House fires are one of the biggest threats to your family and property – but they are also threats that are almost entirely preventable with some basic safety precautions. We wanted to create a checklist of the key things you can do to prevent house fires. Use this list and make sure everything on it is addressed. If you have any questions, feel free to give us a call!
How to Prevent a Fire in Your Home
- Smoke Alarms: This is an obvious one, but make sure you have working smoke alarms in your house. The safest way to prevent damage from fires is to have working smoke alarms in every room of the house. Check the batteries and test them every couple months to make sure they are working properly.
- Electrical Fire Prevention: Electric fires can be prevented with some basic inspection and a little common sense. Don’t overload outlets, minimize the use of extension cords (and use them only temporarily), make sure all electric cords are in good shape without any breaks or exposed wire, and never run cords under rugs. Also, make sure all lamps and lighting are placed safely out of the way of curtains and other fabrics that could catch fire.
- Clothes Dryers: Dryers and dryer vents are also a known cause of house fires. You should be sure to clean out dryer vents at least every 6 months – a good reminder is to clean the vents every time you set the clocks back or ahead for daylight savings.
- Cooking Safety: Cooking is one of the leading causes of house fires, and it’s important that you are cautious and attentive while using your stove or oven. Keep hand towels and pot holders away from burners, don’t leave the stove or oven unattended for long periods of time and keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen where you can get to it quickly if there is a problem.
- Heating Safety: An annual inspection of your furnace, heating system or fireplace is essential to preventing fires. Also, if you must use portable space heaters (a major cause of house fires), make sure you do so safely, keeping them clear of fabrics (like clothing and curtains), pets and children.
- Smoking: We’re not here to preach and tell you not to smoke, but from a fire safety perspective, you will reduce your risk of house fires greatly if you don’t allow smoking inside. Smoke outside and have a proper place for people to extinguish cigarettes safely. If people do smoke inside, never do so lying down in bed or on sofas… this is one of the leading causes of fire related deaths in the country.
- Candles & Incense: This is an obvious one too, but be very careful with candles and incense. Keep them in safe places, away from papers and fabrics – and never leave them unattended. If you are leaving a room or the house, be sure to put them out, and make sure they are completely out before leaving.