Fires in the home kill almost 4000 people a year, but they could be easily prevented with fire-safe habits. Here are some tips to help prevent fires in your home.
- Never leave food cooking on the stove unsupervised.
- If you must leave and no one else can watch it, turn off the burner.
- Keep the area around the stove clear of spills and flammable materials like towels and potholders.
- Turn pot handles in so that they aren’t accidentally bumped.
- In case of a grease fire, smother it with a pot lid or baking soda; NEVER douse it with water as this will make the fire worse.
- Replace any loose or frayed electrical cords, as these can emit dangerous sparks
- Never run extension cords under carpets or around doorways.
- Use a power strip instead of a two- or three-way plug, but don’t overload it with cords for high-power appliances.
- Make sure lamps and night lights are away from curtains, bedding, and other flammable material.
- Keep fireplaces covered with a metal or glass screen to keep sparks from flying out.
- Only burn wood in the fireplace – paper ashes can easily fly out.
- Have your chimney inspected and cleaned regularly.
- Make sure the fire is completely extinguished before you close the damper or go to sleep.
- Keep space heaters at least 3 feet from any flammable material such as curtains, newspaper, or bedding.
- Never put a space heater somewhere where a child or pet could knock it over.
- Don’t use an extension cord with a space heater, as the high current could melt the cord.
- The best way to keep a home safe from cigarettes is to smoke outside.
- If you smoke inside, do so away from flammable materials like bedding and upholstery.
- Make sure cigarettes are completely extinguished before throwing them away.
- Never leave a candle unattended or in a place where children or pets could play with it.
- Make sure candles are away from flammable materials and placed in sturdy, non-flammable holders.
Smoke Alarms/Fire Extinguishers
- Make sure there are smoke alarms installed on every floor of your home, especially near bedrooms.
- Consider installing a fire extinguisher in a strategic place in your home, such as near the kitchen. Make sure you and your family members know how to use it.
- Check smoke alarm batteries each year and have fire extinguishers regularly checked.
**This guest post article was written by Sally Davison. Ms. Davison owns the website, Fire Science Degree. Sally is an experienced EMT and writes a variety of articles about health and safety.