According to the National Fire Protection Agency, there are over 340,000 house fires each year. And while no one thinks it will happen to them, it’s always wise to approach fire safety with prevention in mind. To do that, it’s important to understand the primary reasons house fires occur in the first place and how to best prevent them. Always remember to make sure your fire alarms are in good working order, have fire extinguishers up to date as well as accessible, and make sure your family has an evacuation plan in the event of a fire.
Overwhelmingly, most fires start in the kitchen. Open flames, ignited cooking substances and carelessness can easily cause a fire to not only start, but quickly get out of hand. It’s important that you never leave things on your stove to cook without supervision and make sure children know to stay clear of the kitchen while food is being cooked. Additionally, making sure pot handles are facing toward the back of the stove and wearing clothes that don’t have lose sleeves or pieces that can easily catch fire will reduce the risk of a fire. Make sure the kitchen has at least one working fire extinguisher that everyone can reach and use in case of a fire.
Home heating is another leading cause of house fires. As fall and winter bring in cooler temperatures, now is the time to inspect all heating equipment in your home. Make sure the fireplace is clean and in good working order. For safe space heater use, make sure the heater is in good working order, placed on a flat surface, and give three feet of distance between the heater and all objects. As with cooking, never leave fireplaces and space heaters unattended, and take safety precautions with children.
Though it’s easy to forget, wiring within your walls can also be the cause of house fires. It’s very important to stay vigilant with your home wiring. At the first sign of electrical issues, have your wires inspected by a professional. Fuses that blow frequently and dimming lights can be warning signs and should be dealt with promptly to keep your family safe.
Though we never want to think about bad things happening, it is always important to be prepared. Make sure you go over safety rules and evacuation plans with your family so everyone knows what to do in the event of a fire. Additionally, take the above safety precautions to prevent the three leading causes of house fires and make sure all smoke detectors and fire extinguishers are in good working order.