On average, those who live in a home built 30 years ago have 14 more minutes to escape in the event of a fire compared to those occupying newer homes. That amount of time can truly mean the difference between a close call and a devastating incident. So what’s the cause? It all comes down to the materials used during construction. While natural materials were used to build homes years ago, synthetic materials are more commonly used today, which burn faster and hotter and you with less time to escape.
The best way to prepare yourself is to understand what can cause a house fire in the first place, and how beat the clock and get out if you own a newer home.
What can cause a house fire? Candles, cigarettes, and cooking mishaps are likely the most common to come to mind. However, it’s important to recognize that house fires can be caused by more than an open flame. Electrical and heating equipment malfunctions are among the most common causes for house fires, the latter being the second leading cause for home fire fatalities. Fortunately, a thorough home inspection can expose potential issues with your electrical and heating systems and save you from potential danger down the line.
Preparing for a House Fire
To escape a house fire safely, it is vital to have an escape plan in place. This plan should include at least two routes in case one is blocked. Next, the plan should be practiced in full at least twice a year to ensure everyone knows exactly what to do to reach safety in time. Additionally, it may be a good idea to practice feeling your way around the house in the dark, committing the layout and placement of furniture to memory in case smoke clouds your vision during a fire. If children are involved, teach them that they shouldn’t be afraid of firemen who may appear scary when wearing masks and emerging from flames and smoke.
Sleep with your door shut every night. This may grant you just a few moments to register what is happening before the fire consumes your room entirely. Also, ensure that all windows can be opened easily, and screens can be removed quickly. If you have children, it is never to early to start teaching them about fire safety, such as to never play with the stove or oven and to ask for help if using a lighter for candles.
No one ever wants to think about the possibility of a fire in their home, but the reality is that it can happen to anyone. With less time to assess the situation and react when a fire starts in a newer home, it’s important to be as prepared as possible to increase your chances of making it to safety. Keep potential hazards at the forefront of your mind and be sure to contact a trusted Calgary home inspection company to give you peace of mind that your electrical and heating units are functioning safely.