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10 Steps To Home Fire Prevention

A fire can change your life for the worse in a matter of minutes, occurring unexpectedly and devouring all of your possessions, your home, and if you aren’t careful, your very life. Fires are more common than flood or water damage and yet they remain a close second when it comes to the level of damage that can be inflicted as a result.  Fortunately, in many cases fires can be prevented or the damage minimized by following a few common sense steps.

Keep your kitchen clean and uncluttered, and exercise caution when cooking or performing other duties there. Do not leave cooking pots or pans alone for any length of time, and do not cook when you are sleepy, drowsy, or fatigued. Make sure that gas stoves or oven have been turned off when not in use.

When using space heaters, be sure to keep them at least three feet away from any flammable materials like drapes, curtains, or carpeting.  Again, do not leave them unattended, and do not allow them to burn overnight while you are asleep.

Do not smoke in bed, especially if you are sleepy, but it’s a good rule not to do it in any form at any time. Use large ashtrays that don’t tip over, and soak all cigarette butts and ashes before dumping them in a wastebasket.

Keep matches and lighters in a high place, out of reach of children. Likewise, do not allow children to play with gas powered burners or other dangerous items.

Keep electrical cords out of well traveled walking areas, and avoid pinching them up when trying to keep them behind furniture or stretching them around corners. Frayed or damaged wiring should be replaced immediately, as the threat of short circuit is great.

When using candles, keep them away from any other flammable materials. Put them out when you leave the room and under no circumstances should they be left burning overnight. Make use of a stable candle holder that will not tip over or catch on fire.

Keep lint cleaned out from appliances, and make sure the water heater combustion chamber covers are in place. Mark a combustible free zone 3 feet away from your water heater with masking tape.

Install smoke alarms on every floor of your home and near all sleeping areas. Make sure everyone knows what the alarm sounds like, and replace the batteries every four to six months. Replace any alarm that is more than 10 years old.

Have an escape plan, make sure everyone knows it, and hold fire drills at least twice each year. This ensures that everyone knows what to do when a fire occurs.

The major causes of fire damage each year are cooking, heating equipment, and smoking, and there are thousands of injuries and deaths as a result. Most of these could be avoided. Take the necessary steps to avoid becoming a statistic.

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