Fire Prevention Tip: How To Prevent House Fires
Your home is a special place for you and your family. With so many cherished moments associated with this one of a kind place, it is hard to imagine losing it. Unfortunately, many families are forced to go through the heartbreaking process of saying goodbye to their homes as a result of fires. What is even harder to accept is that most house fires could have been prevented with a few fire safety facts and fire prevention tips in place. So just what items in your home pose a threat to your safety and the safety of your family? Use the following fire safety information and fire prevention tips for how to prevent house fires, and continue making memories in your home.
Fire Prevention Tip #1: Test Smoke Alarms
One of the easiest fire prevention tips is to regularly check smoke alarms to ensure they are working properly. Smoke alarms are essential for how to prevent house fires, serving as the first line of defense when a house fire is imminent or already underway by emitting a piercing alarm to notify those in the house the moment smoke is detected. A non-functioning smoke alarm can, therefore, mean serious disaster. Each smoke alarm comes with important fire safety information and features a small button to test whether it is working or needs new batteries. If the beep is weak when testing the alarm, change the batteries right away.
Fire Prevention Tip #2: Clean Ovens and Stoves
Cleaning ovens and stoves are among the most important fire prevention tips. While cleaning your oven and stove is likely a least favorite chore, doing so on a regular basis can help prevent house fires. Fires from ovens and stoves can result when food particles fall onto burners and get too hot. In addition to removing particles of food in your oven and stove, make sure to keep the area around your oven and stove clear as well. Curtains that hang too close, cookbooks left in the vicinity of these appliances, or ill-placed dish towels can all put you at risk for house fires as well. Create a routine for before and after you cook that ensures ovens and stoves are free of hazards.
Fire Prevention Tip #3: Stay in the Kitchen
With a busy schedule, it can be hard to focus on just one thing at a time. During the evenings, many individuals are pulled in multiple directions, preparing dinner, helping the kids with homework, and getting the house in order for the next day. However, even short distractions that happen while cooking can have serious consequences. One of the well-known fire prevention tips is to never leave food unattended when cooking in the kitchen for any reason, as it only takes mere seconds for a fire to break out. If you must leave the kitchen, make sure to turn off any burners in use, or call a family member to watch over the food until your return.
Fire Prevention Tip #4: Check your Cords
With an increasing dependence on electronics for daily tasks now more than ever, you likely always have something plugged in to charge, whether a cell phone, tablet, or smartwatch. Another method for how to prevent house fires is discarding frayed wires and cords used to transmit power into electronics. Among your list of fire prevention tips, add regularly checking the condition of cords, looking for damage such as exposed wires or frays. If you notice damage, replace the cord immediately. Keep in mind that pets often like to chew on rubbery items, so keep cords out of reach to avoid damage.
Fire Prevention Tip #5: Take Care with Fireplaces
Though one of the more obvious fire safety facts, pay special attention when using fireplaces. Fireplaces pose a special risk for house fires as sparks can easily escape and fly out onto flammable surfaces. When having a fire, make sure there is a door between the fire and the floor to prevent the escape of sparks. When you have distinguished the fire, make sure that all ashes are completely cool before throwing them away. Purchase a metal container to dispose of ashes to reduce the risk of any still-warm ashes from causing a fire. Lastly, never leave a fire unattended under any circumstances.
Fire Prevention Tip #6: Check Your Dryer
Another very common source of house fires is clothes dryers. Fires result from dryer when vents are not properly installed or are not cleaned out regularly. Heat produced during the drying process can cause lint and other debris to get too hot, and lead to a fire. To prevent fires, make sure that dryer vents are properly installed using the instructions that came with the appliance. To be safe, you might consider enlisting a professional to assist with the installation process. Additionally, clean out the lint filter after every load of laundry. This often overlooked step takes just seconds but can save you and your family from experiencing a fire.
Fire Prevention Tip #7: Don’t leave Candles Unattended
Candles work wonders for enhancing the ambiance of a home, promoting much needed calm and relaxation through soothing scent and light. However, the exposed flame makes candles a hazard and potential risk for house fires. Another of the key fire prevention tips when lighting candles is to make sure they are placed far away from any fabric, such as curtains or blankets, and other flammable objects. If you’re leaving the house or starting to feel a bit drowsy, extinguish the flames immediately. Further, if you have little ones or furry friends around, consider waiting until they are out of the room. Pets and kids can easily tip over candles on accident.
Fire Prevention Tip #8: Maintain Heating Sources
Most of us rely on heating systems to keep us warm during the chilly months of winter. Because of this reliance, it is important to make sure that all heating sources are well-maintained and functioning properly. Heating sources that are broken and in need of repairs pose a great risk for fire. Filters should be cleaned regularly to avoid a buildup of dust and debris that can catch on fire. Additionally, you should have all heating sources inspected by a professional on an annual basis to catch malfunctioning components early.
Fire Prevention Tip #9: Avoid Old Space Heaters
If you not only rely on your home’s heating system to keep you warm but also rely on space heaters, take special care. One of the not so well known fire prevention tips, Many old space heaters pose a great risk for house fires, as they often do not have the same safety features now found in newer models (such as turning off automatically when tipped over). When using space heaters, other best practices including keeping heaters away from curtains, blankets, and furniture that can easily catch fire, place them in spots with little foot traffic, set space heaters on solid, firm surfaces, and do not set space heaters on any other surface besides the floor.
Fire Prevention Tip #10: Safely Store Flammable Products
Many of the products we use every day are flammable and therefore put us at risk for house fires. There are obvious products such as gasoline, which should always be stored in UL approved containers in a location outside of the house. Other flammable products include shaving cream and hairspray, which should be stored in cool places away from sources of heat.
Fire Prevention Tip #11: Don’t Smoke in the House
Smokers should pay special attention to their habits to prevent house fires. While you may enjoy the convenience and comfort that comes with smoking in your home, it is best to take smoke breaks outside of the house. A single unattended cigarette or a cigarette dropped after falling asleep in bed or while lounging on the couch, can result in a fire. When cleaning out your ashtray, be sure that all ashes are completely cool. Then, dampen ashes in the sink before placing in a trash can and out of the house.
Fire Prevention Tip #12: Grill Safely
There is nothing more exciting than a backyard barbeque with friends and families in the summer. There are a few precautions to take, however, for how to prevent house fires when grilling. If you’re grilling on the deck, be sure to place non-flammable pads beneath your grill to prevent the start of fire in the event of dropped food or coals. Also, be sure the grill is attended to at all times. Call a friend over to watch the grill if you must step away, even if only for a minute. If there is no one around to watch the grill, turn off the propane.
Fire Prevention Tip #13: Purchase a Fire Extinguisher
One of the best investments for how to prevent house fires is to purchase a fire extinguisher. Having a fire extinguisher handy can make the difference between a frighteningly close call, and a serious disaster resulting in the total loss of your home. Fire extinguishers can be purchased at most home improvement stores, and are incredibly affordable. Store your fire extinguishers in spots that pose a special risk for fires, such as in the kitchen or near fireplaces. Make sure that all family members in the house understand how to operate the fire extinguisher, and are comfortable taking the steps necessary in the event of a fire emergency.