Basic Home Fire Safety

There are time-tested ways to prevent and survive a fire. Some require advanced planning.

Prevent Electrical Fires
  • Never overload circuits or extension cords.
  • Do not place cords and wires under rugs, over nails, or in high-traffic areas.
  • Immediately shut off and unplug appliances that sputter, spark, or emit an unusual smell. Have them repaired or replaced.
Use Appliances Wisely
  • Follow the manufacturer's safety precautions.
  • Unplug appliances when not in use.
  • Use safety caps to cover all unused outlets, especially if there are small children in the home.
Using Alternate Heaters
  • Buy only Underwriter's Laboratory (UL) approved heaters.
  • Portable heaters need space. Keep anything combustible at least three feet away.
  • Keep fire in the fireplace. Use fire screens and have your chimney cleaned annually. Creosote build-up can ignite a chimney fire that could be easily spread.
  • Use only the manufacturer's recommended fuel for each heater.  
  • Kerosene heaters should be used only where approved by authorities. Never use gasoline or camp stove fuel. Refuel outside, and only after the heater has cooled.
  • Do not use electric space heaters in the bathroom or around other wet areas.
  • Do not dry or store objects on top of your heater. 
  • Never use a range or stove to heat your home.
Keeping Safe in the Kitchen
  • Most kitchen fires occur because food is left unattended on the stove or in the oven. If you must leave the kitchen while cooking, take a spoon or potholder with you to remind you to return.
  • Never cook with loose or dangling sleeves that can easily ignite.
  • Heat cooking oil gradually, and use extra caution when deep-frying.
  • If a fire breaks out in a pan, put a lid on the pan.
  • Never throw water on a grease fire.
  • Never use a range or stove to heat your home. 
Smoking Hazards
  • Do not leave smoking materials unattended.
  • Use safety ashtrays with wide lips.
  • Empty all ashtrays into the toilet or a metal container every night.
  • Never smoke in bed.
Affordable Home Fire Safety Sprinklers
When home fire sprinklers are used with working smoke alarms, your chances of surviving a fire are greatly increased. Sprinklers are affordable; they can increase property value and lower insurance rates.