Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Protecting Your Home and Belongings From Fire Damage
Fire damage to a home or belongings can be devastating. In addition to the havoc flames can wreak on the structural aspects of a house, they can destroy treasured possessions that can never be replaced such as photographs, artwork, and sentimental items. Many objects that become charred or destroyed may not be restored. It's always easier to prevent than repair, so rather than taking a risk, all homeowners and even renters should take necessary precautions to protect themselves as well as the exterior and interior of their dwelling from a potential blaze.
Whether you live in a house or apartment, one way to help prevent fire damage and discourage the spread of flames is by keeping the yard clear. Trees, or at the very least branches should be cut away from the exterior of the property. This is especially true for any dead ones as these are usually dried out and can incinerate quickly. Having a generous border of gravel, concrete, or just plain soil can also deter approaching flames from engulfing the exterior of your home. Those extra few minutes may be just what is required until help can arrive and extinguish the problem, or will give you the opportunity to gather a few important belongings and any pets.
Do you live next door to messy neighbors or smokers? A yard full of junk or dead plants is much more likely to go up in smoke than a neatly trimmed and living garden. Likewise, careless smokers can fall asleep with a cigarette in mouth, and that small spark on a bedspread is enough to destroy an entire neighborhood. While you can't necessarily change their habits, you can make some suggestions or call the city if their yard is potentially hazardous. Building a sturdy stone or brick wall around your property is another possible preventative measure.
On the interior, the first and most obvious fire damage preventative measure you can have is a working alarm. Too often people don't change the batteries or ensure that it is working properly. Many people even have knocked them straight off the walls if they accidentally go off, never bothering to fix them again. A smoke detector is crucial and can save your life. Additionally, remove hazards such as that electrical octopus behind the computer. Electrical faults can cause tragedy to strike.
In addition to prevention, there are some things you can do inside of your home to make it easier to grab essential possessions in case of an emergency. Keep a small, lightweight box of sentimental items under your bed within easy reach. Store some notes, favorite photographs, jewelry, or a few other small trinkets that are irreplaceable. Having these can be a great comfort to you, even if you are unable to save anything else. Also, keep a small pet carrier nearby if you have animals. If they are panicked because of smoke or flames, you may not be able to hold onto them tightly enough. If you can manage to get them into a carrier you can safely escape with them.
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