House fires occur quickly and unexpectedly, causing property damage and possible injuries. Preventing fires should be a priority for keeping your family and home safe. Be proactive by following these fire safety tips.
Keep Your Home Safe With These Fire Safety Tips
1. Keep Flammable Items Off the Stove
The heat of the stove can cause regular household items to ignite. Keep kitchen towels, cookbooks, napkins, and recipe cards away from the stove. Don’t get into the habit of using the stove as a drop-off location for things like groceries or mail. These items are flammable and could catch fire if the oven or burners were recently used.
2. Never Leave a Hot Stove Unattended
When you are cooking, do not leave the stove unattended. A forgotten burner can cause oil or foods to ignite and start a kitchen fire. If you must leave the room for any reason, assign another adult to be in charge of cooking or turn off the burners. When you have food in the oven, use an audible timer to alert you when it’s done.
3. Inspect and Clean the Dryer for Fire Safety
The lint that your clothes dryer captures is highly flammable. Every time you dry clothes, clean the lint trap. Clear the vent pipe of accumulated lint every few months. If you have a gas dryer, have a licensed technician inspect the fittings to ensure there are no gas leaks.
4. Store Flammable Products Separately
Many household products are flammable, including nail polish, rubbing alcohol, hand sanitizer, and similar products. These products should be stored in dark, cool cabinets or containers, away from any source of heat or fire.
5. Practice Fire Safety When Using Candles
Candles set a nice, calm, relaxing mood. When you light a candle, take care to enjoy it safely. Never leave the room if a candle is lit. If you must walk away, extinguish it. Keep candles away from anything that can catch fire like fabric and paper.
6. Buy and Learn to Use Fire Extinguishers
Fire extinguishers are critical for fire safety. Have at least one fire extinguisher in your home, ideally in the kitchen. The extinguisher should be rated “ABC”, for all types of fires. If you have a multi-level home, purchase an extinguisher for each level, including the basement.
Learn how to properly use a fire extinguisher. Most modern extinguishers use a similar methodology. Pull the safety pin. Point the nozzle at the base of the fire. Pull the trigger. Many fire departments offer instruction on how to use fire extinguishers.
7. Install Smoke Detectors
If a fire breaks out in your home, you want to be alerted quickly. Properly installed smoke detectors will serve that purpose. Install smoke detectors in every bedroom, in the kitchen, and on every floor of your home. Put a note on your calendar to test the detector once a month and replace the batteries once a year or as needed.
8. Check Cords for Wear & Tear
Electrical cords can wear over time, especially if they are under rugs or against furniture. Check your electrical cords to see if they are frayed or cracked. If the cord is damaged, throw it away or replace it. A damaged electrical cord is a fire hazard and should not be used.