within this zone. Plants can easily catch fire and spread it fast that anyone can imagine. Once burning plants break your house’s windows, glowing coal or wood could enter the house. Moreover, trees should also be avoided within Zone 1. If you can’t get rid of them, prune them high and make sure they don’t touch the house. Ensure that decks made of wood are fire-resistant. Remove anything that could catch fire under or on top of the deck.
Zone 2 –
Zone 2 is the area within five to thirty feet around your house. Keep away large trees in Zone 2 at least 10 feet from home. Make sure that nothing within this range could act as a ladder for flames to reach the tree canopy. Conifers and other tall trees should be pruned 6 to 10 feet from the ground.
Zone 3 –
Zone 3 is the last, and it encompasses anything within 30 to 100 feet of your house. In this zone, you aim to lessen the severity of the incoming fire. This zone should not have tightly packed trees. Ensure that all trees and shrubs are at least 10 feet apart. However, it’ll be hard if you’re located in heavily populated areas as houses and zones often a1overlap. You’re still at risk if your The best that you can do is speak to your neighbors and ask them to help you reduce the chance of fire by removing fire risks within the area. Each household (especially in a populated area) must be fully fire-proof in order for a neighborhood to survive a wind-driven fire.
Build A Fire-Proof Home
If you’re building a new home or thinking about renovating the old one and you want it to be fire-proof, below are some helpful tips to consider.
Make It Accessible To Firetrucks
Firefighters won’t be able to put out a fire if it can’t get to your home in the first place. A firetruck requires a sturdy road to get to your home, including your driveway, so make sure it’s solid enough to withstand a firetruck. It’s also beneficial to have a convenient location to turn the truck around.
Often consider something that restricts entry. Firefighters wouldn’t be able to extinguish fires when they’re still small and have the least harm if they have limited access to your home.
Use Fire-Proof Materials
Fire-retardant materials, also known as fire-proof materials, can withstand high temperatures and are intended to help prevent the fire from spreading.
- Fire-Resistant Glass – Since most people can’t have a home without a window, it’s essential to use fire-resistant glass on it to at least double the time it will take for a fire to break in.
- Fire-Resistant Walls – A firewall is a fire-resistant barrier that prevents a fire from spreading within a room. The wall works by preventing the fire from spreading to other areas of the house. In certain instances, the firewall will halt the spread of the fire long enough for you to escape and the fire department to arrive and extinguish it.
- Fire-Proof Paint – Fire retardant paint is a decorative paint that inhibits the spread of flames for up to two hours. It has the appearance of conventional paint, but it provides additional protection by lowering the flammability of materials, the strength of the fire, the amount of smoke emitted, and slowing the spread of fire.
- Use Concrete or Stone for Deck – Decks are mostly made of wood because they are low-cost construction materials. However, wood is a highly combustible material, so it isn’t an ideal material to use if you want to build a deck. Instead, use fire-resistant materials such as brick, concrete, or stone for your deck.
- Fire-Stopping Landscape
A fire that starts outside, such as a wildfire, is better fought by keeping it from entering your home in the first place. You may use landscape gardening design to delay or stop a fire from spreading to your house. To slow down a fire and prevent it from spreading, use fire-resistant plants like honeysuckle and lavender in soft landscaping. Around the yard, use hard landscaping such as concrete, stone, or gravel.
- Fire Doors – Fire doors have a fire-resistance rating that is used to slow the spread of fire or smoke between areas so that people can safely exit. Fire can spread fast, which is why fire doors should be installed in critical places. These doors can withstand flames and smoke for up to an hour, allowing you valuable time to flee if the fire becomes overwhelming.
Use Fire Safety Equipment In Your Home
Fire-proofing your home isn’t just preventing the fire from breaking inside a house. Getting the appropriate safety equipment inside your home is also an essential part of being prepared for a fire.
If a fire breaks out in your home and you spot it early enough, you can put it out with a fire extinguisher. Extinguishers should be held on every level of your house, as well as in the garage and kitchen. Ensure that you have the correct type of fire extinguisher at home and everyone in the house has proper education on how to use it.
Installing smoke detectors is one of the most effective ways to improve your home’s security. Having the right number of smoke alarms in the house means that you’ll be alerted if a fire breaks out anywhere. Make sure you have a functioning smoke alarm on each floor of your home, as well as outside any sleeping quarters and inside each bedroom. You can also test the alarms at least monthly and replace the batteries on a regular basis.
