Home Fire Prevention and Safety Tips

It’s important to know how to prevent fires and be prepared in the event of a home fire to protect yourself and loved ones. 

Did you know? The leading cause of home fires is cooking. 

Preventing and distinguishing home cooking fires: 
   • Never leave food on the stove unattended.  
   • Keep combustible items away from the stove like pot holders and recipe books.
   • If something on the stove does catch fire, turn off the stove, then slide a lid or cookie sheet on top of the pan to smother the fire.
   • Grease fires are extremely dangerous and burn very hot, easily igniting combustibles and cabinets.
   • NEVER use water on a grease fire or attempt to take the burning pan outside.
   • Use salt, baking soda or a Type K fire extinguisher to extinguish grease fires. 

Use specific fire extinguishers for different types of fires: 
   • A Type: Combustible material such as paper and wood.
   • B Type:  Flammable liquid or gas.
   • C Type: Electrical fires.
   • K Type: Grease fires – typically used in restaurants. 

If you have any doubts that you can’t contain a fire, get out of the house immediately, close the door, and call 911. It only takes five minutes for a kitchen to be fully engulfed in flames.

Additional leading causes of home fires 
   •  Smoking. 
People have been known to put cigarettes out in flower pots on decks, only to have the potting soil or mulch slowly catch fire. 

   •  Candles and electrical faults.
Burning candles in bedrooms where people fall asleep is another danger. Keep candles at least 12 inches away from combustibles such as bedding, paper, books, and upholstered furniture.

   • Children and pets.
Children are curious about fire so explain the dangers of fire early. Pets, especially cats have been known to knock over a candle. Use flashlights and other lighting options rather than candles. 

  •  Fire alarms.
The best way to keep you and your family safe is to have working smoke detectors on every level of your home and in your bedrooms. Test alarms once a month and never “borrow” a battery from a smoke alarm.  

  •  Escape Routes
If you have a second story, invest in a hanging ladder and make sure all family members know how to use it if the stairway isn’t an escape option.

  •   Have a plan and practice regular fire drills.  
What are the options to escape if the main escape is blocked?  Where will you all meet once out of the home? A fire drill goal should be to get everyone out of the house in two minutes or less.

For more information about home fire preparedness visit https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/fire/home-fire-preparedness.html