51 Fire Prevention Tips to Keep Your Family and Your Property Safe
January 24, 2024
Home fires tend to peak in December and January, especially as families put up natural holiday trees, crank up their heating systems, warm up near fireplaces and pull out their space heaters. From 2016 to 2020, 46 percent of home structure fires and 55 percent of home structure deaths occurred from November to March.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, most home fires and fire casualties resulted from one of the following causes: cooking, heating equipment, electric distribution and lighting equipment, smoking materials and intentional fire setting. Kitchens were the leading area of origin for home fires and injuries, but fires in the living room were more likely to cause death than fires in other areas of the home.
In fact, following a string of house fires in central Indiana in December 2023 – including two deaths in three separate fires in less than 24 hours – the Indianapolis Fire Department urged the public to keep fire safety prevention in mind. In a report by WTHR, Battalion Chief Rita Reith noted that having faulty smoke alarms or items near space heaters are common causes of fires.
In addition to addressing these issues, there are many things you can do to prevent fires in your home. The following list of fire prevention tips is compiled from the U.S. Fire Administration, American Red Cross and several firefighting organizations.
51 Fire Prevention Tips to Keep in Mind…
In the Kitchen
Never use an extension cord with a major appliance. The extension cord can overheat and start a fire.
Unplug small appliances when you are not using them.
Stand by your pan. If you leave the kitchen, turn the burner off.
Watch what you are cooking. Fires start when the heat is too high. If you see any smoke or the grease starts to boil, turn the burner off.
Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove – but not directly over another burner – so that no one can bump them or pull them over.
Keep a pan lid or baking sheet nearby that you can use to cover a pan if it catches fire, which would put out the fire.
If you are cooking and a fire starts in a pan, slide a lid over the burning pan and turn off the burner. Leave the lid in place until the pan is completely cool. Moving the pan can cause serious injury or spread the fire.
Never use an oven to heat your home.
Keep pets off cooking surfaces and countertops.
Stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling or broiling food. Stay in the home while simmering, baking, roasting or boiling food.
Keep the stove area clean and clear of things that can catch fire, such as potholders, towels, curtains and other appliances.
Never pour water on grease fires.
In Bedrooms, Bathrooms, Hallways and Other Living Spaces
Don’t use lit candles in bedrooms, bathrooms and sleeping areas.
Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.