There is a duality to the role of fire in human history. The first harnessing of fire by our ancient ancestors 1.5 million years ago sparked the rapid development of human civilization. It allowed our ancient African relatives to begin cooking, to heat homes all the year round (allowing for movements of people into colder climates), and to eventually forge metal tools.
Fire has also been a great destroyer. It is no coincidence that images of hell are evoked by licking flames. We fear and respect fire – it can reduce our property and our lives to ash if it is not duly treated.
Nobody wants to think of the possibility that their home could be engulfed in flames, but it does happen. According to the National Fire Protection Association, there are around 353,000 house fires in the USA every year. With that in mind, it can be useful to prepare for the worst. Here are some simple ways in which you can get your house ready to withstand the damnable touch of the flames.
Get Insurance or A Warranty on Your Possessions
Fire insurance is the most comprehensive way of covering your possessions should the worst happen. Home warranties offer levels of cover for smaller malfunctions or breaks that might result from fires. Be sure to carefully inspect insurance and warranty coverage before rushing in and buying some.
Keep A Fire Blanket in Your Kitchen
Fire departments in the United States respond to around 188,000 cooking fires every single year, according to data from the US Fire Administration’s national fire incident reporting system. Cooking fires are often started when frying oil and can spread alarmingly quickly if not immediately put out.
Luckily, a very simple device will usually end cooking fires before they get a chance to take hold, saving your possessions and possibly your life. Fire blankets are cheap, noncombustible sheets that you can use to starve any small fire of oxygen so that combustion can no longer occur. If your stove is on, make sure to turn it off before using the blanket. Keep one in your kitchen draw or on your wall near your oven. Many companies make affordable mounts for fire blankets that are not too aesthetically jarring.
Install Fire Extinguishers
Likewise, the installation of fire extinguishers can help stop a fire from getting out of control. You need to be very careful when choosing which fire extinguishers to use, though. If there is an area of your home that is particularly susceptible to electrical fires, do not store a water-based extinguisher close by! Using a water-based extinguisher in a panic on an electrical fire is extremely dangerous, as the water can actually conduct the electricity can cause the fire to spread more.
Automatic Fire Doors
Fire doors can turn a major disaster into a minor one. The idea behind a fire door is to starve growing fires of routes to expand into. Properly installed automatic fire doors can contain fires in one room until they run out of oxygen or until the fire service has arrived, making them very useful in office buildings and flats.