There are over 350,000 residential house fires in the United States each year, averaging one fire every 85 seconds. Each year house fires in the U.S. result in over 2,000 deaths, 12,000 injuries, and six billion dollars in property damage.
There are a number of steps you can take to help keep your family safe and prevent a fire in your house.
Fire Safety Steps:
- Smoke Alarms: Install quality smoke alarms on or near the ceiling in various parts of your house, especially near bedrooms.
- Carbon Monoxide Alarms: Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless, poisonous gas that is produced by burning fuels. Install CO alarms in your house, including in or near bedrooms.
- Fire Extinguishers: Make sure you have one or more multipurpose (ABC type) fire extinguishers readily accessible in your home, and make sure all family members know where they are located and how to use them.
- Fireplace Inspection: Have wood burning fireplaces inspected annually in the fall, including the flue and chimney, by a qualified chimney sweep and cleaned if needed.
- Heating System Inspection: Have your heating system inspected every year in the fall by a professional HVAC technician.
- Escape ladder: If you live in a multistory house, have one or more escape ladders on the upper floors. Make sure they are easy to access, and that all family members know where they are located and how to use them.
Fire-Resistant Building Materials
When building a new house or remodeling an existing home, use fire-resistant building materials, such as Rockwool stone wool insulation, as much as possible. Fire-resistant materials are available for use all areas of your home, including walls, roofs, and floors.
In addition to being energy efficient, with an R-Value of over 4.1 per inch, Rockwool stone wool insulation is both fire-resistant and non-combustible.
Rockwool stone wool insulation can actually delay the spread of fire and provide more evacuation time for your family if a fire should occur.
Rockwool stone wool insulation resists temperatures up to 2,150° F without burning or melting, which is well above the temperature level reached in a typical house fire.
Rockwool insulation is also chemically inert, and it doesn’t produce or release harmful gases when exposed to fire.
Monitoring Your Fire Alarms Remotely
Making sure you have properly installed smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms, such as those from Kidde throughout your home is crucial to fire safety. Be sure to replace the batteries in smoke and CO alarms at least once a year or to make life easier, install alarms with 10-year sealed batteries for long-lasting protection.
While smoke and CO alarms are essential to alert you in case of a fire, they won’t help when you’re away from home. That’s where the new Wi-Fi-enabled, RemoteLync™ Monitor from Kidde comes in.
The Kidde RemoteLync Monitor provides an easy and inexpensive way to stay connected to the smoke and CO alarms in your house when you’re away from home.
Simply plug the monitor into a single outlet, connect it to your home’s wireless network, and download the free RemoteLync app to your iOS® or Android™ smartphone or tablet.
When a smoke or CO alarm sounds in your home, the RemoteLync Monitor sends out an alert to your mobile device by app, text, or email. The monitor works with most existing smoke and CO alarms, and one device will cover average-sized homes.
Home Energy Efficiency
Fall is also a great time to make your home more energy efficient before cold weather arrives by adding more insulation, caulking cracks and gaps, and applying weatherstripping around doors and windows.
You may not realize it, but hot water heaters are the second largest user of energy in the home behind heating and cooling, so another way to improve the energy efficiency of your home is by upgrading your water heater.
The average life of a water heater is 10 to 12 years. As it ages, it becomes less energy efficient, so don’t wait until your water heater stops working or develops a leak before replacing it.
When you replace your water heater, consider installing an energy-efficient tankless propane water heater, which can reduce your energy costs by up to $300 a year compared to a tank-type electric water heater.
In addition, tankless water heaters last five to 10 years longer than tank-type models and take up much less space. And since most power plants burn coal, propane water heaters produce less greenhouse gas emissions and are more eco-friendly than electric hot water heaters.
To find out more, go to KnowYourWaterHeater.com and take an easy quiz to see if it’s time to pull the plug on your hot water heater.
Watch Home Fire Safety and Energy Efficiency Tips to find out more.
Thanks for the valuable insight about home ownership.
I have a question about my residences fire sprinkler system that no one has been able to answer so far. I just purchased the home, built in 2002, and the smoke detectors need to be replaced. The original ones have both 110V power to them, as well as battery back-up.
Are they connected to the fire sprinkler system in any way? Do I need to replace them with A/C – D/C smoke detectors again, or can I upgrade to the ten year, self-contained battery operated units.
Thank you sincerely for making my family safer, more efficient, and better capable.
Thank you for the help. A friend of mine had a fire in his house recently, and it made me realize that I need to take fire safety more seriously. I had not heard about fire alarms that you can monitor remotely? Should I have those installed?