Fire Prevention Checklist

Most fire deaths occur in homes.Are you aware of all of the fire hazards around you?

Use this fire prevention checklist to prevent fires at home:

-     Don’t leave food cooking on the stove or in your toaster, toaster over or oven unattended. Use a timer, to remind you to check periodically on items baking in the oven.

-Plan ahead & know how to safely & quickly put out a small kitchen fire, if it happens. Never try to put out a kitchen grease fire with water (this will cause an explosion). Rather, smother a burning grease fire/pot with a tight fitting lid (always have it ready, just in case). Buy a small chemical fire extinguisher for your kitchen.

-Clean appliances. When doing laundry, clean drier lint trays after every load. Clean stove ovens, hoods and vents. Replace outdated appliances. Purchase irons & coffee makers that have an automatic turn-off safety feature.

-Have space heaters properly installed, away from high traffic areas. Leave plenty of space between the heater and your furniture, bedding & curtains & clothes.

Electric space heaters can get very hot. A space heater used at home, burnt a hole in our linoleum floor. Use extra caution if the heater is an older model. Use it on a non-flammable surface (like a cookie sheet). Better yet, buy a newer, safer model.

-Night lights can also get warm. Use the safety cover & keep away from plush toys, clothes, curtains & bedding.

-      Keep your yard & garage free of combustible materials like old rags, boxes & papers. Keep materials away from your furnace, water heater & dryer.

-      Properly dispose of old unwanted paint cans. If storing/keeping paints, ensure the containers have tight fitting lids. Store gasoline & flammable liquids in proper containers away from heat sources. Do not store gas or propane in the house.

For proper disposal of flammable materials:

-      Don’t over-load your electrical circuits. Use a surge protector. Always have a qualified electrician install new outlets & wiring.

-      Always use quality extension cords, CSA approved & suitable for the job. Never place cords under carpets. Never use indoor extension cords outdoors & visa versa.

-      Have your furnace, fireplace/chimney or wood stove inspected & serviced/cleaned. Use fireplace metal screens.

-Never leave burning candles or incense unattended.

-      Electrical equipment like DVD players & video consoles can get very hot. Give them space. Ensure they have proper ventilation & keep them away from paper & cloth.

-Use recommended/proper wattage when replacing bulbs in your light fixtures.

-      Cigarette butts lodged in furniture and bedding can cause fires in the middle of the night. Never smoke when sleepy, especially in bed. Fires started by cigarettes, are a leading cause of fire deaths.

-Use large/safe ashtrays & dispose of smoking materials safely. If people are smoking outdoors, use/provide a paint can full of sand to extinguish hot cigarettes.   

-      Install fire alarms on every level of your home. Most victims of fires die from smoke inhalation and not from burns. Fire alarms prevent deaths from smoke inhalation & save lives. Check the batteries often (2x/year is recommended).

Prevent fires before they happen. Reduce fire risks. Use this fire prevention checklist & use common-sense. Stay safe!

(This blog was updated & re-posted on February 25, 2013, due to a large # of recent house fires in the news. Hopefully, future house fires may be prevented)