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How You Can Keep Your Home Protected From Fire

Keeping Your Home Safe from Fire

Your home should be a place where everyone feels safe. Even the most attentive homeowners cannot control every variable. This could include; water, a spark, wind, a critter, or a faulty alarm. It can be compounded by creosote, lint, gas, circuit breakers, and batteries. Because it is impossible to take care of all these risks yourself, there are several things you need to do to ensure that your family knows what to do in case of a fire.

Danger Zones

Most house fires start in certain areas of the home; the kitchen, the laundry room, the fireplace – but it is vital to remember that every area of your house is a danger zone. Even though 28% of house fires start in the kitchen, electrical wiring and other household malfunctions can produce an open flame…and that is all it takes.

Open Flames - South GA/North FL - Homestead Chimney Service

Open Flames – South GA/North FL – Homestead Chimney Service

Similarly, outdoor fires are almost always started by carelessness or inattention to the safe use of pits, places, and grills. They are made worse when no one is there to see the spark slip through the screen and onto something flammable. Open fire, regardless of where it is, needs to be watched to prevent it from causing damage.

Oversight and Supervision

The other real damper, the one for your fireplace, should never be closed until a smoldering fire is completely out. There is no way for the smoke to leave your home when you close the damper, so the smoke has to stop first. If you misjudged it, you need operating smoke detectors to alert you to the mistake. There should be a fire alarm on every floor of your home. Batteries should be checked at least once a year.

As for the chimney and dryer vent, both need regular professional cleaning and inspection of their condition. Beyond that, attentiveness to nearby clutter, flammables, and warning signs of problems are where non-professional care makes a difference. Keeping your home safe from fire is a matter of identifying its likely sources and being a responsible homeowner – learning to call in the professionals to confirm your home is as protected as it can be.

Why Dryer Vent Cleaning Is an Important Home Maintenance Task

One would think that human beings would learn from past mistakes. With over 15,000 fires occurring every year specifically related to dryer vents, that does not seem to be the case. It is amazing how destructive forgetting something as easy as dryer vent cleaning can be to a home and the family living inside of it.

Dryer vent fires are easily preventable

Dryer lint is extremely combustible. If you were to take a match to the lint you remove from your dryer screen after a single load of laundry has been done it would immediately burst into flames. Now, imagine the inside of your dryer vent that may not have been cleaned for years. Imagine the buildup of lint in there that could be ignited by a simple spark from your dryer and how long it would take before your entire home was engulfed in flames.

Some of you may be reading this and shaking your heads, but these numbers are real. Over 15,000 fires, 10 injuries, 10 deaths, and over $97 million in damages every year! And to think, the reason this happens in most cases is simply because the homeowner did not take the time to get a professional out to clean their dryer vents!

There are those that think they can just “blow” out or “vacuum” out the lint but that is not enough. Professional chimney sweeps use the same technology to sweep a dryer vent that they do when sweeping out a chimney. This is needed because lint actually sticks to the vent walls and has to be “swept” out.

If you have a chimney, schedule your dryer vent cleaning every year when you have your inspection and cleaning. This way you won’t forget. If not, schedule the cleaning when the clocks go up or back to make it part of your routine. A quick cleaning will make your dryer operate better and keep your home safer.