With the amount of damage they can cause, fires have the potential to be one of the most destructive natural disasters. According to Insurance Information Institute, 4.5 millions are at high or extreme risk of wildfire.
Not only do a fire’s flames consume everything in their path, but a fire also emits smoke and leaves behind corrosive byproducts that can cause damage even after the flames have been extinguished.
Knowing this, you should thoroughly fireproof your home so that it’s not the site of a major fire. While no home is completely fireproof, you can take certain steps and precautions to help protect your home from fires.
The structure of your home is difficult to fireproof unless it has been custom-built. If you’re going to build your own home, you can fireproof the structure by using fire-treated wood. You can also build the structure using concrete panels that contain foam in the middle.
If you don’t get a custom-built home, you can still fireproof your home by using particular building materials.
For your roof, you can replace your shingles with ones that are less prone to catching on fire, like ones made of asphalt and metal. These kinds of shingles may be costly, but they will help protect your home and last for a long time. The same goes for your home’s siding. You can use materials that don’t catch on fire as easily. Fiber cement, for example, is very resistant to flames.
If there’s a fire nearby your home, you can take further steps to fireproof it by wetting down your roof. By doing this, any embers and sparks that reach your roof can be extinguished.
Inside Your Home
Products for Protection
While it is important to have smoke detectors throughout your home, it is equally important to have them placed in the correct location. There need to be smoke detectors on every level of your home, and at least one detector needs to be outside bedroom doors. You also need to test the smoke detectors monthly and change their batteries on an annual basis.
Having fire extinguishers in your home is also helpful. But, like alarms, placement is key. You should keep extinguishers in your home’s garage, kitchen, and laundry room given that these areas are likely sources for fires.
Faulty wiring and outlets are two common causes for fires. Such things are more likely found in older homes; however, everyone should be aware of bad outlets. Some warning signs of faulty outlets are sparks, smoking, outlets that don’t hold plugs tightly, and weird smells.
If fuses blow often, then they need to be replaced. If you find your home has ineffective outlets, be sure to replace them as soon as possible to limit potential fires.
Extension cords that no longer work should be replaced. It’s also important to avoid using multiple extension cords from one outlet. Keep an eye on your appliances, too. If they overheat, then they need to be replaced.
Pay attention to fireplaces and heaters as well, because they can also be common sources of fires. Make sure your home’s fireplace if you have one, and your home’s heaters do not have anything around them that can be a fire hazard.
For fireplaces, get a glass or metal screen to place in front of it to prevent embers from escaping the fireplace area. Be sure to have annual chimney cleanings and inspections to prevent chimney fires from happening.
The plants in your yard can do more than just make your property’s exterior look good. They can also help create a fireproof zone. Ideally, the zone has a 100-foot radius with your home as the center. The zone should have low vegetation like grass and other plants that grow close to the ground.
There are a plethora of fire-resistant plants you can plant within the zone; some examples of such are agave, California lilac, and French lavender. If you want to plant shrubs and trees in the fireproof zone, plant them at least 10 feet away from your home. If your plants have dead branches, remove them to maintain the plants’ fire-resistance.
Regularly clean your home’s gutters and roof as well. A single ember can cause such debris to catch on fire, so removing it all will help prevent that.
In the case of a nearby fire, thoroughly watering your plants can help extinguish any sparks that reach them.
If you take the necessary precautions, you can reduce your risk of a fire and limit the damage if a fire occurs, but no home is fireproof. In the event that your home is the site of a fire, evacuate your home and make sure everyone is accounted for, and then call the fire department.
Once the fire is out, you must seek fire damage restoration services from our professionals at ServiceMaster by Restoration Contractors. Our technicians can clean up the effects of a fire and provide complete reconstruction for heavily damaged homes and buildings.