A fire in your home is a terrifying, traumatizing experience. No matter how small the blaze, you may be haunted with nightmares about what could have happened. Though we specialize in property damage restoration to help people put their lives and homes back together after a fire, we truly feel that fire prevention is the best way to keep your memories intact. Your home insurance company is inclined to agree with us. Here are a few things they’d like you to know about fire.
Smoke Detectors on Every Floor
They’re serious about the importance of smoke detectors on every floor. A recent fire in a Toronto suburb had tragic consequences. More tragically, the fire marshal confirmed that the absence of a smoke detector on the main floor delayed the family’s warning. Preventable tragedies are the worst kind. Make sure that your smoke detectors are properly maintained. Change the batteries twice a year even if they’re hardwired into the electrical system.
Keep Chimneys Clear
A fireplace is a distinct selling feature in any home, but it needs to be properly maintained to safely be used in the home. Creosote is a natural by-product of wood burning fireplaces and when it builds up, it is a serious fire hazard. To keep the risks of using a fireplace to a minimum, have your chimneys cleaned at least once a year. Consider having this done in the late summer so your fireplace is ready for safe use when the weather starts to turn cold.
Unplug Electrical Appliances When Not in Use
Electrical fires are one of the leading causes of house fires in Canada. While there are a whole host of safety precautions that come with preventing electrical fires, one that is relatively easy to follow is unplugging electrical appliances that continuously run (i.e., a basement dehumidifier) when you’re going to be away from the house for an extended period of time.
Store Flammable Materials Safely
It’s prudent to keep an extra can of gas for the lawnmower on hand, but storing it in the house is not a safe choice. Keep all flammable materials like gas and solvents away from the house. We realize that the lot size for many homes in Toronto won’t allow you to store flammable materials the recommended 10 meters away from the house, so just keep them as far away as possible.
Have an Escape Plan
When all else fails, every “thing” in your house can be replaced – except the people who live in it! Have an escape plan that all members of your family understand. Make sure it includes an alternate plan in case an exit or stairway is blocked by fire or debris.
While we are always available to help with expert fire recovery and property damage restoration services, we’d rather give you information to prevent fire in your home instead.
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