Contributed by Paul Seaburn, Catalogs.com Top 10 Guru
To paraphrase a bear who knew something about forest fires, only YOU can prevent fires in your home too.
An ounce of prevention is worth avoiding pounding on your door by the fire department. These tips for preventing fires in your home are easy and effective. They don’t cover all possibilities, so make sure you have good working fire extinguishers in the kitchen, garage and other areas where they can be accessed quickly.
10. Lighters and matches
Store lighters and matches in locked drawers or cabinets and away from children. Make sure lighter fluid is stored well away from heat sources, and keep an extinguisher handy wherever you use the matches or lighters.
9. Electrical cords
Check all electrical cords to make sure they are not cracked or showing any exposed wires. Don’t “daisy chain” multiple extension cords together, and never run any electrical cords under carpeting or rugs.
Make all smokers smoke outside and provide them with a big ashtray filled with sand. Make sure the “smoking area” is free from dead shrubs, leaves and debris, in case a cigarette is accidentally dropped.
7. Power tools
Never use power tools indoors that overheat or throw sparks. Don’t leave power tools unattended, especially hot ones like soldering irons or glue guns. And keep workbenches free from paper, trash or flammable liquids when you’re using power tools.
6. Space heaters
Keep portable space heaters away from furniture, curtains and other flammable items. Turn them off when you leave the house or expect to be out of the room for a while.
Before you use your space heaters each winter, check them for frayed or damaged wires, unstable bases or sparking. If a space heater regularly overheats, it’s time to replace it.
5. Battery operated candles
Keep lit candles away from curtains and other flammable materials. Keep them away from drafty areas and use proper candleholders to catch hot wax. Better yet, consider the new battery-operated candles that look almost real.
4. Flowing clothing
Wear short sleeves or tight-fitting sleeves when cooking. Keep long hair pulled back.
Pay attention to what guests and family members are wearing near the stove, too. And keep an eye on potholders and dishtowels… they are all too often the starting point for kitchen fires that can quickly jump to clothing or hair.
3. Towels and curtains
Keep towels, artificial plants, flammable decor and curtains away from flames and heating elements in the kitchen. Make sure appliances that generate heat (like toasters) aren’t placed under upper cabinets.
2. Pots and pans
Never leaving pots, pans, electric skillets or any other cooking utensils unattended in the kitchen. Pay special attention when cooking anything in oil or foods that are naturally greasy like hamburgers or bacon.
1. Smoke alarms
Install smoke alarms on every level of your house and near or inside all sleeping areas. Test them frequently and replace the batteries twice annually – a good day to do this is the day you change your clocks for Daylight Saving Time, and again when the time switches back.