A fire in your home can cause serious damage. Your home and many of the things in your home may be badly damaged by flames, heat, smoke and water. The smoke can damage your walls and ceiling, and the fire can cause structural damage. The soot and dirty water left behind may contain things that could make you sick. Be very careful if you go into your home and if you touch any fire-damaged items. American Restoration 24/7 can remove all signs of fire and smoke damage. We want your property to get back to the condition it was before and make it a safe environment to live and breathe again.

 

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Fire Prevention Tips

Top 5 house fire accidents and how to prevent them

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It might go down as every homeowner’s worse nightmare—coming home to find their house up in flames or waking up to a blaring smoke detector in the middle of the night. There are an estimated 400,000 house fires every year according to the National Fire Protection Association. Tragically, these fires have resulted in more than just loss of property.

In addition to the clear and present danger to your family and pets, house fires destroy your home and everything inside. Although chairs, sofas and dining sets can easily be replaced, you and your family will likely lose many things that cannot be.

Even though we here at American Restoration 24/7 are in the business of restoration and clean up, we take preventing house fires very seriously. Our goal is to inform homeowners, whether they use our services or not, on how they can protect what is important while avoiding catastrophe in the process.

So how can I prevent a house fire? Here are the Top 5 house fire accidents and how to prevent house fires to protect your house, property and, most importantly, you and your family.

 

1. Cooking Fires

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Fires in the kitchen are the most common cause of house fires with a stunning 42 percent of fires originating from cooking. Open flames, intense direct heat and distracted chefs are all culprits. Fires often start by a tool or even food catching aflame then spiraling out of control after that. While no one would ever say stop cooking as a way to prevent house fires, although it would help, more attention, concentration, and never leaving the room while cooking are more reasonable ways to achieve this.

 

 

 

 

2. Heating

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Nearly an eighth of house fires is reported to be sourced by heaters or heating related features, such as wood furnaces, fireplaces, and chimneys. To prevent fires from starting here it is of the utmost importance to have equipment and heating sources cleaned and serviced at least once a year. Keep space heaters away from drapes and curtains and, as always, never leave the fireplace unattended.

 

 

 

 

3. Electrical

Electrical-Fires-1024x683-300x200.jpg?profile=RESIZE_710xThese types of fires can be tricky to deal with as they cannot be simply doused with water like typical fires. Most electrical fires are caused by lighting—meaning bulbs and faulty wiring, which is responsible for property damage in the billions. This is most often due to improper installation by the homeowner. Instead of doing it yourself, the world is full of qualified electricians who make a living by installing lighting safely. Also, take note of frayed or damaged cords, over-burdening outlets and use bulbs with the proper wattage.

 

 

 

 

4. Smoking

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As if there weren’t enough black marks on smoking’s reputation. Although, in this case, it’s the smoker who is to blame. Careless smoking—falling asleep with a lit cigarette, disposing of live ashes, etc.—is one of the main causes of house fires. If you or a guest must smoke, do so outside. If you decide to smoke inside make sure butts are extinguished.

 

 

 

 

5. Candles

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Candles can do wonders for the mood of your home and a nice scented candle masks bad smells effectively. However, candles are yet another cause of house fires. Around 35 house fires are caused by candles each year and while that might not sound like a high number compared to some other causes, anything more than zero house fires is tragic. Don’t leave candles unattended and blow them out before you leave or go to bed. Make sure they are on a solid surface and keep flammable objects away.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other fire related things to be aware of

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Some of the most devastating house fires start in the garage where there is a lot of things that burn easily. Be aware of dangers if you are, for example, cleaning your chimney yourself. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What prevention equipment do I need in my home?

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Having several smoke detectors throughout the house is paramount, but it is even better practice to have one in each room. In addition to smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors are also essential. Fire extinguishers are important as you can put out a small controlled fire before it gets out of hand. They are portable and there are even ones that are rechargeable. Escape ladders, while may sound drastic, are very nice to have as they are compactable, easy to store and come in two-story and three-story varieties.

 

 

 

 

American Restoration 24/7 is dedicated to assisting homeowners navigate the chaos and complexity of fire damage restoration. If tragedy has struck and you need help cleaning up as you put the pieces back together after a house fire, call the home restoration experts at American Restoration 24/7.

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Check List For Homeowners

If you live in a forest, mountain, or wildland area, you face the real danger of wildfire. Wildfires destroy thousands of homes and devastate hundreds of thousands of acres of woodland every year.3245617650?profile=RESIZE_710x

Protecting your home from wildfire is your responsibility. To reduce the risk, you’ll need to consider the fire resistance of your home, the topography of your property and the nature of the vegetation close by.

This homeowner’s checklist will help learn what you can do. You should also contact your local fire department, forestry office, emergency management office or building department for information about local fire laws, building codes and protection measures.

