Although basements are mostly vulnerable to flooding and water damage, fires can also start there. This is because most people keep heat-generating equipment in the basement. Like basement flooding, basement fires can be prevented by following several safety tips:
- 1. A smoke alarm should be installed in the basement. The alarm should be tested and cleaned by removing dust build-up once a month. This ensures that it works properly throughout the year. In addition, the basement smoke alarm should be connected to the other smoke alarms in the home, so that when one sounds, they all do.
- 2. A carbon monoxide (CO) alarm should be installed, as well, if there’s heating equipment that burns oil, gas or wood in the basement. Here are more tips to prevent CO poisoning in homes.
- 3. Flammable materials, such as debris, paper, and textiles, should be kept at least 1 metre away from heating equipment (furnace, oil burner, wood stove, water heater etc.). Oily rags should be put in airtight containers and away from heat sources. Trash should also be kept out of the basement – it might become fuel for a fire.
- 4. The burner access doors on gas furnaces and gas water heaters must be kept closed to prevent flame roll-out.
- 5. Major appliances, such as washing machines and dryers, should be plugged directly into wall sockets. Extension cords that are overloaded might heat up and create a fire hazard.
- 6. The basement must be equipped with arc-fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs). These devices prevent fires in electrical switches from occurring by shutting off the circuit when an unintentional arc (discharge of electricity) occurs within the circuit.
- 7. The clothes dryer should be maintained regularly by cleaning the lint filter before or after each load of laundry and removing the lint that has collected around the drum. The vent ductwork must also be cleaned every year. Here are more clothes dryer fire safety tips.
- 8. The stairs should be kept free of clutter to provide less fuel for a fire and to be able to quickly escape the basement in case of an emergency.
As appliances can be a source of fire in homes and properties, here are essential appliances fire safety tips. The garage is also a specific area of the home that needs fire protection. Here are seven garage fire safety tips. The PuroClean team stands ready to provide professional restoration services to any property affected by fire, water or mould damage.