Will you and your loved ones be able to safely exit your home in just 2 minutes?
This is the amount of time you may have to exit your home after a fire starts. Will you know what to do? Do you exit your home running or crawling? Will your first reaction be to throw some water at the fire? Do you even have a fire extinguisher on hand?
Few of us worry about these questions, and barely remember what we were taught on elementary school about stop, drop and roll. With the winter months knocking on our doors, and most household fires happening during these winter months, we have grouped a simple guideline to follow and easily prevent house fires.
The top causes of household fires are generally known by the common residents, like unattended candles, cooking accidents, electrical malfunctions, and smoking materials (cigarettes, cigars, pipes, etc.) that are not disposed properly. All of these causes are just triggers that can easily be prevented as they are all the outcome of general human error. Other major causes can be easily prevented.
Household appliances, as they are used every day, they need constant maintenance and following this maintenance schedule will potentially decrease any chances of the appliance malfunctioning and causing an indoor fire. Shockingly in 2010, clothes dryers and washing machines caused fires that resulted in 51 deaths, 380 injuries and $236 million in property damages.
Now, you may wonder, what can I do to prevent this type of fires? Easy!
1. Cleaning your dryerâ€™s lint screen before every load.
2. Check your unitâ€™s vent hose periodically. If your unit has the white plastic vent hose, replace it immediately for the aluminum type vent hose, as they have been outlawed for security risks. Make sure the length of the hose is as short as possible and it is not crushed.
3. Use your vacuum and a fridge crevice tool to clean your dryerâ€™s vent line and do so regularly.
4. Check the area around the dryerâ€™s vent cap outside and the area surrounding the dryer for any clutter or garbage and clear it.
5. Vacuum your unitâ€™s interior yearly to remove any lint build up that escaped the lint filter
Follow these five easy steps to significantly decrease the chances of property loss, damage and endangering your loved ones in a household fire.