Many people think that a house fire would never happen to their home. According to the National Fire Protection Agency a fire claims over 400,000 homes each year and on average 7 people die each day from house related fires.
Here is a list of the most common causes of fire as well as some things you can do to help prevent the Kansas City Fire Department from showing up at your home.
Faulty Wiring and Outlets
- Check the electrical cords throughout your home for signs of fraying, and replace all frayed wires.
- Do not pinch or cover electrical cords with items such as rugs.
- Be aware of the capacity of your home’s electrical system. Do not overload your circuits. If you have questions about your home’s electrical system, you may want to consult a licensed electrician.
Carelessness in the Kitchen
- Never leave your pots or pans unattended on your stove.
- Keep a kitchen fire extinguisher readily available and know how to use it.
- Keep your stove and oven clean. Built up food splatter or grease can later ignite when the stove or oven is turned on for cooking.
- If you are installing your own dryer vent, follow the directions in the manufacturer’s installation instructions, using the recommended duct material. If you are unsure about how to properly install the vent, consider hiring a professional to do the installation.
- Clean out the dryer vent and lint filter regularly.
- Lint may also collect under and behind your dryer, so do not forget to clean these areas.
- Avoid using an older space heater, as it may not have adequate safety features. When purchasing a new space heater, ensure it is UL Listed and pay attention to the safety features.
- Do not place a space heater near furniture, curtains or other objects that could easily catch fire.
- Before installing a wood or pellet stove, check to ensure it complies with the laws of your state and municipality.
- Have your chimney inspected annually by a Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA)-certified chimney sweep. Have a professional clean and repair the chimney as needed, especially before the cold months, when you will be using it frequently.
- Use seasoned wood only. Never burn green or damp wood.
- Never burn cardboard boxes, wrapping paper, trash or trees in your fireplace—these can all spark chimney fires.
Steps to help keep your family safe.
- Create and practice an annual escape plan for your family.
- If you have a two-story home get a ladder. It will allow you to escape if you can’t get down the stairs. You can store the ladder under an upstairs bed and make sure everyone knows where it is and knows how to deploy it.
- Test your smoke alarms annually. Choose a holiday, anniversary or birthday to make it easier to remember. The NFPA says that nearly half of fire deaths are prevented simply by having working smoke alarms.
- Purchase a fire extinguisher for each level of your home and review the instructions on how to use it on an annual basis.