Fire Prevention: How To Make Your Old House Safer To Live In

Construction & Contractors Articles

In 2013, there was a home structure fire reported every 85 seconds in the United States. Fire danger is a concern for every homeowner. However, for people who own older homes with antiquated systems, the concern is more profound. If you own an older home, it's important that you are aware of various fire hazards that are located behind the walls and inside your home. That way, you can eliminate or reduce those risks so your family won't be in danger. Here are a few things you can do to eliminate or reduce the fire hazards in your home.

Maintain smoke detectors & install fire sprinklers

Your home likely has smoke detectors already, but you need to make sure they are maintained with fresh batteries. To improve your home's chances of not being a total loss in the event of a fire, install fire sprinklers to suppress a fire until the fire department arrives. According to the National Fire Protection Association, the risk of dying in a fire is reduced by 80% by automatic fire sprinkler systems, and the loss of property is reduced by 70%.

The best area in your home to install an automatic fire sprinkler is in your kitchen. Cooking equipment is the leading cause of home fires, with 43% being caused by them. If you'd like to install another fire sprinkler in your home, choose your utility room or where your heating system is located.

Maintain & inspect your heating system

Heating systems are another common cause of house fires. It's important to maintain your heating system to ensure it is not a fire hazard. Hire an HVAC technician to inspect your heating system annually. If your house has ductwork, the duct system should be cleaned when your heating system is inspected. By doing both at the same time, you may find it easier on your schedule.

If your heating system uses a fuel source, install carbon monoxide detectors. If your carbon monoxide detector goes off, it may be a good warning sign that something is wrong with your fuel-burning heating system. The carbon monoxide may be leaking out of your heating system, such as a crack in the heat exchanger. Any time there is a faulty component of a heating system there is a risk of fire.

Upgrade the electrical wiring

In older homes, the electrical wiring typically isn't substantial enough to keep up with the demands of today's electronics and appliances. The electrical wiring in your old house may get easily overloaded. If your fuses continually blow or the circuit breakers always trip, you may want to consider upgrading your home's electrical wiring system.

If you don't want to upgrade the entire system, it may be a good idea to replace any outlets and light switches that are problematic. Hire an electrician to conduct a test of your electrical wiring system to find the wires that are in need of replaced. Open and faulty wires inside your walls are prime locations for sparks which can start fires.

Keep clothes dryer vent clean

A lot of debris and lint can build up in your clothes dryer vent, which can result in a fire when the temperature inside the vent becomes hot enough. This sometimes happens when there is a blockage in the dryer vent. Hire a vent cleaning service to clean out the vent annually. It's a good idea to understand how to recognize the warning signs that your dryer vent is accumulating too much debris and lint.

  • The vent may be blocked if your clothes seem to take longer to dry than when you first bought your dryer or after the last vent cleaning.
  •  Your laundry room may be unusually warm and humid when you run the dryer.
  • The clothes are very hot when you pull them out of the dryer, and they may have a burnt smell.

Making these types of upgrades to your old house can decrease your risk of having a house fire. These upgrades may also decrease your homeowners insurance premiums. So, it's a win-win all around. If you are interested in adding fire-safety upgrades, such as fire sprinklers, to your home, then contact a company like Nor Cal Fire Protection.

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6 May 2015

New Trends In The Construction Industry

My name is Brandon McCauley and this blog is about new trends in the construction industry. In this blog you'll learn about new types of materials that are long-lasting and durable. You'll also find out how new homes and businesses are being built to be more energy efficient. I continually study new trends and the latest developments in construction because this is an interest of mine. I'm always amazed when I see new building and home designs that are out of the ordinary. If you also like learning about new construction trends, I think you'll find my blog very interesting and informative.