Although it feels like more resources are created every day on fire safety, more than a quarter of reported fires are still home fires.
Though some home fires are caused by unavoidable circumstances, like wildfires; most could easily be prevented. The majority of home fires and fire casualties are caused by simple human error, like leaving pots and pans unattended while cooking, smoking inside the house, leaving flammable materials too close to open flames, etc. All of which are 100% preventable.
So, we asked our firefighter community on Facebook, “What steps we can we take to reduce our chances of causing a house fire?”, and here’s what they had to say:
Turn off the Stove
Cooking fires account for half of all home fires. Never leave a pan unattended, and if you have to walk away for a split second turn down your burner.
Watch Your Candles
Candles don’t have to be monitored as closely as pans, however, you should never leave the house or go outside with one burning. Candle placement is also important, they should sit far away from flammable material, like curtains, greenery, or fabric decor.
Eliminate Extension Cords
Extension cords are a serious fire hazard, over time they can deteriorate and potentially create a dangerous shock. Remember, extension cords are for temporary use only.
Keep Dryer Vents Clean
As your clothes are being dried, lint builds up in the vent. This lint is highly flammable and will cause a fire if it is not cleaned off properly. It is recommended to clean your dryer vent after every load.
Keep Debris & Brush Away from Your Home
Dead branches and leaves piled around your house can easily ignite and cause your home to go up in flames with it. At the end of fall, make sure all leaf piles are raked up or kept at least 10 ft away from your home.
Keep an Eye on the Space Heater
Space heaters cause thousands of home fires every year because of the heat they produce, they are an extreme fire hazard. If you use a space heater, never leave them unattended and keep them 3 ft away from flammable material.
Close the Door at Night
The best way to keep a fire contained is to shut the door. That is why firefighters recommend that you shut the door at night when you go to sleep.
Properly Dispose of Cigarettes
Smoking materials that are not put out properly cause almost of quarter of house fire deaths. If you smoke, smoke outside and use a glass or ceramic ashtray. It is also important to make sure embers are cool before disposing of them.
Test Smoke Alarms Regularly
Have a properly working smoke alarm can reduce your risk of dying in a fire by half! You should install a detector on every floor of your home and test them monthly.
Have an Emergency Kit
If the worst should happen, make sure you and your family are prepared by building an emergency kit. It will save all of your important documents in case of a house fire.
The majority of firefighters agreed that the most important thing you can do to prevent a house fire, is to just simply be aware. If a house fire does break out, call 9-1-1 immediately.
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