Your House and Fire Safety: Simple Tips for Success
We’ve all heard in the news of an uptick in natural disasters, with earthquakes around the world and wildfires ravaging the West and other dry regions here in the US. While all Classic metal roofs are fire-resistant, we want to touch on several steps you can take to prepare for emergencies.
First, preparation doesn’t have to be expensive or extreme. Simple steps can make a big difference, and simply having a plan is a good start.
That’s why we enlisted a seasoned expert for his take on fire safety and prevention in your home. Derek Gruchy is a 20-year veteran of the fire industry and a professor at Seneca College of Fire Protection Engineering Technology with a master’s degree in Fire Protection Engineering. He’s also an internationally certified Fire Inspector, Fire Service Instructor, and Fire and Life Safety Educator.
Here’s what Derek Gruchy wants you to know about your home and fire safety:
Lethal fires take place at home.
Most deaths occurring from fire happen at a residential property. One of the big reasons is that we don’t have sprinklers in those places.”
Smoking increases risk.
If you’re smoking, you’re creating more chances that you might cause a fire in your home by dropping a cigarette or disposing of it improperly.”
Older people are at higher risk too. As you get older it’s harder to be mobile. You may take more naps and have medical conditions where it’s hard to get through the evacuation process as easily as someone younger.”
The kitchen is the most common location for a fire.
Fire in the home most often happens because of cooking. So focus when cooking dinner, watch it, and be there. Please don’t put it on the oven and leave because that’s when the oil can boil over, or a fire can start, and then it gets to the cabinets, and we get in a lot of trouble.”
Evacuation has to be immediate.
Fires have gotten a lot bigger, a lot faster. So, if you hear a smoke alarm, get out and worry about it being a false alarm later. Then, come back in, laugh, cry, and get angry about it. Delaying just 2 minutes can be too long, and you’re trapped inside.”
Easy tips to improve your home’s fire safety:
- Get notified of a fire by the smoke alarm you’re regularly checking and testing, changing the batteries at least twice a year, depending on your type of alarm.
- Make sure your bedroom door is closed when you go to bed. Then, if a fire starts, the smoke is protected from entering your room. If the fire is in your room, get out. Even a door that’s not fire-rated provides significant time to figure a way out of that danger.”
Modern materials deal with fire differently.
Fire is a lot worse with the building materials used today. Old cabinets were solid oak or solid pine. Now, they’re sawdust held together with glue and laminated with something that looks like a nice wood. Maybe it’s even plastic. When that ignites, the fire runs rampant.”
There are downsides to open-concept homes.
Everyone wants to get rid of walls so they can see their fridge from every room in the house. That’s great when we’re having parties, but when a fire starts, there’s no break for that fire. As it gets bigger, the more smoke it produces, and if there are no walls to prevent that from happening, like a closed bedroom door, that smoke gets everywhere very fast.”
How do cathedral ceilings deal with fire and smoke?
It depends on where the cathedral ceiling goes. If a mezzanine or a balcony goes up and you can see the upper story, that’s more dangerous because now the smoke can spread easier to a place where the fire isn’t. But if you have 12-foot, 15-foot ceilings, that’s safer because you’re allowing more time for the smoke to collect up there before it gets to that dangerous face level.”
How do people behave in the event of a fire?
We think people are so unpredictable, but that’s in typical life. As soon as we get into an emergency situation, everyone becomes hyper-focused, and we can actually predict behavior well.
If I’m at home, you can almost guarantee that I’m going to try and fight that fire because I care about this place and don’t want to lose everything in this home. The person over at my house repairing something and there’s a fire, they’re more likely to say, Oh, that’s too bad. I’ll call 911, and they’re out the door, right?
Maybe I’m in a classroom, and a fire starts; I’ll likely ask everybody to leave because we can have class in a different classroom. So the location, the environment, and what’s happening around us completely changes.”
Now that you’ve heard from an expert, take action and implement these tips. While simple, keeping your bedroom door closed at night and your smoke detector batteries replenished may save your life.
The first few minutes of a fire are a crucial time to leave. Evacuate immediately, don’t waste time trying to pack up valuables.
How does a Classic Metal Roof offer fire protection?
- A Classic Metal Roof is fire resistant to burning embers from nearby fires that may land on your roof. Typical petroleum-based asphalt roofs and wooden shakes encourage flying embers to become flames.
- In the event of an interior fire, the low weight of our aluminum roofing with interlocking panels and concealed fastening significantly reduces the risk of the roof caving in.
When you’re ready for your next roof, consider fire prevention. And please, contact our knowledgeable customer service team for answers to your questions about protecting your home from nature’s damage while maximizing your investment. We’re here to help homeowners and promise a friendly conversation without pressure or obligation.