Housefires are one of the most common catastrophes to strike homeowners. House fires kill more Australian civilians than any other natural hazards. In Australia, over 40% of fires are attributed to electrical faults and appliances, including heaters, stoves, ovens, hair straighteners, etc. Cigarettes and candles also contribute to a fair share of such incidents.
It is relatively straightforward to flameproof your house and make it a safer environment in the case of a fire. Fireproofing is a term used to describe passive methods to form a structure resistant to fire or incombustible. It includes installing smoke alarms, fire rated doors, fire extinguishers and others.
. Smoke alarms
Smoke alarms are some of the most helpful gadgets to install in buildings to detect smoke from fires and then raise an early warning to notify residents of a fire incident. However, it is shocking how many people don’t have properly maintained and fully functioning smoke alarms in homes or entirely abstain from installing them.
Smoke alarms can be installed in main rooms such as the living room or kitchen or in all bedrooms to ensure maximum security. In addition, smart smoke alarms are available on the market that sends a notification to your phones instead of the traditional constant beeping.
. Fire-rated doors
Fire-rated doors are incredibly essential to flameproofing a house. They are doors made of a combination of glass, gypsum, steel, timber and aluminium, giving them a fire-resistance rating. These doors, when closed, can contain a fire for over an hour, providing valuable time for residents to escape unscathed.
Usually, in addition to fire doors, any spaces between the door and doorframe are filled in with a flame-retardant sealant.
. Fire extinguishers
Fire extinguishers are quite a common sight in many buildings but not as commonly seen in houses. Wherever present, they are often expired, rendering them useless. Fire extinguishers are more of an active way to flameproof a house as they are ready for immediate usage in case of fire. They are also the most efficient and safest options to deal with small fires in a household without having to call the fire brigade.
If one chooses to invest in a fire extinguisher, it is imperative to keep track of its expiration. Fire extinguishers need to be replaced every six years or disposed of every 12 years, depending on their type.
. Using flame-retardant materials/ chemicals
Fire-resistant materials include concrete, stone and brick that are much safer to use in house constructions than wood. For independent houses, surrounding the zone right outside a house with hard, inflammable materials such as gravel, rock mulch and concrete can be a valuable first line of defence.
Other chemicals found in flame-resistant paints and eco-friendly sprays can also be utilized to coat surfaces, especially in fire-prone areas in a home, to offer another layer of protection.
. Flameproof carpets
These special kinds of carpets are made with fire-resistant materials instead of the easily flammable synthetic and wool carpets usually found in households. Flame-resistant carpets are available in numerous colours and designs and are a much safer alternative to have in your home.
If one still struggles to find a flame-resistant carpet that suits their tastes, they can always coat existing carpets and rugs with fire-retardant chemicals discussed above.
While this is not a very comprehensive list to flameproof a house, it provides information about basic practices to adopt to ensure safety from small, low-scale house fires. Living in wildfire-prone areas etc., requires a whole host of changes on a much larger scale.