Preventing Home Fires

Moshe Amos

Most home fires catch us by surprise because they come from everyday items. Besides devastating property damages, accidental home fires also pose significant injury and fatality risks.
Acquiring the appropriate insurance policy helps to prevent major financial losses. However, it’s best to prevent the fire from occurring rather than dealing with the effects after the fact.
Home fires start in various ways, but the two major causes are chemical reactions and flammable materials. Luckily, most are avoidable by practicing fire safety procedures within your home.

Although mistakes happen, you can prevent fatal fires through procedures such as:

1. Installing and Maintaining Smoke Detectors

Smoke and fire detectors are among the most important methods of preventing home fires. The sensors trigger an alarm when heat or smoke reaches the device.
It helps you notice and stop fires before they spread and cause significant damage. Once you install the detectors, it’s essential to maintain them in good working condition.
You should:

  • Test the Detectors Monthly

Testing the fire or smoke detectors in your home takes only a few minutes, so make it a habit at least once every month.
The testing procedure varies depending on the model, but most models have a button on top. You’ll press the button and listen for the alarm. If you can’t hear the alarm from any room in the house, the detector will not be very effective in an emergency.

  • Replace the Batteries When Necessary

Smoke alarms produce annoying high-pitched sounds when the batteries are low. If you don’t replace the batteries, the alarm will not go off in case of a fire.

  • Replace Detectors after Every Ten Years

Fire and smoke detectors become ineffective over time. It’s best to replace them after ten years.

2. Monitoring Electric Appliances

Space heaters are more dangerous than central heating and are only safe to use in areas with proper ventilation. Ensure there’s a distance of at least three feet between the heater and combustible items, furniture, curtains, and fabrics.
When leaving your home, ensure you turn off the heater. Look for models with an automatic power-off option in case you forget.
It’s also essential to inspect electrical systems. Although most appliances have in-built safety features, faulty wiring can cause overloading or short-circuiting.
Avoid repairing or replacing electrical wiring if you don’t have the skills, knowledge, and experience.

  • Unplug Appliances When Not in Use

Power surges occur when excessive electricity flows through appliances, causing them to overheat or catch fire. When you’re not using them, it’s best to unplug or switch off gaming systems, computers, and TVs.
Surge protectors safeguard electronics in case of a power surge to prevent fires.

3. Keeping your Kitchen Safe

Most house fires start as a result of a cooking fire. It often happens when grease or cooking oil overheats in an oven or stove. A simple way to prevent such accidents is to avoid leaving cooking oil or greasy foods unattended on a fire.
Avoid leaving portable appliances like toasters unattended when cooking, and always store them after they cool. Clean them regularly to wipe off the grease and remove crumbs before use.
When cooking, remove flammable items such as washcloths near the hot plates, stove, or oven. It’s also essential to have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen for emergencies.
Home fires can also occur when using ovens and stovetops for purposes other than cooking. For instance, using them as a heat source can cause gas leaks, causing explosions.
Avoid leaving barbecue grills unattended if you’re cooking outdoors, especially near your home’s exterior wall, fence, garage, or wooden deck.

4. Adopt Safe Habits

In most cases, being alert and following simple procedures is enough to minimize the chances of a fire starting in your home. Some fire-safe habits you should embrace are:

  • Be Cautious When Using Candles

Candles are beautiful and romantic but also a fire hazard. Avoid leaving lighted candles unattended and remove flammable items around. Always use tip-proof candle holders and blow them out before sleeping or leaving. You can also set a reminder on your phone, just in case you forget.

  • Avoid Smoking Indoors

If you have to smoke, it’s best to do so in areas with enough ventilation. Always extinguish the cigarette butts and dispose of them outside to prevent them from igniting flammable materials indoors.

Flammable items should always be away from open flames or heat sources. These items include hair, clothes, fabrics, and paper.

  • Extinguish any Fires

A fire can also start from your fireplace. Before leaving the room, it’s best to extinguish the fire and embers to prevent re-ignition.

  • Declutter your Home

It’s easy for a fire to ignite and spread when there’s too much clutter. Get rid of clutter, especially flammable items, and keep your home organized.

  • Clean Out Lint and Replace Filters

Filters are an essential component of your heating system. It’s vital to clean out the lint from filters to prevent it from igniting, including your dryer filter.

What Should You Do In Case Of Fire Damage?

The first step after fire damage is collecting photographic evidence and documenting the events. The evidence is vital, as you’ll need it to make an insurance claim.
Get in touch with your insurance provider to determine whether your insurance policy covers the damage. Since they have experience, they can help you access emergency accommodation.
You can then contact a professional fire damage restoration company to discuss repairing the damages.
The best professional restoration companies collaborate with your insurance provider to manage the cleanup process.

Who Can Recommend Fire Damage Cleanup?

New York Total Damage Restoration (NYTDR) is a trusted restoration service provider throughout the New York City area.
Most companies either assist you through the insurance process or help you restore the damages. However, NYTDR is with you every step of the way.
They understand the value of your home, so they’ll assist you with insurance claim processing until the total restoration of your home.
An Insurance Adjuster conducts a home inspection and evaluation to document any smoke, fire, or structural damages. NYTDR’s input is essential to ensure you get the maximum coverage from your fire homeowners’ insurance claim.

Our Restoration Experts will design and rebuild your home to an even better condition!
Get in touch today, and rest assured NYTDR will do it right.


Moshe Amos

Moshe has more over 15 years as a licensed contractor in the New York City area. 

As a New York State-licensed Mold Assessor, he is especially knowledgeable about mold assessment and remediation.


Fire & Water Damage ‧ Mold Remediation ‧ Asbestos & Lead ‧ All Abatement ‧ Total Renovation