How To Keep Your House Safe From Fires

Real Estate Blog

Fire is a one of the main threats in a residential home. You may think that you are prepared, however, there is always more you can do.

Minimal level: Smoke and CO Detectors

Smoke and CO detectors are required by law in most provinces, and are the bare essentials to keeping your house safe against fire. A smoke alarm will alert you if there is smoke filling the house (or if someone burns their toast or has a hot shower). Similarly, CO detectors will warn you if there is a high concentration of CO in your house. CO, unlike smoke, will not fill your house from top to bottom but will evenly distribute itself throughout. Thus, it does not matter what level of the house the CO detector is on, though it is recommended that you put one on each floor for audibility.

Medium level: Fire Extinguishers                                     

Fire extinguishers are not required by law, but they are awful handy to have in case of a small fires. Fire extinguishers come in many different sizes, so you can find one that will suit your strength and needs. Do be aware however that the smaller the extinguisher, the less time it will have to extinguish the fire, due to the amount of fire suppressant in the canister. A 5 lb. extinguisher will spray fire suppressant for approximately 10 seconds. Also, there are different types of fire extinguishers. For your own safety, make sure that you get an ABC extinguisher, which will extinguish type A(wood and paper), type B(flammable liquids) and type C(electrical) fires.

High level: Sprinkler System

No, not the one for your lawn. If you want to go above and beyond with your fire protection, consider having a residential sprinkler system installed.

Most residential systems have a very simple fire suppression system. There is a water tank that is attached to a pump, and a series of pipes going through your house finishing in sprinkler heads. When the heat gets to a certain temperature, the fusible link in the sprinkler head opens up and allows the water in the pipes to extinguish the fire.

Now, above all the hardware that you can install, you should also make sure that you and your family all know the exit strategy in case of an emergency. Are your bedrooms on the second floor? Make sure that you know how you can get out without breaking something from falling. Also, try and set a fire safety meeting so that everyone understands how to follow your directions. 

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