Unfortunately numerous homes burn down each year. Not only do people lose their home, but they lose their personal effects, treasured memories, and sometimes even their pets and their own lives. House fires can be devastating and they take hold very quickly.
Causes of house fires
House fires are caused by:
Preventing house fires
Accidents are difficult to design against, although proper design and construction can eliminate faults and even protect against lightning strikes. Installing smoke alarms will assist with the early detection of fires enabling occupants to escape and early action to be taken to fight the fire. Having a fire extinguisher and fire blanket readily accessible may help to extinguish small fires.
Building materials and construction techniques must comply with fire codes for your area. In particular wall and ceiling materials must have the required fire rating to prevent the rapid spread of fires. (Grenfell Tower cladding discussions focused on ‘appearance and price’ rather than fire safety, architect tells inquiry). Fire resistant materials should be used in all areas that could be subject to heat build-up, such as around fireplaces and stoves. All electrical installations and fittings must comply with the codes.
For adjoining houses where walls touch there should be firewalls extending up inside the roof void, closing tight against the underside of the roof covering to limit the spread of fires between the houses.
Use licensed contractors for installing gas and electrical systems. Leaking gas lines and faulty electrical wiring result in many homes burning down each year. Importantly use material and equipment that is sourced from a reputable supplier and which complies with your country's codes and regulations. Regrettably there are many second rate products available from overseas suppliers which do not comply with safety regulations and are dangerous. Don't try and save a few hundred dollars only to have your home destroyed when a substandard product catches fire.
The threat from wildfires
Wildfires are becoming more common. Hundreds of homes have been destroyed in recent wildfires in California, Greece, Spain, Australia, and elsewhere. (Australia bushfires: Dozens of houses destroyed or damaged)
In areas prone to bush fires there’re a number of things that can be done. (Are you living in an area prone to fire - See Fire and Flood risks in America). These include:
Designing and building a safe home
You can prevent your home from burning down by:
Other Useful Articles:
How to make your home green and environmentally friendly and save money
Understanding Electrics in Your New Home Build
Designing Cooking Kitchens - Practical Advice For Your Dream Kitchen Part 1
This is an extract from the author's book 'An Introduction to Building and Renovating Houses: Volume 2 - Finding Your Ideal Property and Designing Your Dream Home'
© 2021 This article is not to be reproduced for commercial purposes without written permission from the author.
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Paul Netscher has written 2 easy to read books 'An Introduction to Building and Renovating Houses - Volumes 1 and 2'. An Introduction to Building and Renovating Houses Volume 1 deals with Hiring Contractors, Managing Construction and Finishing Your Home. and Designing your ideal home Volume 2 deals with Finding Your Ideal Property and Designing Your Dream Home.
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I’m a construction professional, author of several successful construction management books, and a home owner. I’ve made mistakes in construction management, I’ve seen others make mistakes, but importantly I’ve had multiple successful construction projects and I’ve learned from the mistakes. I want to share these lessons and my knowledge with you.
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