Did you know that cooking fires are the number one cause of fires in the home? They are also the number one cause of home fire injuries.
To avoid a cooking fire, do not wear loose clothing when using the stove. Never leave anything unattended on the stove, even for a moment. Keep loose items, papers and fabric away from the cooking area – especially with the new flat top stoves. Be sure your children are aware that flat top stoves can be hot at any time.
A flat top stove is an easy target for things being placed on them – especially by children.
- Cigarettes, pipes and cigars are the leading cause of fire deaths in the U.S. Never smoke in bed – especially if you are intoxicated. Douse all smoking materials with water, including matches. Use deep ashtrays that won’t be inclined to tip. If smokers visit your house, ask them to light up outside. When emptying an ashtray, douse all contents before placing them in the trashcan.
- Electrical wiring causes more than 40,000 fires in the home. Extension cords cause over 3,300 of these home fires. Never keep frayed cords in your home, even with electrical tape around them. Never run extension cords under carpets. Remember, overloaded outlets cause fires, and so can single outlets that have more than one appliance plugged in to them. If any switch or outlet feels warm, turn it off at the circuit breaker and have it checked by an electrician immediately.
- Between December and February, heating equipment is the number one cause of house fires. Keep space heaters away from cloth and carpets. Place them on hard surfaces at least three feet away from any combustible material. When you leave the room or go to sleep they should be turned off. Always purchase space heaters that have automatic shutoffs.
- Candles are quite popular today, which has doubled fires started by them. Never leave candles unattended and always keep them out of reach of children and pets. Be sure there is nothing within one foot around a burning candle. Use flashlights instead of candles during power outages.
- Sadly, children from newborn age to five are twice as likely to die in a fire than those that are older. Teach your children to never play with matches or fire as early as they are able to understand the concept. Tell them that firefighters are our friends. They should know to never run away from a firefighter during a fire! Show them ways they can get out of a burning house safely and to a neighbor’s house. Teach them how to crawl to avoid smoke and how to “stop, drop and roll” if they catch on fire. Practice a fire escape plan with the whole family at least once a year.
- Keep working smoke alarms on every floor, particularly near bedrooms and the kitchen. You can never have too many smoke detectors in your home. Test the batteries regularly, and change them every daylight savings time. Also, it may be tempting to borrow a battery from a smoke detector – but don’t! It is all too easy to forget you’ve done it.