Fire danger is a constant presence in most areas, but careful preparation can stop a fire from becoming a tragedy. Residential fire protection can go a long way toward preventing fires and minimizing damage should one occur. To create the best residential fire protection plan, it is important to understand likely fire dangers, minimize fire risk wherever possible, come up with effective evacuation plans, and keep all residents informed of fire or disaster procedures.
Residential fire protection can be greatly enhanced by understanding fire dangers in and around the home. In an area with a dry or warm climate, fire danger is often increased by the presence of brush, trees, and even grass. Clear all cut branches, dead leaves, and lawn trimmings at once to minimize risk, as these can create tinder for any fire that occurs. Supervise all lit flames, such as candles, barbecues, and even blazes in the fireplace. Never leave a flame unattended, and be certain to have fire equipment, like fire extinguishers, readily available around the house.
Keeping house storage areas neat and organized is a part of residential fire protection. Oil or paint rags can present a tremendous fire danger, as can gasoline canisters and many other household chemicals. Keep potentially dangerous substances compartmentalized and away from pets and children, and be sure to clean storage areas and remove any extraneous debris that could contribute to a fire.
Although prevention can be a major factor in residential fire protection, sometimes a fire is unstoppable and focus must shift to minimizing the damage. Install smoke alarms and check periodically to make sure they are functioning correctly. Be sure that each resident, including children knows the proper way to act in a variety of fire situations. Work together to formulate and practice fire evacuations so that children will know how to escape and where to go if a fire occurs. Try to make sure that pets have an easily accessed exit from shelters or pens.
In addition to protecting the lives of everyone in the house, it may be wise to ensure that major documents are properly protected from fire. While no one should risk running into a burning structure to save belongings, items like birth certificates, passports, insurance papers, and ownership papers can survive a blaze if properly secured. Some safes offer fire protection that will keep contents intact through most disasters. Alternatively, consider storing copies of all major documents in another location, such as a safety deposit box.