Many fires can be prevented. By following these fire safety and prevention tips, homeowners can minimize the possibility of a fire occurring in their homes.
- Install fire alarms in every room in the house and regularly check that they are in working order. Fire alarms are a great defense at alerting you to the presence of smoke or fire.
- Have a fire extinguisher on hand and know how and when to use it. Not all fires can be put out with a fire extinguisher. However, many home fires can be stopped when they are still small and have not spread.
- Have a fire escape plan for every member of the family, including pets. Try different scenarios so that family members know what to do in a variety of situations. Animals will often be afraid during a fire, so knowing how to include them in your fire escape plan is important.
- Local fire departments can also have resources and information on fire safety.
- Examine electrical outlets. Do not use any outlets that spark, and call an electrician if you suspect that there is a problem with your wiring.
- Unplug small appliances and electronics when not in use.
- Never overload an electrical outlet. For some electronics and small appliances, you can safely use a surge protector. Check the manual of each item to be certain. Surge protectors automatically shut everything off if there is too much electricity flowing through and helps to prevent fires.
- Stay in the kitchen when cooking. Many cooking fires begin because of an appliance left unattended. Cooking when tired and/or under the influence contributes to fires, as well.
- Blow out all candles before going to bed or leaving the house. Keep candles away from where children or pets can knock them over. And place candles away from flammable materials.
- Don’t fall asleep while smoking. If you feel like you are too tired, put out the cigarette. Many home fires begin because someone falls asleep while smoking and drops the cigarette.
- Keep small appliances, like hair dryers and curling irons, away from sources of water. Allow the appliances to cool after you have used them and place them in a safe spot away from flammable materials.