Fire Safety at Home

January 6, 2022
Home Fire Safety Tips

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), 2,500 Americans die each year in house fires. While no home is fireproof, taking precautions can help prepare your home and improve the safety of your family in the event of a fire. Here we will discuss the common causes of household fires and ways to prepare for such an emergency.

Common Causes of Household Fires

Identifying the most common causes of household fires and implementing smarter practices is the first step to protect your family and home. 

Cooking

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, around 50.7% of all annual residential fires are caused by cooking fires. Tips to prevent a cooking fire:

  • Don’t leave food unattended while cooking
  • Turn pots and pan handles inward to avoid spillage
  • Keep your cooking space around an open flame clean and clear
  • Install a smoke detector close to (but not in) in the kitchen
  • Unplug appliances when they’re not in use and clean regularly
  • Avoid wearing loose clothing when cooking with an open flame

Space Heating

The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that 25,000 annual residential fires are started by space heaters. Tips to prevent a heating appliance fire:

  • Plug directly into the wall, not to a power strip
  • Never leave a running space heater unattended
  • Unplug the space heater when not in use
  • Keep heaters away from flammable materials
  • Do not place heating appliances in enclosed areas

Electrical

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, electrical malfunction accounted for 6.8% of all residential building fires in 2019. Tips to prevent an electrical fire:

  • Heat-producing appliances should be unplugged when not in use
  • Never use devices with damaged power cords
  • Ensure cords are not cracked, placed underneath rugs, or placed in high traffic areas
  • Extension cords should only be used as temporary wiring fixes
  • Replace loose-fitting outlets and any missing or broken wall plates

Home Fire Safety Steps

Consider taking the following steps when preparing your home and family for a fire:

Smoke Detector Test

Smoke detectors are an essential first indicator of a home fire.  Homes without a functional alarm could have a blaze ignite and spread without your knowledge. The NFPA states that almost 3 out of 5 home fire related fatalities were in homes without functioning smoke detectors. It is recommended to test smoke detectors monthly and to replace batteries at least once a year.

Fire Extinguisher Use

In the event that a fire has broken out, it is important to assess the fire.  If it is too large and uncontrollable you should evacuate and dial 911 immediately.  If the fire is small enough to be contained, use the P.A.S.S. technique below to put out the flames:

  • Pull the pin
  • Aim nozzle low at base of the fire
  • Squeeze trigger slowly and evenly
  • Swipe nozzle from side to side

Evacuation Plan

Household fires can spread instantly, making an evacuation plan a crucial step. Start by drawing a map of your home and follow these guidelines from the NFPA:

  • Plan two escape routes from each room in your home
  • All doors and windows leading outdoors should open easily and be free of any potential obstructions
  • Family members with mobility limitations should be assigned to a someone who will assist them during emergencies
  • Always use the stairs and never the elevator if you live in a multi-story building
  • After an escape, plan to meet at a designated location a safe distance from the home 

Fire Safety Upgrades

When assessing your home it’s important to determine whether systems like your HVAC and water heating are functioning properly. Damage from faulty systems can put your home at risk of electrical fire. Additionally, if you live in an area prone to wildfires, Farmers Insurance recommends upgrading your home with non-flammable materials.  This can include, but is not limited to fire-resistant roofing material or double-paned and tempered windows.

At Renew Financial we know how important and timely these projects can be for maintaining the safety of your home. The following features of PACE help homeowners finance their safety and energy efficiency projects when it matters:

  • Same-day approval
  • No money down
  • Finance up to $250,000 
  • No minimum FICO score

Is PACE available in your community? Call 844.736.3934 to apply today!

Important Disclosures

PACE financing is subject to approval. Underwriting requirements and restrictions apply. PACE financing is secured by a lien on the subject property and often required to be repaid upon refinance or sale. Homeowners are encouraged to use PACE financing responsibly. PACE financing is private financing that must be repaid in full. PACE financing is not a government subsidy. Renew Financial is a private company and not a government entity. The installation or construction of property improvements financed with a PACE assessment is provided through a home improvement contractor or other third-party provider, and not by Renew Financial or a government entity. Homeowners should perform due diligence before selecting a home improvement contractor. Financing provided in California through Department of Financial Innovation and Protection License No. 60DBO-90653.

All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. Renew Financial makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information found by following any link on this site. Renew Financial is not a financial or home improvement advisor and information contained in this post should not be viewed as legal or financial advice.