Each winter, there are in excess of a half million home fires. Many of these are tragic making home fires the second leading cause of accidental death across the nation. There are many of these fires that, with a little attention to detail and care by homeowners, could be avoided.

What follows are some safety tips to observe to ensure a fire means warmth and comfort and not a family tragedy. As part of a fire prevention program, each household should have a fire emergency plan that is practiced by all residents in the home. This practice should include fire drills at least twice a year.

Dos and Don’ts for Preventing Fires

  • Do not overload circuits. If an electrical appliance smokes or smells unusual, unplug it immediately and have it serviced before using again.
  • Each home should have a handy supply of baking soda and/or a fire extinguisher near the stove. Salt can be substituted for baking soda
  • Never use water on a kitchen fire which can spread the flames
  • Store all flammable liquids like gasoline, paint, turpentine and the like outside the home and in approved containers.
  • Do not smoke in bed or when overly tired.
  • Do not use extension cords other than for short term needs.
  • Avoid placing hay, straw or other materials that burn under the home
  • Keep matches and lighters away from children
  • Make sure dryer vents are clean and remove trapped lint after every drier load
  • Do not have a double cylinder deadbolt on exit doors.

Fire Extinguishers and Smoke Detectors Save Lives
In addition to the kitchen, there should be a fire extinguisher available near the furnace are of the home. The fire extinguisher should be multi-purpose, dry-chemical extinguishers, suitable for class A, B and C fires.

Part of the family fire drill should be teach everyone who resides in the home how to properly operate the extinguisher. Each year, extinguishers should be checked to make sure they are fully charged and operational.

Most fatal fire occur while the people in the home are asleep. For that reason, an operational smoke detectors is absolutely essential to keep the resident’s safe. Each home should have a smoke detector near the bedroom areas of the home and one at the opposite side of the house.

There are two main types of smoke detectors: ionization and photoelectric. Each of which detect smoke in different ways. To be safe, most homes should install both kinds of smoke detectors.
Additionally, homeowners should install a combination of electric and battery-powered detectors.
As part of the fire safety training for family members, a test of the smoke detectors should be done regularly. Part of that testing should be to test how loud the warning siren and whether or not it is loud enough to wake sleeping family members.

Heating the Home Properly is Important
Statistics show that broken or damaged heating is responsible for about 40 percent of all home fires. Ensuring that heating systems are properly working each year before the heating season begins is one of the most important ways homeowners can prevent fires/

Furnace filters should be changed before each season and then checked frequently to make sure they are clean and not clogged with excess dust which can effect the