Spring cleaning is an annual rite of homeowners. Winter leaves behind a mess of neglect…
As a homeowner, it’s important to know how you can prevent fires and understand fire safety around your home.
Understanding Fire Safety Begins in the Kitchen
The most important room in your house, specifically when it comes to fire safety, is the kitchen. The reason is simple: cooking is the number one cause of fires and home fire injuries. Whenever you’re working around hot fires or ovens, there is potential for fires or burns to occur. Keep these tips in mind to keep your kitchen and home safe.
Fire and Burn Prevention in the Kitchen
- Never leave cooking food unattended. While you’re waiting for that casserole to bake or the pasta water to begin boiling, make sure an adult or someone experienced with cooking is nearby – preferably standing near the stove.
- Scalding water, coffee, soup, or any other food, should be handled with care. Do not let young children near hot liquids where spills are likely to occur.
- If you are cooking and must leave the kitchen, make sure you turn off the burner or oven, even if it’s for a short time.
- Drinking and driving are dangerous, but what about drinking and cooking? Alcohol lowers response time in the event of a fire or other kitchen emergency. Are you having a few drinks? Prepare your food in advance or order delivery.
- Teach young children to assume the stove or oven is always on or hot, so they aren’t tempted to go near it. Or,
- have a kid-free zone several feet around your stove so that kids know to stay away. Cooking on the burners furthest away from the front of the stove will also discourage children from reaching for them. Also, be sure to turn pot and pan handles facing away so that hands can’t grab them, or no one can bump into them accidentally.
- Air fryers and instant pots are popular cooking items these days. When cooking with a smaller appliance, ensure that cords do not hang off the countertop, where something or someone could accidentally pull on them.
- Watch your face when opening the oven door or removing cooked food from the microwave. Heat and steam can cause significant burns.
- Clean up grease or oil from around the stove or burners. Excess fat and oil, when reheated, is incredibly flammable. Ideally, stovetops and counters near the stove should be cleaned thoroughly after each time you cook.
Other Areas of Your Home Where Fires Are Likely To Occur
In addition to fire safety in the kitchen, there are other areas of your home you should take into consideration:
- Do you have working smoke detectors on each floor of your home? Hallways and areas near bedrooms are often places that need an additional smoke detector to ensure your family’s safety.
- Test your smoke detectors monthly to make sure batteries are charged and alerts are set to go off in the event of a fire.
- Replace your smoke detectors every ten years. Just like any gadget or appliance in your home, they can wear down after years of use.
- Check for hazards in your bedrooms: space heaters, smoking cigarettes in bed, and overloaded electrical outlets can all cause house fires. Prevent these by not allowing certain items in your bedroom or near where you sleep.
- If your living room has a fireplace, you should regularly clean the areas around it to ensure no debris or anything could catch fire. And as we approach the holidays, it goes without saying: DO NOT set up your Christmas tree near an open flame. The pictures might turn out lovely, but you run the risk of losing your home to fire.
- Check your dryer for fire hazards. The lint trap in your dryer should be cleaned out quite often to prevent buildup. If there is significant buildup, it’s a perfect environment for fires to start.
- Outside your home, ensure that grills are stored away from the building and are turned off and cooled down before putting the cover back on.
- Check to ensure all plant and lawn fertilizers or potting and gardening soil is stored away from where any flames could come in contact with them. Need a smoke break? Do it away from the garden shed!
- Practice electrical safety regularly by ensuring there are no frayed wires or overloaded circuits and outlets in any room of your home or outside of your home. If you see this happening, contact a professional electrician to inspect your home’s electrical system and make improvements. Prevent issues (before they become issues) by inquiring about our Safe & Sound home and family protection services.
- Candles and scented warmers can provide a lot of ambiance, but they can also cause house fires. Never leave a candle burning unattended.
- Create a habit of unplugging appliances when not in use. Not only could this activity prevent fires, but it could also save you money on energy costs!
- Each level of your home should have a fire extinguisher ready to go in the event of an emergency. Conduct monthly visual inspections on these to ensure they’re in working order, and schedule an annual checkup with a professional.
Create a Fire Safety Plan for Your Family
In the event of a house fire, make sure you and your family know what to do. In addition to having fire extinguishers available (and knowing how to use them), install smoke detectors near important areas, such as bedrooms. Many big-box home improvement stores also carry collapsible ladders that can be stored in second or third-story rooms so that there is an escape route in the event of a fire.
Have a detailed plan of escape ready, and make sure your family knows it. Teach your children to call 9-1-1 in the event of a fire, or if they smell a burning smell – this knowledge could save their lives.
Call Dixie, And It’s Done!
At Dixie Electric, Plumbing & Air, your satisfaction is guaranteed. For electrical, plumbing, or heating and air services, our highly trained technicians will do it right the first time, on time, every time. For coupons and discounts on all the services Call Dixie has to offer, click here. To schedule a service with Call Dixie, call 334.328.3570 for Montgomery, or call 334.246.4914 for Auburn. You can also schedule an appointment online.
For emergency service and immediate assistance, please call our 24/7 service line at 334.328.3570.