Preventing Fires

Fire escape ladders can keep you safe in the event of a fire.  But, fire prevention is just as important as planning for a fire.  There are several steps that you can take to help prevent fires.  First and foremost, talk to your children about fire safety.  Many fires are caused by children who play with matches or don't understand household dangers like the stove or the fireplace.  In addition, consider the following when preventing fires:

 

  • Always keep a fire extinguisher handy. Any room that has the potential for fires should have a fire extinguisher. Make sure you have one in your kitchen and near your garage door. Always make sure you understand how to use a fire extinguisher in advance. You won't have time to figure it out when there is a fire!
  • Take care around ovens or stoves. Many fires originate in the kitchen. Always keep pot handles turned in. It is also advisable to use the back burners of your stove when you don't need all the burners. If a pot catches fire, carefully slide the lid over it to smother the flame.
  • Don't smoke in the house when possible. Smokers can easily cause a fire if they are careless. Never smoke in bed or when you are tired. If you fall asleep the results may be disastrous. Also, keep an eye on children when smoking. It's easy to get distracted, and it only takes a moment for a fire to start!
  • Keep kids away from fire sources. Matches, lighters, the stove, and the oven are all potential fire sources that children can and will abuse. Keep kids away from these fire hazards and teach them to never touch a fire source without an adult present.
  • Avoid flammable materials. Flammable drapes are a common cause of household fires. Shutters are much safer as they are more difficult to light on fire. Flammable drapes quickly spread a fire along the wall to the ceiling, at which time it may be too late to save your house. Choose products that are made with materials that are flame resistant.
  • Keep your house away from flammable materials. If you live in an area that is prone to fires creating a fire buffer around your house will help to prevent fires from spreading to your house. Don't build right up to the trees around your property.
  • Check for gas leaks regularly. If you find one, evacuate immediately and call a trained professional.
  • Keep things away from space heaters and floor heaters. They commonly cause fires when household items are placed too close to them.
  • Be careful with candles. Never use a candle where it could easily fall over and start a fire. Consider pets when using a candle. Even if children can't reach the candle, if a cat or dog can knock it over it is still not safe. Hot wax may also cause a fire, so be careful!
  • Use electricity safely. If you have frequent problems with your electricity get it checked out right away! Overloading a circuit can cause a fire. Be careful with extension cords. Some are not rated for heavy duty applications and may overheat and cause a fire.
  • Be careful with your Christmas tree. Keep it watered so that it doesn't dry out, and don't use outside lights on a Christmas tree. They get very hot and may ignite the tree.