There are many things we can do to keep fires from starting in our homes, and they are typically pretty effective. They may not work every time, but it’s absolutely worth the effort. Follow these measures to drastically cut down on the likelihood of a fire starting in your home:
- Any wires or cords that show evidence of fraying or other types of wear or damage should be disposed of and replaced.
- Light switches that are hot to the touch should be shut off right away and replaced by a professional.
- Any plugs that have three prongs should only be used in three-prong outlets. Removal of the third prong can be very dangerous.
- Never leave food unattended while it is cooking on the stove. If it is urgent that you leave, turn off the stove until you return.
- When cooking, never wear clothing that fits loosely. A stray sleeve, shirt bottom, etc. can accidentally come in contact with a hot stove and catch fire.
- Ensure that children stay clear of the oven and stove. If it is not possible to do this at all times, be sure to keep them away at the very least while these appliances are active.
- Keep grills a safe distance away from any materials that are good conductors of fire, i.e. wooden railings or trees.
- Never smoke cigarettes or any other loose-leaf products indoors. A burning piece of ash can travel and spark a fire upon contact with upholstery or other materials.
- Avoid smoking around any types of gasoline or around oxygen tanks. These can both cause explosions or cause a fire to become hotter and burn quicker.
- If you do not have an ashtray or a sand-filled can for disposal of cigarette butts, rinse or soak them in water before placing them in a trash can.
- Every year or prior to each use, be sure to check your chimney for damage or anything blocking the escape path of the smoke.
- Be sure your fireplace screen is sturdy enough to stop a log (should one start rolling) and tall and wide enough to keep flying sparks from escaping.
- Never leave your home or go to sleep without making sure the fire in your fireplace has been put out entirely.
For any questions or concerns regarding home fire prevention, contact your local fire department. To be referred to an electrician who can make sure your electrical setup is safe, call ELA Home Repairs at 1-800-368-PROS (7767).