Each year, approximately 3,400 people are killed in house fires around the country. And of course the structural damage amounts to millions of dollars. Sometimes an act of nature simply creates circumstances out of your control, but in most cases house fires are preventable. Follow these five safety tips to address the most common causes of fires in the home.
Distraction-free cooking. Many house fires start because of accidents in the kitchen, most of which are due to distractions. Don’t answer the phone while cooking, don’t leave the room for extended periods of time while burners are on, and safety as your top priority.
Heat your home safely. In the winter, heating methods are the number one cause of house fires. Place space heaters far away from other objects (at least three feet of clearance is required). Each year, have your heating system and chimney inspected for problems that could lead to a fire.
Smoke safely. Smoking is a health risk for obvious reasons, but the habit can pose a fire threat as well. Never smoke indoors, and you can be certain they won’t start smoldering in the trash later.
Use candles is an even better option. They look like the real thing, but are much safer.
Prevent electrical fires. Check all electrical cords for problems such as cracking and replace them if needed. Also, make sure you aren’t overloading your circuits with devices, using only one plug per receptacle.
These tips can help you prevent house fires, but as we mentioned, occasionally things are just out of our control. Remember to develop and put an evacuation plan into place in order to keep your family safe.