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Reducing Fire Sources in and Around Your Home

Many fire hazards are hiding in plain sight throughout your home, disguised as harmless, everyday necessities. As Fire Prevention Week wraps up, let’s learn which mistakes could lead to a house fire and which habits to create instead.

Keep the roof and gutters clear of debris.

If you have debris up there, it can catch on fire, even if your roof is made of flame-resistant materials. Cleaning out your gutters regularly is a good idea.  Also, have your chimney cleaned once a year to check for soot buildup.

Check the overhead power lines. 

If you have power lines above your home, make sure they can’t be brought down by tree limbs. All tree limbs should be kept trimmed back from the power line. Look for limbs that hang above your power lines or that are starting to grow between the power lines. Most power companies will come and trim the trees for you.

Tidy up like Marie Kondo.

The more stuff you have in your home, the easier it is for a fire to spread. Make sure you’re only keeping the stuff that is useful to you. For instance, if you have clothes you haven’t worn in a year, it’s time to donate them. Spark joy, not fires! 

Take out candles. 

Candles can be a fire hazard, as their flame can spread to fabrics or something could fall on top of it. Try using oil diffusers instead.

Clean out your dryer lint. 

Lint is one of the leading causes of fires in the home. Therefore, make sure you clean it out after every load.

Watch out for plugs. 

If you’re constantly blowing a fuse, you either have something wrong with your electrical system or you are overloading your outlet. Try putting less on that outlet, and if you still have a problem, you need to call an electrician, as bad electrical systems can lead to fires. Also, don’t run cords under rugs and don’t daisy-chain your power strips/extension cords together.

Get rid of any suspect appliances. 

If an appliance makes funny noises, or smells funny, it means it’s time to replace it. Faulty appliances could lead to fires in your home by sending out sparks that start a fire.

Check for a safe distance. 

Light bulbs in lamps and nightlights can get hot enough to set things on fire. Make sure nothing is too close to the bulb part of a lamp, particularly fabric from bed sheets or curtains.

Update your space heaters. 

Space heaters can be dangerous. Keep anything flammable away from a heater, and make sure that the heater is not in a place where it could be knocked over. Update your old heater with an appliance offering safety features (such as overheat protection or an internal switch that automatically shuts off the appliance if the heater is accidentally tipped over).

Picture of Anne-Marie Grantham

Anne-Marie Grantham

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