Home fires are scary and can be devastating and life threatening. It can take as little as 5 minutes for a small fire to develop into a home fully engulfed in flames. Thankfully, many home fires are preventable with proper care and precaution.
Maintenance is an important aspect of home ownership and mobile homes are no exception. According to Foremost, the AARP’s mobile home insurance company, inadequately maintained mechanical systems are the largest cause of accidental mobile home fires. It is vital that mobile home owners regularly care for heating equipment, like furnaces, water heaters, and stoves, as well as electrical systems and appliances. Improperly maintained systems can increase the likelihood of a fire – which means a higher likelihood of that your life and property could be at risk.
One of the easiest maintenance steps you can take is to make sure these systems are clean and working properly. This includes:
- Regularly changing filters for furnaces.
- Cleaning your dryer lint trap after every use.
- Keeping heat sources clean and clear of flammable items.
- Periodically check that wires and cords for electrical devices and appliances are not split or fraying and are properly connected to the device and power source.
- Seek professional help for bigger repair and maintenance jobs. DIY attempts could be dangerous while you work and could cause disastrous problems later.
On top of system maintenance, having fire safety precautions in place can make a life-saving difference. Some simple precautions are to:
- Make sure you have working smoke detectors in the kitchen and any bedrooms and test batteries regularly.
- Keep fire extinguishers in the kitchen and near the furnace. There are different types of extinguishers meant for different kinds of fires, so be sure to pick a multi-purpose option.
- Be careful not to overload electrical circuits and outlets. Large appliances, like refrigerators and stoves, should be connected directly to a wall outlet. If using power strips, make sure they have surge protection and do not use multiple power strips and extension cords connected to each other.
There are numerous other steps you can take to protect your home, many of which can be found online. You can also check with your local fire department to see if they offer services like fire safety classes and home checks or for general fire safety questions.