A home fire is never a good thing. In addition to the risk to human and animal life that is posed by a fire, you may also stand to lose most or all of your possessions if your house were to burn. Far from an imagined danger, the risk of a home fire is very real, as thousands die in residential fires each year, and many more are injured. Therefore, it should go without saying that you should do everything you can to prevent this scary situation from arising at your home. The five tips below are a great place to start when thinking about fire prevention.
1. Care for Your Heating Gear
Anything that you use to provide heat to your home during the cold winter months – such as a space heater, a fire place, a furnace, etc. – needs to be properly maintained to keep the threat of fire at a minimum. Poor maintenance is one of the leading causes of home fires, so take the time and minor cost to care for anything that you plan on using as a heat source.
2. Put Down the Cigarette
Smoking is obviously bad for your health, but it is also a danger when it comes to the safety of your home. If you smoke inside your house, you are instantly introducing a very real fire danger to the situation. The best thing you can do is to avoid smoking in your home altogether. If that isn’t possible, you need to at least keep your cigarettes far away from your bed – smoking in bed is a common cause of house fires.
3. Watch Your Cords
There are more and more electrical devices in the average home these days, and most of them are perfectly safe – as long as they are in good condition. However, if you have a piece of electrical equipment with a worn wire or another problem, it can quickly become a fire hazard. Don’t use any item that is powered by a cord which has been damaged. Also, avoid the temptation to fix any kind of electrical problem in your house on your own – that kind of work should always be turned over to a qualified professional.
4. Use Care with Candles
The fire danger from candles should be obvious – after all, you are bringing an open flame directly into your house when you light a candle. That isn’t to say that you should never use candles, but you should use extreme caution anytime you have an open flame in the house. Specifically, make sure any children that are in the house understand they need to stay far away from the candles both for their own safety and for the safety of the home.
5. Cook with Care
There is no debate about the leading cause of fires in the home – it is cooking, by a large margin. You likely cook inside your home on a nearly daily basis, meaning you are frequently using flames, hot oil, and more to prepare your food. Always follow appropriate safety procedures when cooking, keep flammables away from the stove, and have a fire extinguisher on hand in the kitchen to quickly deal with any fire that may start. Also, never – ever – leave food unattended while cooking. As long as you are paying attention, and you are following some basic kitchen rules, you should be able to prepare food safely.