page is intended to provide individuals with general information
pertaining to knowing dangerous fire hazards and the importance
of owning a fire extinguisher.
The National Fire
Protection Association overall fire statistics in 2009 reported that 85%
of fire deaths occured in the home, making fire prevention a top priority
in every home.
Here is a list of
some of the less obvious tips for fire prevention, based on the most common
causes of fires:
Cooking is the number
one cause of home fires.
- Keep appliances
clean, and wipe surfaces after spills. Clean stove surfaces and ovens
- Wear tight-fitting
sleeves, or roll them up when cooking
flammable objects, including pot holders, dish towels and curtains,
at least three feet away from the stove.
- Wood and coal
stoves, fireplaces, chimneys, and all other solid-fueled heating equipment
needs to be inspected annually by a professional and cleaned accordingly.
- Assure microwaves
have enough room to breathe, that all the vents are cleared of obstructions.
- If there is a
microwave fire, keep the door closed and unplug the microwave. Make
sure to have the microwave oven serviced before you use it again.
- If there is an
oven fire, keep the door closed and turn off the heat. If the fire doesn't
go out immediately, call the fire department.
- A grease fire
occurs when oil or greasy foods are heated and ignite. The simplest
way to fight a grease fire is to carefully slide a lid over the pan.
Turn off the burner, don't move the pan, and keep the lid on until the
pan cools completely. Baking Soda may also be used to suffocate the
fire. NEVER PUT WATER ON A GREASE FIRE. Water causes the grease to splatter
and the fire to spread. Also, NEVER attempt to take a grease fire outdoors.
It will be too hot to carry and you will drop it, causing a major house
Read more about kitchen
is the leading cause of home fires during the winter months of December,
January and February, and is the second-leading cause of home fires year-round.
- When buying
heaters, look for devices with automatic shutoff features.
- Be sure
any gas-fueled heating device is installed with proper attention
to ventilation, and never put unvented gas space heaters in bedrooms
or bathrooms. Liquefied Petroleum (LP) gas heaters with self-contained
fuel supplies are prohibited for home use by NFPA codes.
- Never leave
space heaters on when you leave the room.
- Space heaters
should be kept at least three feet away from anything that can
- Don't use
extension cords with space heaters. The high amount of current
they require could melt the cord and start a fire.
- When lighting
a gas space heater, strike your match first, then turn on the
- Never use
a gas range as a substitute for a furnace or space heater.
switches, circuit breakers and other electrical devices are the third
leading cause of home fires and the second leading cause of fire deaths.
or repair loose or frayed cords on all electrical devices.
- If outlets or
switches feel warm, shut off the circuit and have them checked by an
- Try to avoid extension
cords. If you feel an extension cord is necessary, make sure that it
is not frayed or worn. Do not run it under carpet or around doorways.
- Never overload
a socket. The use of "octopus" outlets or "power bar",
outlet extensions that accommodate several plugs, is strongly discouraged.
Try to limit one high-wattage appliance into each individual outlet
at a time.
- If a circuit breaker
trips or a fuse blows frequently, cut down on the number of appliances
on that line. In many older homes, the capacity of the wiring system
has not kept pace with today's modern appliances and can overload electrical
systems. Some overload signals include: dimming lights when an appliance
goes on, fuses blowing frequently or shrinking TV picture.
- Assure there's
plenty of air space around home entertainment units such as the TV and
stereo to avoid overheating.
Although some fires
are caused by electrical system failures and appliance defects, many are
caused by the misuse and poor maintenance of electrical appliances, incorrectly
installed wiring, and overloaded circuits and extension cords. Read more
about Electrical Fire
Smoking is the leading
cause of home fire deaths in the United States.
- Never smoke
in bed. Always look under cushions and in trashcans for burning
cigarettes before going to bed. Check carpeting where ashtrays
have been used.
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- Get rid of stored
newspaper or other unnecessary materials. Newspapers stored in a damp,
warm place may ignite spontaneously.
- Install smoke
detectors on every level of your home and outside of sleeping areas.
- Mount a fire extinguisher
in the kitchen, garage and workshop.
- Agree in advance
on an escape plan. There should be at least two exits in every room.
of all home fire deaths occur at night, so fire hazard checks and special
attention to fire prevention should occur before going to bed.
Fires during the holiday season injure approximately 2600 people
and cause over $930 million dollars in damage annually. So, while you
are busy wrapping, carolling, and baking Christmas cookies, take some
time to ensure that you have taken the proper steps towards Christmas
fire safety. Read more about holiday