The 7 Home Fire Prevention Tips Everyone Forgets But You Shouldn't

The 7 Home Fire Prevention Tips Everyone Forgets But You Shouldn't

By Franklin Mutual Insurance
Posted in Home Tips
On February 27, 2024

Firefighters respond on average to over 343,000 home fires a year, and many are preventable. You already know how important it is to have working smoke detectors in your home and that you should check them monthly. Haven’t tested your alarms recently? Go ahead and do so now!

However, there are so many additional ways you can increase the safety of your home and lower the risk of a home fire. We’ve compiled a list of frequently forgotten ways to help keep your family and home safe from fires.

1. Store flammables properly

From nail polish remover to cooking oil, you may not realize how many flammable liquids are in your home. These items can easily ignite and cause a home fire. In fact, flammable or combustible liquids cause more than 51,000 home fires each year. That’s why taking the proper precautions when storing these liquids is essential.

Check out these simple tips:

  • Keep all flammable liquids in their proper containers. Gasoline, for example, should always be kept in UL (Underwriter Laboratory) or FM (Factory Mutual) approved safety container.
  • Store flammable liquids outside when possible or in dark, cool spaces.
  • Pay attention when cooking as cooking oils and alcohols can ignite easily.
  • Ensure there is proper ventilation when using any flammable materials.

2. Keep firewood outside

Firewood must be kept outside and away from the home when not in use. This will prevent accidental sparks from getting to it. Bonus: Bugs often live in firewood, so keeping wood outside and away from your home can also help to prevent a pest problem. 

3. Give space heaters their space

Space heaters can get very hot. Keep these small heat sources away from any material that can catch fire, such as curtains, blankets, furniture, and bedding. Never leave a space heater unattended, so turn the unit off when you leave the room or go to bed.

4. Don’t overcrowd your outlets


Overloading your electrical outlets can cause overheating and fires. Use surge protectors, but avoid stringing them together. Be sure to only plug in one major appliance (oven, refrigerator, space heater, etc.) per outlet.

Also, periodically check electrical cords and be sure to replace any that are damaged or frayed.

5. Put your chimney under arrest(or)

If you have a working (non-electric) fireplace, then your chimney needs a spark arrestor. A spark arrestor is a device typically made of woven metal that stops large particles, e.g., sparks, from exiting your chimney and igniting trees or other nearby structures.

The good news is - you can easily hire a professional to install a chimney cap with a spark arrestor, which prevents two problems in one.

Related: Simple Steps to Prevent a Chimney Fire in Your Home

6. Get an A on roofing

When replacing your roof, use Class A-rated roofing materials, such as concrete or clay tiles and asphalt fiberglass composite shingles. Class A roofing is considered the highest-rated fire-resistant roofing. With the recent wildfires in New Jersey, it’s now important to take precautions to prevent wildfire damage from happening to your home. 

7. Use flameless, battery-operated candles

Open flames are dangerous. Between 2018 and 2022, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 5,910 home structure fires a year, and it is the second leading cause of bedroom fires. Candle fires lead to 74 civilian deaths, 558 civilian injuries, and $257 million in property damage annually.

Prevent a dangerous candle fire in your home by using flameless, battery-operated candles instead of the traditional wick and flame candles.

Bonus: Create an escape plan - just in case


Even if you can make all these changes and upgrades to your home, you cannot prevent every fire. It is imperative to educate your family on what to do in case of an emergency. Create and discuss a plan, so everyone knows two ways out of every room. Also, create a designated meeting space away from the house. Just like when you were in school, it is a good idea to hold occasional fire drills to ensure everyone knows exactly what to do. Remember: Get out and stay out.

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