For a homeowner, there are fewer things more terrifying than the idea of a house fire or even a small fire growing and raging out of control. Your family’s safety is your top priority, so knowing what steps to take in the event you experience a fire at home is key. But it’s also key to not fall victim to some common myths and the misinformation that can make a bad situation worse or that might deter you from taking some pretty smart steps to prevent a fire from occurring in the first place.
Myth 1: Smoke detectors are all you need.
While smoke detectors are a good early warning sign, they are hardly enough. For one, depending on where they are placed, they can be far from the source of smoke or a fire.
Also, because we are all human, a smoke detector with dead batteries serves no purpose except taking up ceiling space. In addition to smoke detectors, you should have a readily available fire extinguisher and consider installing a sprinkler system, especially in areas of the house like basements and attics that may not have a dedicated exit.
Myth 2: Sprinklers cause more damage than they prevent.
This one is not only wrong, it’s dangerous. A well installed sprinkler system will generally only activate nearest the fire and spare your other belongings from water damage. It’s a highly effective and highly underrated way of controlling and abating fires that you cannot prevent in the first place.
Myth 3: It’s the fire that’s the biggest threat.
While the fire and flames might be the most frightening, it’s generally the smoke and the toxic chemicals associated with it that cause the greatest damage. Smoke inhalation is responsible for more hospitalizations and deaths than fire itself.
Myth 4: Electrical mishaps cause most house fires.
It’s easy to blame a faulty electrical system for fires, and while it can be a factor, it’s not the main reason nor the most common. Electrical malfunctions account for only 6.4% of house fires according to USFA statistics. The vast majority of fires originate from cooking incidents! Everyday household items like candles and lit cigarettes are also contributing factors.
Myth 5: You’re in it alone and there’s no way of dealing with fire or smoke damage.
Lastly, this too is a myth. Your local fire department is well trained in bringing a fire situation under control and minimizing damage. And a professional restoration company can be a huge help in cleanup, repairs and getting you back to enjoying life at home in the event of a fire.Taking the right steps, knowing fact from fiction and knowing that there’s help available should go a long way in easing your mind when it comes to fire safety.