Basements are more vulnerable to flooding and water damage than other areas of the home. However, fires can also start in the basement, considering that we keep heat-generating equipment in this area. Fortunately, you can take steps to keep fires from occurring. Here’s a look on how you can prevent fires in your basement:
- Install a smoke alarm. Test the alarm and clean it by removing dust build-up once a month to ensure that it works properly throughout the year. Make sure that the basement smoke alarm is connected to the other smoke alarms in your home, so that when one sounds, they all do.
- Install a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm, as well, if you have heating equipment that burns oil, gas or wood in the basement. Learn more tips to prevent CO poisoning in your home here.
- Keep flammable materials, such as debris, paper, and textiles, at least three feet away from heating equipment (furnace, oil burner, wood stove, water heater, etc.). Put oily rags in airtight containers and away from heat sources. Avoid storing trash in the basement — it might become fuel for a fire.
- Ensure that the burner access doors on gas furnaces and gas water heaters are closed in order to prevent flame roll-out.
- Plug major appliances, such as washing machines and dryers, directly into wall sockets. Extension cords that are overloaded might heat up and create a fire hazard.
- Make sure your basement is 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.
- Maintain the clothes dryer regularly. Clean the lint filter before or after each load of laundry and remove the lint that has collected around the drum. Have the vent ductwork cleaned every year. Check out more clothes dryer fire safety tips in this article.
- Keep the stairs free of clutter to be able to quickly escape the basement in case of an emergency.
Be sure to also check out these appliances safety tips to help prevent basement fires. The garage is also a specific area of the home that you need to protect from fire. Learn how to prevent garage fires in this article. For professional fire damage repair or smoke remediation, contact your local PuroClean office.