Hunting for Home Hazards
View these helpful and informative tips to see if your everyday habits might be contributing to fire danger in your home:
- Never leave cooking food on the stove top unattended, and keep a close eye on food cooking inside the oven.
- Keep cooking areas clean and clear of materials that could catch fire, such as pot-holders, towels, rags, drapes, and food packaging.
- Give space heaters plenty of space. Space heaters should be at least three feet away from anything that could burn. Always make sure to turn heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed. Heaters must be directly plugged into wall outlets or approved surge protectors.
- Chimneys, chimney connectors, fireplaces, and wood or coal stoves should be inspected by a professional every year and cleaned as often as necessary.
- Lit candles should be monitored constantly by an adult and extinguished when adults leave the room or go to sleep.
- Use candle holders that won't tip over easily, are made of non-combustible materials, and are big enough to catch dripping wax safely.
- Never leave children alone with burning candles. Candles should not be allowed in children's bedrooms.
- If there are smokers in your home, make sure ashtrays are large and deep and won't tip over. Douse cigarette and cigar butts with water before discarding them.
- Keep matches and lighters up high and out of children's sight and reach, preferably in a locked cabinet.
- Replace or repair any electrical device that has a loose, frayed, or broken cord.
- Follow the manufacturer's instruction for plugging an appliance into a receptacle outlet. As an added precaution, avoid plugging more than one high-wattage appliance into a single receptacle.
- In homes with small children, receptacle outlets should have plastic safety covers.
- Liquids like gasoline, kerosene, and propane are highly flammable. Make sure to store these liquids outside the home in a properly ventilated shed or garage. Store them only in small quantities and in their original containers or in safety containers. Never bring even a small amount of gasoline indoors. The vapors are highly flammable and can be ignited by a tiny spark.
- In the hands of an adult who knows how to use it, a portable fire extinguisher can save lives and minimize property damage by putting out a small fire or containing it until the fire department arrives. But never forget that fire spreads rapidly. Your first priority should always be to get out of the residence.