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Preventing Fires from Happening

Even the smallest fire can cause massive damage. The best way to prevent that damage is to stop the fire before it ever starts.

Electrical Fires

There are several different types of fires. The first is an electrical fire, caused by faulty electrical wiring in the building itself or by external wiring (damaged cords, improper use of extension cords, etc). Take these steps to help protect against both types of electrical fire:

  • Don’t overload circuits or extension cords. Never plug an extension cord into another extension cord. Try to distribute high-power appliances across multiple circuits.
  • Check your appliances and cords. Look for any damage on the appliance, cords, or plugs. If an appliance starts smoking, sparking, sputtering, or emitting a strange smell, immediately turn it off, unplug, and replace it or have it repaired by a professional.
  • Use appliances correctly. Follow all manufacturer instructions for use, especially with heaters, countertop ovens, grills, and other appliances that generate heat.

Cooking Fires

The kitchen is one of the biggest risk areas for fires. Here are some tips to stay safe while cooking:

  • Never use extension cords in the kitchen. All cooking appliances should be plugged directly into wall outlets, or you risk overloading the circuit.
  • Never leave cooking unattended. Always stay in the room when you’ve got something frying, grilling, or broiling. Absolutely never leave the house with something on the stove or in the oven, no matter how low the heat may be.
  • Know how to prevent and contain grease fires. Here is our guide to grease fires, from earlier this year. These dangerous flare-ups can cause a lot of damage.
  • Never wear dangling, very loose clothing while cooking. If your clothes are long enough that you worry about them dragging in what you’re cooking, be on the safe side and put on something else.

Open Flame Fires

Candles and fireplaces are great for setting the mood, but if they’re not used properly, they can quickly turn dangerous.

  • Keep all ignition sources away from children. Lighters, matches, and other flame devices are dangerous in a child’s hands. Keep them locked away or out of reach.
  • Place all candles on appropriate holders, away from flammable materials. Metal, glass, and ceramic holders are all good surfaces for holding candles. Place them at least 12 inches from curtains, beds, furniture, and anything else that can burn.
  • Never leave an open flame unattended. Stay in the same room with the candle. If you’re leaving even for a short time, extinguish the candle and re-light it later.