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Fire Safety Tips: Preventing home fires

  • Published
  • By U.S. Fire Administration/Fire & Emergency Services
  • 341st Civil Engineer Squadron
There's no place like home; don't let it go up in smoke. Here are some important tips to prevent fires in a home.

In the Kitchen
Cooking is the number one cause of home fires. Take these steps to prevent a cooking fire:
• Stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling, broiling or boiling food.
• Upon leaving the kitchen, turn off burners or any heart-producing products.
• Keep things that can burn or are flammable away from cooking areas.
• Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove so they don't get bumped.

Safe Home Heating
Heating is the second leading cause of home fires. A heating fire can be prevented with the following steps:
• Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from fireplaces, wood stoves, portable heaters and radiators.
• Upon leaving a room or heading to bed, turn heaters off or unplug them.
• Have the furnace, chimney and chimney connector inspected by a professional each winter. Make repairs before cold weather hits.

Electrical Sense
Follow these safety tips to prevent an electrical fire:
• Plug only one heat-producing appliance into the electrical outlet. Never use an extension cord. Examples of heat-producing appliances are: microwave, coffee maker and portable heaters.
• Plug portable heaters directly into the outlet - don't use an extension cord. Make sure the heater has an automatic shut-off switch that turns off if it tips over.
• Extension cords are for temporary use only.
• If the electrical cord is frayed or broken, don't use it.

Home Protection
Fire prevention is important, but also ensure the home and all residents are protected.
• Put working smoke alarms on every level of the home, inside and outside sleeping areas.
• Test alarms each month.
• Create and practice home fire escape plans at least twice a year.