A sprinkler system will help to reduce the risk of deadly smoke and gas reaching your family. This device sprinkles water the moment it detects a cloud of smoke or fire. It will be best to connect your sprinklers in an alarm system as well, especially when you’re not at home often. The alarm system will be able to notify the fire department when a fire started in your absence, while the sprinklers extinguish the fire before the fire department arrives at your house.
Carbon Monoxide (CO) Alarms
When fuels (like wood, gasoline, coal, natural gas, methane, and oil) burn incompletely, it produces carbon monoxide. If inhaled over a long period, such as while sleeping, even a small amount of carbon monoxide can poison or kill a human.
Carbon monoxide poisoning can cause flu-like symptoms at first if it builds up inside your house, but drawing in too much inside your lungs can be dangerous. Since inhaling too much carbon monoxide can be fatal, it’s crucial to have multiple carbon monoxide detectors to warn you if levels rise too high. Keep your family safe from this invisible killer gas and install carbon monoxide alarms before it’s too late.
A heat detector is typically used in rooms where dust or fumes are unavoidable, like a garage or cellar. A smoke alarm won’t be helpful in this type of location because it might mistakenly recognize dust or soot as combustible elements in the air. A heat detector is also used in rooms with highly flammable chemicals. The converted thermal energy from the flame increases the temperature of a heat-sensitive element in the heat detector. When this happens, the element sets off an alarm, which sounds, alerting everyone within hearing distance of the system.
Ensure That Your Electrical Wirings Are Safe
Different factors cause house fires, and electrical malfunction is one of its highest contributors. There are many electrical hazards that can arise in your home. However, there are also many ways to prevent house fires from these faulty electrical wirings.
Replacing Old Appliances
Old appliances can be dangerous to use because you don’t know if their parts are still safe inside and out. Since the appliance is too old, its wires might already wear out, which can cause a short circuit that can start a fire. The best way to prevent a fire caused by old appliances isn’t only a repair, but it will be best if you replace them. Spending a few bucks on a new appliance is better than losing everything because of a faulty one.
Check Power Lines
Ensure the tree branches can’t bring down the power lines over your house. You can initiate to trim these branches or call the power company and see if they can fix it for you. Power lines are carrying a high amount of current, which is enough to produce high temperature and lit a fire once it touches a combustible material. It can even move through the ground and surrounding objects when it falls. That’s why it’s essential to maintain a safe distance.
Unplug Unused Appliances
Unplugging unused appliances might be the easiest way to prevent fire but it’s also often ignored. When an appliance isn’t in use, unplugging it will save energy and prevent the appliance from overheating, which causes fire. Also, unplugging major appliances after an outage can protect them from possible damages from a voltage spike.
Check Your Outlets And Wiring System
If you’re blowing your fuse or tripping the breakers often, it’s possible that you’re overloading your outlets or your electrical system has a problem. When you plug in too many appliances in one outlet using an extension cord, it can cause the wires to overheat, leading to a fire.
If overloading isn’t the cause why your breakers are tripping, you must check your home’s wiring system. A short circuit can also be the cause why your breakers often trip. It can be because there are worn-out wires that are touching another live wire. Overloading and faulty wiring can both start a fire. This is why it’s essential to regularly have a maintenance check on your electrical wirings.
House fire can be devastating, but you can reduce its impact in so many ways. Understanding the three zones and the things you need to do to keep those areas safe from fire is a good start to fire-proof your home. If you’re planning to build a new home or renovate the old one, consider building a fire-proof home using fire-resistant materials, making your home more accessible to firetrucks, installing fire-resistant doors, and maximize the use of fire-stopping landscapes.
Inside your home, you can maximize the use of technology and install fire safety devices that can send an alarm whenever a smoke or fire is detected. Install sprinklers, fire extinguishers, detectors, and alarms to prevent fire from totally damaging your home and killing those insides. Lastly, you should ensure that your home’s electrical wirings are in place. Consistent checking and maintenance can play a significant role in preventing electrical fires.
Though these may seem like monumental tasks, remember that fire can be preventable, but its effects may never be controlled. Thus, taking actions at this stage may save you from impending danger brought by neglectful practices.