It’s National Fire Prevention Week. The #1 place for household fires is the kitchen so let’s start there with some fire prevention tips:
- When grilling, broiling, or frying foods, SUPERVISE the cooking at all times. If you need to leave the room, turn the stove off.
- When simmering, baking, broiling, or roasting, routinely check on it and remain in your home while cooking.
- SET A TIMER to remind you that items are on the stove or in the oven.
- Be aware of the items on or around the stove like oven mitts, utensils, kitchen towels, etc. that may catch fire.
- If you are tired or at all intoxicated, do not attempt cooking with a stove, oven, or toaster oven.
- Make sure your appliances (especially your toaster oven) are UNPLUGGED.
- Keep a fire extinguisher easily accessible somewhere in your kitchen.
EXPERT ADVICE if a fire occurs:
- If it is out of control, close the door behind you (contain it) and get yourself and anyone else out of the home.
- When cooking with grease, keep a lid near you. ALWAYS smother a grease fire. NEVER throw water at a grease fire --- water may cause it to spread.
- If a fire occurs in your oven, turn the heat off and keep the oven door shut.
Other COMMON CAUSES for Household Fires:
- CANDLES- Use them only in a secure candleholder on a stable surface. Keep paper or other ignitable items away from the open flame; don’t place near an air vent or near wind that may spread the fire.
- FIREPLACES- Have these professionally cleaned once a year. Use a screen in front of the flame to prevent sparks from flying into the room. Designate a three foot “Kid-Free” zone around the fire to avoid injuries. Do not go to sleep without putting the fire out.
- SPACE HEATERS- Don’t keep anything flammable or that may catch fire within three feet of the heater. Have it professionally installed. Turn it off before you go to sleep or leave your home. (Note: Many homeowner’s insurance companies will not allow space heaters to be used in homes that they insure.)
- ELECTRICAL- Use only one heat producing appliance in a plug at a time (coffee maker, toaster, etc). Make sure electrical cords are safely stowed. Have all electrical work professionally installed or repaired.
- DRYERS- Regularly clean out the lint filter as lint is very combustible.
Create a FIRE SAFETY PLAN:
- Make a fire plan with your family or roommates with multiple ways to escape each room. Have rope ladders for upstairs rooms.
- Call 911 from outside the house.
- Designate a safe place to meet outside if a fire does occur.
- Routinely check the fire alarms to make sure their batteries are working properly.
Bio: Elizabeth Green utilizes her communications and business degrees from the University of Alabama to blog as part of the Premiere Agency Network Digital Marketing Team. Premiere is a Network of Independent Insurance Agencies in the Southeast U.S.