Fire Prevention at Home

A house fire is a devastating event for anyone.  Find out ways to prevent this by reading the article below which contains valuable tips on general fire prevention as well as kitchen safety.

Eileen Evans Jankowski, CIC

Improperly maintained or used furnaces, fireplaces and heaters are the number one cause of house fires.

Have your home’s central heating system maintained and cleaned regularly. Don’t store combustible materials near a furnace.

Chimneys and flues should be inspected annually, cleaned and repaired as needed. It’s especially important to eliminate creosote accumulation in flues and wood-stove pipes to avoid chimney fires. Learn more about wood stove safety.

Keep the fire in your fireplace with a metal screen or tempered glass door.

Never leave your home with a fire burning in your wood stove or fireplace.

Do not allow young children to play near an active wood stove or fireplace. And don’t leave them unattended in the room.

If you use space heaters, select ones that have been approved by a national testing laboratory. And check with your local fire department about acceptable types of space heaters… in many areas, kerosene heaters are not permitted in residences.

Keep portable heaters away from combustible materials. Always turn them off whenever you leave the house or go to bed.

A Recipe for Kitchen Safety

  • Cooking is more fun than cleaning, but keep your oven, cooking appliances and pans free of grease and food spills that could ignite.
  • Keep an eye on your cooking. Most kitchen fires start while cooking is unattended. Don’t leave the kitchen for prolonged periods while food is cooking.
  • Heat cooking oil gradually and never leave it unattended. Have a large enough pan lid handy to suffocate a grease fire in a pan or skillet. Never pour water on a grease fire.
  • If food ignites in your microwave, turn it off and keep the door shut to suffocate the fire. Use slotted broiler pans to catch dripping fat from meat. If a fire starts in your oven, turn off the heat and keep the door closed to suffocate the flames.
  • Keep an ABC dry chemical fire extinguisher in the kitchen area. Make sure other household members know where it is and how to use it. Check it periodically to see when it needs recharged.
  • Routinely check coffeepots, small ovens and other appliances to make sure they are turned off when you are finished using them.
  • Don’t operate small appliances near the sink or when your hands or the countertop are wet.
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