10 Tips to Prevent House Fires

A house fire is one of the most feared catastrophes that can befall a family. Fires can be fatal and destroy precious belongings every year (like this one). However, there are some preventative measures you can take that will help reduce the risk of a fire in your home.

It’s impossible to know when a house fire will occur, but they are much more common in colder months. The Red Cross states that the number of home fires increases in fall and winter, with the most in December and January. They occur more often on weekends, especially between 6pm and 7pm.


1. Smoke Alarms

Smoke alarms are meant to act as an early warning system for fires. Batteries in smoke alarms should be tested monthly and replaced at least once a year. Setting up calendar reminders to check and replace the batteries will help keep them in working order when you need them most.


2. Heating Sources

Regular maintenance of your heating sources is essential to guard against house fires. If the gas or electric heater is not operating correctly, it can lead to the start of a house fire. The ductwork of a heater can collect dust that can easily spark a flame.

Portable space heaters can also present dangers, they cause more house fires than central heating every year. Make sure you have adequate ventilation whenever you’re using a space heater. The heater should be kept at least three feet from furniture, drapes, and other flammable materials. Consider using a model with an automatic shut-off feature to help prevent overheating.


3. Cooking Areas

It doesn’t take long for a small stovetop flame to turn into a dangerous fire that can devastate your house. Never walk away from your stove when it’s on. Thorough cleaning of the cooking area will remove food particles from the burner that can catch on fire when heated.

Dish towels, oven mitts, cookbooks, food packing materials, and even low-hanging curtains can easily catch fire if left on or near open flames or extreme heat.

Outdoor grills and fire pits pose additional dangers. Grills need to be placed far enough from the house and away from trees, bushes, deck railings, and other areas that can catch fire from an errant spark or excessive heat.

More on avoiding fire damage from cooking >>>


4. Clothes Dryers

Clothes dryers are large appliances that generate a lot of heat. Regular inspection and maintenance calls will help to keep the dryer working in the most efficient and safest condition. The lint trap needs to be cleaned out before each use.

Depending on how your dryer system is set up, make sure to clean out the ductwork and filters that hold in dirt, dust, and fabric at least a few times per year. Collected dust can get dry and brittle, making it highly combustible.


5. Electrical Cords

We are more connected to multiple devices needing power than ever before. Most modern homes have an elaborate system of power strips and extension cords that hold the cables for phones, tablets, computers, and other products of the digital age. Power strips with power surge protectors will help to reduce the risks of overloading your power supplies.

Frayed cords and cables on your home’s other appliances also pose a fire danger if left unattended. Replace faulty or frayed wires and keep all wires and cords away from furniture and other potentially combustible materials.


6. Flammables

Store flammable liquids outside, away from the house. Common products like hairspray can be combustible if exposed to an excessive heat source. Keep these things stored away from space heaters in a cool, dry space.


7. Candles

Winter is a nice time to light a candle to create a mood with a pleasant scent. Unfortunately, you’re running the risk of starting a fire if you leave that candle alone. Keep them away from things like blankets, scarves, and other flammable materials.

Never leave candles unattended by going to sleep when they’re still burning. If you start feeling tired, slap yourself in the face, get up, and blow out those candles. Your future self will be very grateful.


8. Fireplaces

We all love to curl up in front of a fireplace on a cold Winter night. To stay safe while enjoying the warmth, make sure there is a screen protector to prevent sparks from jumping out. Make sure you clean your chimney at least once a year.


9. Fire Extinguishers

Use a fire extinguisher if the fire can’t be put out by baking soda or smothering. It’s important to keep at least one in your home and to make sure everyone knows how to use it.


10. Cigarettes

Cigarette smoking remains one of the leading causes of home fire deaths. Keeping all smoking outside, or not smoking at all, will go a long way to prevent house fires. Before throwing butts in the trash, douse them in water to make sure they are fully out.

Preventing House Fires Saves Lives

Other than being extremely dangerous, a house fire can end up costing you a lot (like this residential one, or this commercial one).

Following these useful tips to prevent house fires can save lives, your belongings, and your property. If you have suffered damage from a house fire, contact a fire restoration professional to get your home and your life back together.

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15 Responses

  1. Your suggestions for contacting emergency personnel were helpful. When my house caught fire, the first thing we had to do was put it out. That is something I will always remember.

  2. I like that you recommend installing smoke alarms to prevent a fire, as well as safely store flammable. My son just caused a little fire in my house, and we need to have it restored, so we are looking for advice to prevent this, and also hire a restoration company. I will make sure that I start looking for a restoration company, and talk to my husband about the prevention alternatives.

    1. Thank you for your response.

      I’m sorry about the fire your son caused, and I hope you were able to get it restored.

      And yes we try to educate our customer’s and communities every chance we get!

  3. My house is located in a fire-prone area, which is why I’m thinking of having a fire sprinkler installed on my property. Well, you’re also right about the importance of replacing the outdated electrical wiring because this may cause a hazard as well. I’ll also keep in mind to clean the food area thoroughly and make sure that there are no food particles that may cause a fire.

  4. My cabin home is located in the woods, which is why I’m planning to hire a damage contractor that may provide fire protection in my property. I also agree with you that it would be best to have my smoke alarm’s batteries tested at least every month. You’re also right about the importance of regularly check the dryer, especially you’ve mentioned that this generates a lot of heat.

  5. Thank you for reminding us that we should never leave unattended candles in the room. My sister likes to light scented candles hours before she sleeps and although she has never forgotten to blow them off, we still need to be extra careful. We heard that one of our relatives became victims of a house fire and none of them was able to receive proper compensation from their insurance providers. I think it might also be a good idea to talk to an adjuster just in case we file a claim for fire damage to ensure that we’ll be getting enough compensation to cover all the expenses.

  6. Thank you for telling me that I have to keep an eye on my cords and replace any frayed wires that may cause a fire. My sister texted me last night that a huge part of their kitchen had been burnt because of her daughter’s unsupervised cooking, and I’m afraid that it will happen in our household too because of our kids. I’ll inform everyone in our family to be extra careful and I hope my sister gets to hire experts in fire damage restoration so they can resume their normal activities immediately.

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