Importance of Fireproofing Your Home
There are few things in life that are more traumatizing than a house fire. A fire in your home may well put your life in danger, but even if no one is hurt by the fire, there’s something particularly difficult about having to stand there helplessly and watching as your valued possessions go up in flames. A home that you spent years working on is suddenly gone and there’s nothing you can do about it.
No one wants this to happen to their home, but many people think that fireproofing their homes must be an expensive or difficult process, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Here are some of the cheap and easy ways to fireproof your home.
- Build a Fireproof Boundary
- Keep Flammable Materials Away From Heat Sources
- Use Fire-Retardant Paint
- Replace Wooden Window Frames
- Remove Debris From Gutters
- Install or Repair Smoke Detectors
- Get a Fire Extinguisher
- Take Care With Old Appliances
The financial devastation, however, can be mitigated. You can claim from homeowners insurance after a fire loss and will receive compensation for repairs as well as your home contents. Making sure you have your insurance details fully sorted out is crucial but with the right insurance, you can make all your money back, if not the sentimental value of your possessions. Ideally, though, you will never have to go through that in the first place.
Cheap and Easy Ways to Fireproof Your Home
There are, in fact, a whole number of things you can do to lessen the risk of fire damage to your home, and the good news is you can do so without spending too much money. You may even save some cash on your insurance premiums by better fireproofing your home.
1. Build a Fireproof Boundary
We’ll get into the things you can do to prevent damage from fires that start in your home. However, fire normally does begin from within the home itself, but in many cases, fires actually start outside the home. This is especially true in regions where there is a risk of wildfire and unfortunately, with climate change, wildfires are becoming both more widespread and more furious. In order to prevent your home from falling victim to a spreading fire, you should build a fireproof boundary around it.
This sounds extremely challenging but it is quite easy. It merely consists of creating a space around your house with only fireproof materials, including gravel and concrete. Clear out any flammable rubbish – like dead plants – that might catch fire. You can plant fire-retardant plants, for example, in this space to pretty it up. Your boundary should cover about 100 feet.
If you have a wooden shed, you will want to create a boundary for this too. Even if the shed is not worth much, it’s very flammable and can serve to spread the fire further.
2. Keep Flammable Materials Away From Heat Sources
While the case of an outside fire is more likely to occur in your home, you should also make the inside of your home have a fireproof boundary of sorts. An easy way to do this is to keep flammable materials away from heat sources such as fireplaces, stoves, and candles. Another good tip to prevent fires from starting within your home is by always making sure to turn off your stove and oven and to blow out candles and incenses when you are done using them. You could also consider installing fire sprinklers in your home for additional protection.
3. Use Fire-Retardant Paint
In an ideal world, your home would be made primarily of fireproof materials. Everything from your walls to your roof would be made from concrete, stone, foam, tiles, etc. However, if your home is not already made of these materials and you may have wooden fixings or flammable tiles, replacing them may be both unaffordable and impractical.
You can use fire-retardant paint, though, which might be a nice easy fix to all your problems. This won’t prevent the fire from burning down your walls, but it can slow it down significantly and ensure it doesn’t spread as far. Also, fire-retardant paint is the most affordable alternative to replacing every flammable material in your home and can be pretty easy to put in place.
4. Regularly Remove Debris From Gutters
Embers from a fire can travel for miles. All they need is some flammable material to catch, and a fire will spread to your home no matter how big a boundary you have. For this reason, you should ensure that you constantly go out of your way to remove any and all potential tinder as often as possible. It’s easy to forget the most important places where fires build up. The buildup of dry leaves and twigs in your gutters, in particular, is the most likely candidate to be a source of deadly embers and it can also mess up your gutters and hurt the value of your house. No one enjoys cleaning out gutters, but it is an important job that could well end up saving your home.
5. Replace Your Wooden Window Frames
There is one feature that you should replace if possible and it shouldn’t be overly expensive or difficult, either. Wooden window frames are common and often attractive features in most houses, but that comes with a cost in that it is often the house’s most vulnerable place where fire can get through. If you can, replace your wooden window frames with metal frames. It may not look quite so great but it can be coated with fireproof paint or a nice metal alloy and it could still look more than presentable. This may be nothing less than the difference between fire damage and a house that is completely burned down.
6. Install or Repair Smoke Detectors
Having smoke detectors is a good idea, and may even be a requirement in apartment buildings, complexes, or clusters, and you should be sure to install them throughout your home and make sure they’re working perfectly. The problem is that if they malfunction they can get very annoying, and they can malfunction pretty easily. Many people, therefore, make the mistake of disconnecting their smoke detectors with the intention of fixing them but then never actually getting around to it.
Also, make sure that you have an adequate amount of smoke alarms throughout your home, especially those places like the kitchen or living area where fires are more likely to break out. If there are any smoke detectors in your home that are not working, do yourself a favor and go out and get them repaired. And get it done today. It is simply not worth risking your home and the safety of your family just to avoid any inconvenience that is, in all honesty, not that much of an inconvenience and it certainly isn’t expensive.
7. Get a Fire Extinguisher
Another important defense against house fires is the humble fire extinguisher. This may seem obvious and probably is at that but it’s so crucial and so important but is so easily overlooked at the same time. While all businesses are required to have fire extinguishers as a matter of policy, homeowners often forego this responsibility or more simply, don’t think to put one in when building or buying their home. A fire extinguisher does not make for great decor, to be fair.
However, a fire extinguisher can save your home, which would otherwise go up in flames by the time the fire department arrived. It does not need the pride of the place by having it placed in your living room, but keep it easily accessible. In the corner of a kitchen is a good place to keep it or in an easily accessible wardrobe, or even around the back of your house, but just make sure it’s easy to get to. Also, make sure that it’s always fully functional and fully equipped. You may already have a fire hose, but it’s no use if it doesn’t do any old thing
8. Take Care With Old Appliances
You may not be able to replace all old appliances at the moment, but make sure to remain aware of them and the risks they carry. If an appliance is sparking, smoking, giving off an acrid smell, or making an unusual noise, disconnect it and don’t use it again until it has been repaired or replaced.
With fire season upon us, now is the time to take action and make sure your home is as fireproof as possible. By following these tips, you can help keep your family safe and protect your property from damage. However, it is recommended even if following these tips to develop an evacuation plan and practice it with your family so everyone knows what to do in the event of a fire. It’s also strongly recommended that you should install fire alarms and smoke detectors in your home and check them regularly to ensure they are working properly. With those two key tips and by taking all the rest of these steps as well, you can help fireproof your home and protect your family in the event of a fire.