When moving to a new home, the first priorities go to themes such as decoration, landscaping, furniture, etc. The last thing on his mind is the terrible tragedy of losing everything in a fire at home. But with a little preparation and care, homeowners can take steps to prevent the risk of fire in the home and have a plan in place in case it does.
With each passing year, people die and are injured as a result of fires in homes. In Portugal alone (according to statistics, from 2010), more than 7,430 urban fires occur per year.
The most common causes of home fires are:
- Cooking - Ovens, stoves and other appliances in the kitchen;
- Smoking - Cigarettes erased carelessly;
- Fireplaces - Fireplace sparks not protected by glass doors;
- Heating - Use of gas or electric heating devices, electric blankets, etc.
- Lighting - Candles or other lamps with combustion-based operation.
- Appliances - All types of electrical appliances: TVs, hoods, fans, etc.
TIP: It only takes 5 minutes for a house to be enveloped in flames, with no time to collect belongings or call for help. The best advice for homeowners is "if there is a fire in your homehome, LEAVE immediately, and ask for help from the outside "
Even with careful prevention, domestic fires can always happen. Statistics say the fires are due more to human action (ignorance, recklessness, neglect, or incorrect use of household appliances) than to failures in the equipment used in homes.
In terms of prevention rules, the first thing that homeowners should do is make sure that they have all the smoke detection devices and fire extinguishers working in full condition. It is also important to discuss with your family the best way out of your home so that in the event of a fire, you can make a planned escape, thus saving lives, which is the most precious asset you have at home.
Here are some safety tips to prevent fire hazards:
Fire Safety Tips
Tips for the house
- Make sure you have a valid insurance policy with protection for the home's filling and that it covers the risk of fire. Fire insurance is mandatory for properties under horizontal ownership (condominiums);
- Talk to all household members about a fire escape plan and train them to simulate a fire, at least twice a year.
- Keep the telephone number of the nearest fire station and the national emergency number (112) in a visible place.
- When you are away from home for a period of days or weeks, turn off gas, water and, if possible, electricity.
- Keep the house clean and avoid the accumulation of objects with a high degree of combustion, in the same space;
- Smokers should smoke outside the home, extinguish cigarette butts in a can filled with sand, or dive into the water before throwing it in the trash can;
- Smoke detectors and alarms, test them periodically. If they don't work, see if you have to change the batteries;
- Install smoke detectors on all floors of your home, not forgetting the kitchen, bedrooms and sleeping areas;
- Install fire extinguishers in the house and perform maintenance in the recommended period (6 months to 1 year), to ensure that they are operational. Install one in each risk zone and in the garage.
- Do not leave candles burning in your absence, or while you sleep.Avoid placing candles and matches together in the same place;
- Do not leave the kitchen when you are frying, grilling or baking food.
- Do not leave pots on the stove while you are away from home.
- Do not exceed 1/3 of the capacity of oil fryers.
Home Appliance Tips
- Stripped wires, broken plugs or switches can cause fires. Replace all cables and wires from old or damaged appliances. Inspect them annually.
- One of the dangers in relation to household appliances, which have some kind of ventilation opening, is the accumulation of dust inside, which, over time, together with the accumulated pollution turn into highly flammable material.So keep your electrical equipment clean and use a vacuum cleaner to extract dust from inside.
- Ensure that the electrical installation in your home is correctly sized for the load of appliances you use in your home;
- Do not run electrical cables under carpets or furniture;
- Do not dry clothes next to heaters or radiators, or place items of clothing on top of heating appliances;
- Heaters must have a thermostat and be kept at least one meter away from any flammable object.
- Keep the firewood clean and clean chimneys and fireplaces annually. Check your fireplace monthly for damage or obstructions.
- The chimney screens must be strong enough to withstand slips and large enough to cover the entire opening of the fireplace.
- The fireplace fire and its embers must be completely extinguished before leaving the house or going to bed;
- Keep combustible and flammable liquids away from heat sources.