New Homeowner Basics About Fire Safety

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As a new homeowner, you need to understand the basics of fire safety and the most common fire threats that you may find in your home. The better informed you are, the safer you'll be able to keep yourself and your family. Knowing the types of fires you might encounter and how to respond to them may even allow you to deal with a fire before it causes significant damage. Here's a look at what you need to know.

What Are Some Common Causes Of Home Fires?

There are a few primary sources of home fires. Understanding each of these is your first line of defense for protecting your house.

Wiring damage is a serious concern. Old, damaged, or insufficient electrical wiring can lead to a short. The sparks caused by that short may trigger a fire. In addition, if your home has even a minor rodent infestation, chewed wires are an equally serious threat. Routine electrical inspections may help you minimize this risk.

Chimney fires are serious and more difficult to detect. Often caused by the buildup of soot and creosote inside your chimney, a chimney fire can burn for some time and potentially breach the chimney liner before you know that it's there. Avoid this risk by having the chimney cleaned at least once each year by a professional chimney sweep.

Grease and cooking fires can grow rapidly. The kitchen is a hot bed of fire safety concerns. From hot grease splatter to the open flames of a gas stove, you need to be attentive. In addition, your kitchen should be outfitted with several fire extinguishers for grease, electrical, and traditional fires.

How Do You Respond To Home Fires?

It's important to consider the root cause of the fire when you determine how to respond to it. For example, while it's tempting to throw water on any kind of fire, you may actually worsen the problem if you do this with a grease or electrical fire.

For electrical fires, turn off the power to the area first. Sometimes this means shutting off the main power breaker to the house for safety. Then you can use a CO2 extinguisher on the fire. These are specially made for electrical fires.

Grease fires, on the other hand, can often be dampened by covering them with salt, baking soda, or a pan lid. If the fire is in a pan, putting a lid on it may starve it of air, which can extinguish the fire. If that doesn't work, coat it in a thick layer of baking soda.

In most other fire situations, water or a standard fire extinguisher should help. Contact a company like Universal Fire Equipment to learn more about outfitting your home with the extinguishers you may need.