Updated: Feb 4
Houses, either located in areas prone to wildfires or not, can be set ablaze from the tiniest spark. After homebuyers purchase their next home in Boston (or anywhere else, for that matter), they should take steps to ensure their houses are fireproof. We at NextHome Titletown Real Estate, Greater Boston's progressive real estate brokerage, will share steps that you should take. Here are 5 Ways to Fireproof Your House:
1. Focus on the House's Exterior and Surrounding Property
Make sure the house number is visible so firefighters can spot it. The street and driveway should be clear of any debris and be easily accessible. Any gates should be unlocked to allow firefighters access. Planting fire-resistant plants around the house helps; make sure they're frequently watered. These include sycamore and aloe. Examples of fire-resistant shrubs are bush honeysuckles and sumac. Poplar and maple trees are also fire-resistant.
Any tree limbs that reach over the roof or power lines, or approach the chimney, need to be cut. Mow the lawn and weeds regularly so they stay short. Any outside vegetation, like leaves, pinecones and needles, should be kept clear of the house.
Clean the roof, gutters and eaves frequently of any debris, so airborne sparks won't light them ablaze. Check roof shingles to make sure they aren't damaged or have any cracks in them. Cover any vents with wire mesh. Check the windows to make sure there aren't any cracks.
2. Use the Proper Building Materials
Wood can be set ablaze easily . Although it can be treated with a flame retardant, these need to be reapplied periodically. Instead, try using a number of flame-resistant materials. For the roof, use tile, fiberglass, concrete, metal or asphalt shingles. For gutters, metal is good, and plastic and wood are bad. As for siding, materials which are fire-resistant include metal, stucco, stone and brick. If any windows have wooden frames, change them to metal. Double-paned windows are better than single-pane windows. If there's a wooden deck, rebuild it using any of the aforementioned flame-resistant materials.
3. Check Outlets and Appliances
Make sure outlets are in good shape. If fuses are constantly being blown, hire an electrician to take a look. If appliances spark when they're turned on, replace them (and be wary of any used or hand-me-down appliances, as This Is Us clearly demonstrated. Space heaters should be set in a safe, open space. Replace any frayed cords.
4. Monitor Flammable Items
Flames can spread quicker if there's lots of stuff in the home.. Don't be one of those hoarders seen on TLC! Flammable items include clothes, paper, and bedding. Candles are hazardous. Make sure to clean out dryer lint (not the lint in your pocket) often. Smoking is a big risk. According to the Massachusetts Division of Fire Safety, the leading cause of death by fire in residential structures was smoking, followed by electrical causes.
5. Take Extra Safety Measures
Install smoke detectors and a sprinkler system, and check them regularly to make sure they're working. Have an escape plan for you and your family. If you live above ground-level, keep ladders handy (not made out of wood) in case of an emergency. The National Safety Council said that the number one cause of fires in the home is caused by cooking. Keep extinguishers in the kitchen and near grills and all open-flame cooking.
These steps should aid in fireproofing a house, but they're not comprehensive. Obviously, above all, use good judgment and stay aware of the unexpected dangers within your household.
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