Structural Fire Hazards in the Home – Siding, Chimneys and Fireplaces

A fire in your home is one of the most dangerous and destructive things that can happen to you. While it is not possible to completely prevent the possibility of a home fire occurring, there are certain steps that can be taken to better safeguard your home against the threat of immolation. You need to be aware not only of the common fire dangers such as dangerous electrical outlets, burning cigarette butts, and cooking disasters, but of the lesser recognized dangers that already come equipped with your house, things you may take for granted as safe but can cause serious problems if left unwatched. It is with an eye towards the holistic protection of your house that you should examine the possibility of fire damage through structural components such as home siding, chimneys, and stoves.

Home Siding: Among potential fire hazards, home siding is the invisible threat. It is by far the most overlooked area of ​​the house in thinking about disaster prevention perhaps because of its innocuous appearance and its tendency to be taken for granted. For the uninitiated reader, vinyl cladding on your house is a fire threat with the potential to cause serious property damage if ever it were to catch on fire. Because of its flammable nature, the large distances that it covers, and the difficulty that one has in surveying its protection, there are only a few options available to fireproofing your the cladding on your house. Firstly, a home with vinyl siding is not like a lit cigarette butt, it is not simply a practice that you can decide to give up once you want to protect your house, because your house absolutely needs siding. The key then is to focus not on eliminating the threat, but minimizing and preventing it. To minimize, make sure that any outdoor, open flames are kept away from the sides of the house. Barbeques, cookouts and campfires should all be held at a minimum of ten feet away from the siding. For prevention techniques, consider purchasing new siding. Currently there are non-flammable alternatives to traditional vinyl siding that provide higher peace of mind. A specific type, James Hardie siding, is one such brand that provides for a more secure house.

Chimneys and Fireplaces: A more obvious threat, chimneys and fireplaces are useful, albeit dangerous, necessities for many homeowners. Minimize the amount of time you spend worrying about fireplace hazards by keeping flammable materials such as paper and flammable liquids such as alcohol and oil away from the fireplace all together. With a properly screened fireplace there should be no reason that a pleasant log fire would cause damage to the home. Additionally, take the initiative to have your chimney cleaned every year and a half by a specialist who will be able to fully account for the inferno hazards in this area.

With a proactive approach you should be able to successfully fireproof your home and prevent disaster from striking. While you can never completely ensure that your dwelling will be safe from a fire, you can ensure peace of mind by doing everything in your power to prepare and prevent such an event from taking place.