Always be ready for an emergency evacuation. Evacuation may be the only way to protect your family in a wildfire. Know where to go and what to bring with you. You should plan several escape routes in case roads are blocked by a wildfire.

Do you know your wildfire risk?

Learn about the history of wildfire in your area. Be aware of recent weather. A long period without rain increases the risk of wildfire. Consider having a professional inspect your property and offer recommendations for reducing the wildfire risk.

Determine your community’s ability to respond to wildfire. Are roads leading to your property clearly marked? Are the roads wide enough to allow firefighting equipment to get through? Is your house number visible from the roadside?

Have you thinned out and maintained the vegetation around the house?

All vegetation is fuel for a wildfire, though some trees and shrubs are more flammable than others. To reduce the risk, you will need to modify or eliminate brush, trees and other vegetation near your home. The greater the distance between your home and the vegetation, the greater the protection.

Create a 30-foot safety zone around the house.

Keep the volume of vegetation in this zone to a minimum. If you live on a hill, extend the zone on the downhill side. Fire spreads rapidly uphill. The steeper the slope, the more open space you will need to protect your home.

In this zone, do the following:

• Remove vines from the walls of the house.

• Move shrubs and other landscaping away from the sides of the house.

• Prune branches and shrubs within 15 feet of chimneys and stovepipes.

• Remove tree limbs within 15 feet of the ground.

• Thin a 15-foot space between tree crowns.

• Replace highly flammable vegetation such as pine, evergreen, eucalyptus, junipers and fir trees with lower growing, less flammable species. Check with your local fire department or garden store for suggestions.

• Replace vegetation that has living or dead branches from the ground level up (these act as ladder fuels for the approaching fire).

• Cut the lawn often.

• Clear the area of leaves, brush, dead limbs and fallen trees.

Create a second zone at least 100 feet around the house.
This zone should begin about 30 feet from the house and extend to at least 100 feet. In this zone, reduce or replace as much of the most flammable vegetation as possible. If you live on a hill, you may need to extend the zone for several hundred feet to provide the desired level of safety.

Are combustible materials away from the house?

Identify all combustible materials outside the house. Stack firewood 100 feet away and uphill from the house. Keep the gas grill and propane tank at least 15 feet from the house. Clear an area 15 feet around the grill. Place a 1/4 inch mesh screen over the grill.

Are sun decks and porches enclosed underneath?

Any porch, balcony or overhang with exposed space underneath is fuel for an approaching fire. Overhangs ignite easily by flying embers and by the heat and fire that gets trapped underneath. If vegetation is allowed to grow underneath or if it is used for storage, the hazard is increased significantly.

Clear leaves, trash and other combustible materials away from underneath sun decks and porches. Extend 1/2-inch mesh screen from all overhangs down to the ground. Enclose wooden stilts with non- combustible material such as concrete, brick, rock, stucco or metal. Use non-combustible patio furniture and covers.

If you’re planning a porch or sun deck, use non-combustible or fire- resistant materials. If possible, build the structure to the ground so that there is no space underneath.

Are eaves and overhangs enclosed?

Like porches and balconies, eaves trap the heat rising within the exterior siding. Enclose all eaves to reduce the hazard.

Are house vents covered with wire mesh?

Any attic vent, soffit vent, louver or other openings can allow embers and flaming debris to enter a home and ignite it. Cover all openings with 1/4 inch or smaller corrosion-resistant wire mesh. If you’re designing louvers, place them in the vertical wall rather than the soffit of the overhang.

Is the roof made of non- combustible materials?

The roof is especially vulnerable in a wildfire. Embers and flaming debris can travel great distances, land on your roof and start a new fire.

Avoid flammable roofing materials such as wood, shake, and shingle. Materials that are more fire resistant include single ply membranes, fiberglass shingles, slate, metal, clay, and concrete tile. Clear gutters of leaves and debris.

Are chimneys and stovepipes covered with spark arrestors?

Chimneys create a hazard when embers escape through the top. To prevent this, install spark arrestors on all chimneys, stovepipes, and vents for fuel-burning heaters. Use spark arrestors made of 12-gauge welded or woven wire mesh screen with openings 1/2 inch across. Ask your fire department for exact specifications.

If you’re building a chimney, use non-combustible materials and make sure the top of the chimney is at least two feet higher than any obstruction within 10 feet of the chimney.

Is the house siding fire resistant?

Use fire-resistant materials in the siding of your homes, such as stucco, metal, brick, cement shingles, concrete, and rock. You can treat wood siding with UL-approved fire retardant chemicals, but the treatment and protection are not permanent.

 

Windows allow radiated heat to pass through and ignite combustible materials inside. The larger the pane of glass, the more vulnerable it is to fire.

Dual- or triple-pane thermal glass and fire resistant shutters or drapes help reduce the wildfire risk. You can also install non- combustible awnings to shield windows and use shatter-resistant glazing such as tempered or wire glass.

(This checklist is from the Federal Emergency Management Agency)

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