Fires are likely to start in many places in the home including the kitchen, living room, bedroom and storage areas such as, the attic, basement, workroom or storeroom. Causes of fire include overheated or overloaded electrical wire, cigarette ashes, overturned candles, sparks from the fireplace, unattended outdoor fires and barbecues, appliances in poor repair and unattended cooking in the kitchen.
By taking the time to do a fire safety inspection, you´ll reduce your family´s risk of being harmed in a home fire.
Never leave cooking food on the stovetop unattended, and keep a close eye on food cooking inside the oven.
Check the cords on all appliances. If the cords are worn or frayed, have the appliance repaired or replaced.
Make sure appliance cords are kept on the counter to prevent them from being pulled down by young children.
Don't overload the outlets. As an added precaution, avoid plugging more than one high-wattage appliance into a single receptacle.
Don't store items over the stove. People get burned while reaching.
Turn pot handles towards the back of the stove, so children can't pull the pots down.
Wear tight sleeves when cooking. Loose-fitting garments can catch fire.
Check to see if curtains or towel racks are close to the stove.
Check to see if the stove and oven are clean of grease and oil.
Be sure a fire extinguisher is placed in the kitchen.
All cleaning products and other chemicals should be stored out of the reach of young children, not under the sink.
Cleaning products and other chemicals also should be stored separately from foods.
Be sure microwave ovens have room to "breathe," all the vents are cleared of obstructions.
Living Room or Family Room
Be sure portable space heaters are at least three feet away from anything that can catch fire including walls and curtains. Always make sure to turn heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
Use a metal or glass fireplace screen. Have the chimney checked and cleaned regularly.
Put lighters and matches where small children won't find them, preferably in a locked cabinet.
Too small or too full ashtrays are no good. Ashtrays should be large, deep and emptied frequently, but only when all signs of heat and burning are gone.
Before going to bed, look under cushions for burning cigarettes. Check carpeting where ashtrays have been used.
Allow plenty of air space around the TV and stereo to prevent overheating. If these appliances are not working correctly, be sure to have them repaired. In the meantime, unplug them.
Check for worn or frayed extension cords or other electrical cords. Have the damaged cords replaced.
Extension cords should not run under rugs and carpets or be looped over nails or other sharp objects that could cause them to fray.
Check for overloaded outlets or extension cords.
Electrical sockets should be covered with a child-proof fitting.
Lamp and light fixtures should be used with bulbs with wattage at or below maximum prescribed by the manufacturer.
Check for overloaded extension cords and outlets.
Don't place or use any appliances near water.
To reduce the risk of electrical shock, install GFCIs (ground-fault circuit-interrupters). GFCIs shut off faulty electrical circuits and equipment more quickly than conventional fuses or circuit breakers. The devices are inexpensive and can be hard-wired into your home's electrical system by a professional electrician.
Make sure all medicines and cosmetics are kept out of the reach of small children.
Install safety latches on drawers, cupboards and medicine cabinets if the home has small children.
Dump old or outdated medicine into the toilet and flush immediately.
Smoke detectors should be tested regularly to be sure they are functioning correctly.
Have a working flashlight next to each bed.
Again, check for overloaded outlets, extension cords and heaters that are too close to combustible items.
Each member of the family should know what to do in the event of a fire.
Do all family members know the fire escape plan? Plan two escapes from each bedroom in case of a fire.
If you smoke, DO NOT smoke in bed.
Basement, Garage and Storage
Liquids like gasoline, kerosene, and propane are highly flammable. Make sure to store these liquids outside the home in a properly ventilated shed or garage. Store them only in small quantities and in their original containers or in safety containers.
Don't use flammable liquids near heat, a pilot light or while smoking.
Have heating equipment checked yearly.
If a fuse blows, find the problem. Be sure to replace a fuse with one the correct size.
Don't store items near the furnace or heater.
Get rid of stored newspaper or other rubbish. Newspapers stored in a damp, warm place may ignite spontaneously.
Oily, greasy rags should be kept in labeled and sealed non-glass containers, preferably metal.
Keep all chemicals, paints, etc. in their original containers.
Set your water heater at 130 degrees Fahrenheit
Is your roof fire retardant? Roofing material, whether it is asphalt shingle, shake shingle, tile or slate can be treated with fire retardant processes.
Don't ever use gasoline on a grill. Once the fire has been started, never use lighter fluid or gasoline.
Move the lawnmower away from gasoline fumes before starting. Allow the engine to cool before refueling