Here Are Some Tips for Home Fire Prevention and Safety
- Have working smoke detectors on every floor of your home. Test monthly.
- Develop and practice fire escape drills with your family.
- Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen.
- Never leave cooking food or a burning candle unattended.
- Don’t throw water on a grease fire (cover it with a lid instead).
- Keep combustible objects at least three feet away from space heaters, furnaces, fireplaces, and wood stoves.
- Use only space heaters that are UL listed and have tip-over protection.
- Clean out the dryer lint tray after every load.
- Clean out the dryer vent once a year.
- Avoid extension cords.
- Teach children that fire is a tool, not a toy, and keep matches and lighters out of their reach.
- If you have a fireplace, store cooled ashes in a tightly sealed metal container at least ten feet away from any structures.
- If you smoke, smoke outside and absolutely never in bed.
Home Fires Peak During Winter MonthsColder weather generally means spending more time inside, resulting in a greater need for heat and home-cooked meals. The added time indoors is thought to be the reason why home fires peak during the winter months. Of course, fires can happen at any time and it is estimated that the U.S. sees more than 2,500 deaths and 12,600 injuries annually in home fires, with direct property losses of $7.3 billion. Fire spreads quickly, and it doesn’t help that so many houses are constructed from or decorated with flammable materials. A small flame can get out of control in less than a minute, using up essential oxygen while producing deadly smoke and poisonous gases.
It takes only minutes for heat, smoke, and flames to become life-threatening and consume a residence.