According to the NFPA, there is a home fire every 8 seconds in America. Many house fires, injuries and deaths can be easily prevented. Here we’ve gathered a few fire prevention tips for the leading causes of home fires. In the case a fire does start in your home, it is imperative to have the right tools to detect, monitor and help put out a fire.
Most home fires start in the kitchen.
Don’t leave your kitchen unattended while cooking, especially if you have pots and pans on the stove. If a fire does start – and you don’t have an extinguisher – you can use salt or baking soda to put out a grease fire. Make sure you have a working smoke detector in your kitchen and test it monthly.
Use flameless candles.
It’s safest to just use flameless candles for that warm glow and ambiance in your home. If what you’re after is a wonderful scent, essential oils and diffusers are everywhere these days! But, if you insist on having candles, keep them away from curtains, bedding and other flammable materials. Never leave candles unattended – make sure to blow them out before you leave the house.
Grills are designed to be used outdoors and away from buildings. NFPA reports that 27% of home fires are started by gas grills in courtyards, patios, or terraces, and 29% started on a balcony or open porch. Also check for hanging trees and bushes that might be too close to the heat.
Ensure that the hose connecting to the propane tank is tight and sealed. To check for leaks – apply a solution of light soap and water to the hose and turn the gas on. If the solution bubbles, there is a leak. If you smell gas or the flame on the grill won’t light, these are other signs of a possible gas leak.
Have working smoke detectors.
We recommend you have working smoke detectors throughout your home. You want to have at least one smoke detector in your kitchen and one for each floor of your home. You also need one in every bedroom and in the hallways outside of bedrooms. Be sure to test your smoke detectors monthly and change batteries if needed.
Holiday specific fire prevention tips:
- 4th of July: Only light legal fireworks outdoors and away from buildings, trees, and vehicles. Have a hose and bucket of water ready to go in case of flames.
- Halloween: Consider using flameless candles and glow sticks inside your jack-o-lanterns.
- Thanksgiving: Stay in the kitchen while cooking and have a fire extinguisher on hand.
- Christmas: Check for broken bulbs or exposed wires on Christmas lights, both can increase the risk of an electrical fire. Keep your tree well hydrated – dry Christmas trees are extremely flammable.
- Decorations: The NFPA reports that 45% of decoration fires are caused by a decoration being too close to a source of heat such as a fireplace, space heater, candle, or oven. So when you are decorating for any holiday, make sure they are a safe distance from heat sources.
For further resources check out the NFPA’s website.
If you have any more fire prevention tips – let us know what they are!