Having home insurance is a core element in ensuring that your home has insurance cover in the event of fire. Aside from this financial protection, there are certain practical steps you need to take to protect your home and youraelf against fire.
Below are three basic steps to keep in mind in order to fireproof your home:
Step 1: Fire Prevention
Your first step should always be to focus on preventing fires at any cost. As such, it is important to ensure that all fire hazards are adequately identified and taken care of. This is an important element to consider during the design stage of your house. You will need to think about the materials you use and possible escape routes, as well as the placement of fire nanagement devices to be installed.
- Fire resistant exterior walls – As a first step, you will need to carefully select the construction materials used to build your house. Some materials slow down the spread of fire more than others, such as stucco, concrete, plaster brick or stone.
- Electrical wiring maintenance – As many room fires are caused by faulty electrical wiring, always use a certified electrician for installation and maintenance. The moment you feel shock or see sparks when using a power outlet, you should consult an expert. On that note, avoid overloading a single power outlet as it may trigger electrical faults.
- Smoke alarms – Some alarms will alert you when unusual presence of smoke is detected in the house, especially if you were asleep. This gives you sufficient time to decide whether to tackle the fire or escape one. When installing your alarm, always place it in a common area where it could easily detect an early fire. Avoid installing directly in the kitchen or bathrooms however as some people often remove the alarms or batteries out of frustration when it beeps regularly. Conduct regular tests to ensure it functions properly.
- Location of hazardous materials – Safely store away flammable materials and avoid placing them next to fire hazards. For example, extensions should not be next to or on carpets; magazines and papers should not be next to heaters; and flammable liquids and aerosols should not be stored in the kitchen.
Step 2: Fire Management
Fire management is about how and when you tackle a fire. You can do so by placing certain devices in your house to manage the fire. Remember that your safety and that of those living with you is more important than saving your house or its contents. As such, you are always advised to yell FIRE immediately and evacuate through the safest and easiest exit.
- Fire Sprinklers- Fire sprinklers are automatically triggered when detecting unusual heat. Its effectiveness is dependent on the water pressure so the best location to place them is close to a water supply. Sprinklers do not completely put out fires but they do provide you with additional minutes to safely evacuate.
- Fire Extinguishers– Contrary to popular belief, water is not always effective in tackling fires. Extinguishers may be more appropriate for grease fires, for example. Place extinguishers in an easily accesible location and check its expiry date frequently. Not all fires can be put out, as such, safely evacuate if a fire is tok big.
Step 3: Fire Escape
- Accessible Exits – When building your house, ensure that you have a fire exit and that it is not obstructed by any material. Your emergency exit should be at the opposite end of your front door or at the other side of your house. If you have only one exit door, your windows become your emergency escape.
- Retractable Burglars Bars – Useful against thefts but are often death traps in the event of fire. If you have to use burglars bars, use retractable ones for easy exit.
Remember to call the emergency number in case of fire – 999
You might be tempted to run into a burning house to retrieve your personal items, but for your own safety, do not do so. Having a home insurance allows you to recover compensation against items lost due to fire damage. Our home insurance products cover your valuable possessions such as jewelry, fur, bags, etc., including electronic items. Moreover, you get 10% off your home insurance if you have another general insurance.
For more information on our home insurance products, call us on 4295000 or send an email to email@example.com. You can also request a quote via our website.