Every year, house fires result in thousands of dollars in damages and losses. The most common causes of fire are portable space heaters, cooking accidents, and electrical system issues. Here are some fire safety tips to protect your family, your home, and your belongings.
Fire Safety in the Kitchen
Many house fires in the United States are caused by cooking. When cooking in an oven or stove, never leave the food unattended. Make sure there is an adult present in the kitchen at all times. Store a fire extinguisher in an easy-to-reach area and make sure your smoke detectors function by testing them monthly.
Cooking food outdoors on a backyard grill is another common cause of house fires. Set the grill up at least 10 feet away from the home and any structures. Don’t use the grill beneath an awning, canopy, overhanging tree branches, or a patio umbrella. As with using the stove, never leave a hot grill unattended.
Electrical issues and defective or damaged wiring can lead to a house fire. Regularly inspect the cords on devices and appliances. Repair or replace electronics with damaged cords. In case of an electrical shock, don’t use the outlet and call a professional to troubleshoot the issue. Take care to not overload a circuit and use the correct wattage bulbs in light fixtures.
Laundry Room Fire Safety
The combination of heat from the clothes dryer and accumulated lint from the laundry can result in a fire. Clean the lint trap before each load that you dry. Make sure your dryer exhaust vents to the outdoors. Don’t leave the dryer running when you’re sleeping or away from home. The laundry room should have its own smoke detector and fire extinguisher.
Teach Children About Fire Safety
Even young children can learn about fire safety and prevention in the home. Come up with a fire escape plan for your family and locate at least two exits from each room. Choose an area a safe distance away from the home where everyone should meet in case of a fire.
Younger family members can help test smoke detectors every month and change the batteries as needed. Older children should know how to use a fire extinguisher and be on the lookout for frayed electrical cords or space heaters that are too close to furniture or upholstery.