Fire safety is a major concern every informed person should have in mind. A fire is devastating when it gets out of control. It can spread quickly and without warning.
Often it results in property loss or loss of life, both of which can be costly and devastating at the same time.
Fire safety should be one of your priorities, and every member of your family should be just as well informed as you are, and everyone should know what their responsibilities are when a potential fire or an actual fire is encountered.
By following a few basic guidelines, keeping personal safety a priority and making logical decisions you will all go a long way towards preventing personal injury or property loss.
Keep reading this article for more information and read our tips for staying safe in the event of a fire.
Did you know?
In the United States alone, fire departments respond to a residential fire every 86 seconds.
That’s a crazy number of fires to attend to each day, (over 1,000 fires). Home fires occur for a number of reasons, but they can be prevented.
Unattended cooking is the leading cause of residential (home) fires, accounting for more than half of all home fires reported, this is closely followed by heaters, electrical equipment malfunctions, arson and smoking.
A Quick Statistic: Over 365,000 fires and 2,650 civilian deaths occur every year, resulting in $7 billion in property damage
Property Value based on Fire risk
Where a home is located in or near an area frequently at risk of bush or forest fire, the value of the property is low. It is also difficult to sell a home in such areas because people are averse to risk
If you’re on the market for a new home, do research of the area and think twice before you buy in a high risk area. It might be easy to get property in such areas, but you need to think long term.
What if you want to sell in the future, will you make a profit, and will it be easy to find buyers?
Natural and FREE ways to make a home Fire Proof
If you have a home in an area that’s prone to fires, how do you protect it?
What do you do if you know its dry season and a fire is imminent?
We’ve all seen how wildfires across the States have ravaged large tracts of forest and land, destroyed umpteen homes and displaced thousands.
We want to try give you some tips and tricks to think about. Try implement some of these things to make your home fireproof.
Often people’s yards are filled with sticks, twigs, bits of wood, old grass, and other dried vegetation which hasn’t made it to the compost heap.
In the wild, it’s great when a fire sweeps through and burns any dried vegetation and other junk to ash. Then rain comes and washes the ash into the soil.
If that happens in your yard, your home becomes fuel for the fire too.
Get outside and:
Pull up and discard or compost any dry, dead weeds
Sweep and compost any leaves, they’re quick fire-starters
Mow the lawn and keep it very short
Pick up and discard any sticks, twigs or bits of wood
Remove any flammable boxes, plastic items and paper
Check what plants you have around your home
Plant evergreen fire retardant plants around your home
If you have conifers (All species of pine or fir trees) planted near your home, then be sure to trim the branches and keep them a decent distance from the ground.
Make sure these conifers don’t have any oozing or exposed sap. Sap is highly flammable and may just add fuel to a fire.
If you don’t have many plants around your home, you could consider planting some evergreen fire resistant varieties, such as:
Just check which fire resistant strains are available in your local area and if they’re suitable for your needs.
Fireproof Your Home
Fire runs along surfaces of fuel, jumping from one source to the next. It follows the wind and the most abundant source of fuel, whether on the ground or up in that air.
Often you’ll see fires running along the tops of forest canopies because the conifer needles offer such a great source of fuel and in the right windy conditions, can burn through thousands of acres within seconds.
If a tree hopping fire is on a trajectory towards your home - here are some ways to keep your home safe:
Wet the roof.
The hot air from a fire and wind cause embers to fly up in the air. If these land on a dry source of fuel like your roof, it could easily ignite it.
Wet the roof beforehand so that any sparks or embers will be extinguished.
Thoroughly wet all wood surfaces outside your home.
If you’ve got wind and fire on the way to you, the best thing you can do to protect your home, is to wet any source of fuel that the fire may ignite.
The first place to start is the roof, then wet all walls, doors and door-frames, window-frames and any wooden furniture.
Soak your deck and porch and anywhere else that will be exposed to the open flames.
If you ever renovate your home or consider replacing your roof, think about fire prevention.
Metal sheets and Ceramic tiles are a great option. Both are fire resistant. They may be a bit more expensive than wood, but they’re more resilient if maintained and can last much longer than a wooden roof.
Fireproof the outside
Wood exterior walls might be cost effective and look great, but any wood is such a great source of fuel for a fire.
Consider replacing the wood with brick or rock. You could even consider some sort of tiling.
If you don’t have the finances for anything new, how about considering fire retardant paint.
Simply get some new paint and add some sand to it. It creates a rougher texture than regular paint but will prevent the wood from igniting.
Speak to your local hardware store about their fire-retardant options.
Preparing for a Fire
Here are some extra things you can do in the event of fires:
If your roof, or any other place ignites and causes smoke, a smoke alarm is a great first warning.
Make sure to regularly check the batteries.
They’re great to have on hand in the event of a fire. Make sure everyone in your home knows how to handle and use a fire extinguisher.
Speak to your local fire department for some basic training for the whole family.
If you have a fuel based lawnmower, make sure it is safely locked behind a solid door that’s waterproof and far from the fire.
If you have fuel, keep it and the lawnmower safely stored in a sealed room or basement away from any open flames.
15 Fire Safety Tips
I. Have smoke detectors installed
II. Keep fire extinguishers and get trained to use them
III. Have an evacuation plan
IV. Have medical kits available – especially for burns
V. Remove dry vegetation from your yard
VI. Remove any packaging, wood chips, twigs, planks or timber
VII. Plant fire resistant plants round your home
VIII. Trim and keep conifer branches away from the ground
IX. Keep lawnmowers and fuel locked away in a basement
X. Replace wood roofing for metal or ceramic tiles
XI. Replace wood walls with brick or concrete tiles
XII. Use fire retardant paint on exterior walls
XIII. Don’t leave cooking food unattended
XIV. Don’t smoke near flammable material
XV. After making a fire, ensure its properly extinguished before walking away
There’s a lot more that you can do to keep yourself and your loved ones safe in the event of a fire. The main thing you must not do is panic.
Think calmly, rationally and follow your plans to stay safe. You should have planned for the possibility of a fire and each of you should know exactly what to do.
Act swiftly, stick to your plan and communicate with one another, then let the authorities know if you’re going to need help.
You did create an evacuation plan, didn’t you? It’s important, so if you haven’t got one in place, NOW is the time to do it.
What you should do is have a bag ready to grab and go. In it should be your most important stuff, like:
Spare phone, with a solar battery charger
Emergency medical kit
These are some of the essentials, craft your bag the way you want to, but make sure your most essential items for the continuation of your life are in there.
Next, you should have planned for a place to go to. Do you have pets, is the place you’re going to pet friendly?
Check these things ahead of time, so that when an emergency happens, there’s no guessing, you know what you’re doing and you act.
You did put enough gas in your car, right? Make a habit of always ensuring your car is way above the half mark. That should be enough to get you far away enough from potential problems.
Even if you do all of the things on this list 150%, it still might not be enough to stop a wildfire.
Do what you can, but if you see a fire heading your way, and it’s larger than you expected, get out.
Your and your family’s life is irreplaceable. You can replace your property in time.
What we’ve given you are steps you can take to prevent your property being destroyed and actions you can take to stay safe, but use logic and intuition to stay safe.
If in doubt at all, get out while you can!
Can you think of other things people can do to safeguard their homes? Let us know.