Summer is the time to vacation, to relax, to unwind, and not worry about anything. It’s the time to break the routine and do something different, something that you’ve always wanted to do. Getting out to enjoy or get away from the heat both sound like amazing ideas, whether you travel north or hit the beach.
But regardless of how you personally deal with the heat, you never want to come home to a pile of ruins from a property fire. Fire damage can occur at any time during the year, but the risk is heightened during hot, dry weather conditions. ServiceMaster by Restoration Contractors is available 24/7 in Fort Wayne, IN and the surrounding areas to respond to fire damage emergencies, but we’d much prefer you don’t need us if we can help you prevent the disaster. Here are some summer vacation tips to avoid fire damage this year.
How to Prevent Fire Damage During the Summer
While the majority of fire damage cases can be prevented, there are some that can occur beyond our control. Simple steps here and there can make all the difference when it comes to preventing a small flame from growing into a disaster and consuming your home.
1. Check Smoke and CO Alarms
While these devices won’t necessarily protect you from a disaster, they will be the first to alert you in the event of an emergency. Make sure that each room has working smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms and that the batteries are changed every 6 months. A good way to remember is to change them during every daylight savings event.
Even if you’re not home, newer smoke alarms have the technology to alert the fire department upon detecting smoke. Some will also send you a text message to alert you at the first sign of danger. These devices will prove to be the safest while you’re away on vacation.
2. Keep Propane and Gas Away from the House
You should never store any propane or gas tanks in your garage or any part of your house as it is a huge fire hazard. A small spark can light everything on fire, sending your building materials and belongings up in flames, and there’s no stopping it.
Before you leave, always double check that these items are stored away from the home, preferably in a fireproof environment.
3. Keep a Neighborhood Watch
Having a neighbor stop in to pick up the mail and water the plants while you’re gone is certainly best for protecting the home from burglaries, but it can also mean the difference between a safe and destroyed home.
As long as you know and trust your neighbors, start a buddy system where you are able to watch each other’s homes while you’re away. It can be beneficial for both of you to prevent fires from starting, or at the least spreading out of control; it never hurts to have someone do a thorough walkthrough.
If an emergency does occur, someone you know and trust will know what to do: call the fire department. Simply keeping a lookout will make all the difference.
4. Shut Off the Electricity
Do you need anything to be running while you’re away? Certainly not your appliances, HVAC system, or other electronics, so unplug them.
Don’t forget to make sure that all appliance chords and other wires are in good shape before you leave. Circuits and extension cords will also need to be checked twice to make sure they aren’t overloaded.
Even if they are at proper wattage, the best way to prevent a fire disaster is to unplug everything that doesn’t need electricity. Even a damaged chord won’t cause harm if it’s not plugged in.
Again, even if your chords are in good condition and you’re away enjoying beautiful skies and warm temperatures, it could be storming by your house. A simple power surge can hit and cause a fire with just a few items plugged in.
Did you know that your water heater also uses electricity? This is one of the common areas that’s forgotten but produces a fire hazard with faulty valves or damaged electrical lines.
Finally, you’ll want to check the main circuit breaker. It’s a good habit to get into not only every time you leave before vacation, but throughout the year. This box serves as a primary defense against power surges. If you see any damage, be sure to call a licensed electrician.
5. Use Safety Systems
Especially if you know you will be gone for an extended period of time, home security systems can be useful for more than just theft protection. In the Fort Wayne, IN area, there are many detection and tech services available to monitor your home while you’re away. Many systems are equipped to alert you at the first sign of fire as well as calling the fire department if you can’t be reached in case of emergency.
Sprinkler systems are another life-saving mechanism to put out the fire before it spreads. Just make sure that it works before you leave. While neighbors can be a great help towards preventing fires, they won’t be in your house 24/7. So there’s no such thing as being too safe.
Enjoy Your Summer Vacation
While the idea of a fire occurring in your home while you’re away is a scary thought that can raise some concern, it definitely shouldn’t hold you back from a summer vacation. Just remember that routine maintenance on your home security, electric, and sprinkler systems can mean the difference between little to no damage and a disaster. Never wait to check them.
In the event that fire damage does occur and you need immediate assistance, ServiceMaster by Restoration Contractors is just a phone call away. Our technicians are licensed, trained, and experienced to provide emergency fire damage restoration services for homes and buildings in the Fort Wayne, IN area. Providing everything from soot and smoke removal to complete construction services to restore your home to its original condition, don’t hesitate to give us a call during an emergency.