Last month we featured tips 1-5 on how to avoid fire damage and increase safety in your home. The United States has approximately 400,000 house fires every year (NFPA). We see many in Nashua, Salem, and Laconia every year. We do not want you to be a part of that stat. Please read our final five tips on fire damage prevention and safety. If you missed last month’s article click here.
6. Do you know how to deal with a kitchen fire? There are ways to squelch common kitchen fires. Remember to never do something you are not comfortable with or puts you in danger. Do not open the oven door if you see flames. Call the fire department. If you have a stovetop fire in a pan, cover it with a metal lid and turn off the heat source. The best way to avoid fire and smoke damage in your kitchen is maintain a watchful eye. Do not leave items on the stove unattended, specifically grease.
7. How are you using your space heaters? It is not a good idea to leave a space heating running while you are sleeping. Allow for adequate space around the heater while in operation and cooling after use. Do not crowd it with flammable materials. This includes clothing, draperies, bedding, and furniture. Make sure children to not have unsupervised access to space heaters. They can tamper with it leading to electrical shock, personal injury, or a house fire.
8. When was the last time your dryer vent was cleaned? Accumulated lint and built up heat from your clothes dryer can cause fire damage. This typically occurs in the dryer vent line extending from the back of the unit. You should clean this line (either yourself or professionally) at least once a year. This could vary based on dryer usage. It is also a best practice to have the line made of rigid metal. Avoid accordion vents which have tendency trap lint.
9. Do you know what creosote is? If you heat with a wood or coal burning stove it is a good idea to keep an eye out for creosote. Creosote is a shiny, black deposit that can accumulate in your stovepipe and chimney. This is an indication that something may not be right. The stove could be overloaded on a regular basis. Wood may not be fully seasoned before burning. Perhaps your stove is not working property. If you see creosote building up, get your stove and chimney inspected. Enough built up creosote could lead to smoke or fire damage.
10. Are you still using halogen lamps? Halogen lights can burn very hot. Make sure to know if you have them in your home so you can implement proper safety measures. Torchiere lamps often use halogen bulbs (those are the lamps with an exposed bulb at the top directing light upward). Do not put these lamps near drapery or windows. It may be a good idea to just replace these light sources in your home with something safer.
Soil-Away Cleaning & Restoration helps families and business recover from property disasters. They specialize in insurance claim fire damage restoration. They will clean and restore your property from soot, smoke and fire issues. They service the greater Nashua, Salem, and Laconia, NH areas.