Room-by-Room Fire Hotspots
These are the top fire-starters in each room of the house. Keep this room-specific advice in mind to better safeguard your family.
Top Fire Starter: Food left unattended on the stove
- Install the smoke alarm at least 10 feet from cooking appliances to minimize false alarms.
- Turn off the stove every time you leave the kitchen. Never leave home if the oven is on or the dishwasher is running.
- Wear short or close-fitting sleeves while cooking. Keep children at least 3 feet from the stove at all times.
- In the event of a small grease fire, slide a lid over the pan and turn off the burner. Don’t move the pan; leave the lid on until the pan is completely cool.
- If faced with an oven fire, keep the door shut and turn off the oven. When in doubt, go outside and call 911.
Top Fire Starter: Cigarettes and candles
- Keep cigarettes, lighters, and matches up high in a locked cabinet, out of reach of children.
- Don’t smoke in the house. Besides being a fire hazard, it’s unhealthy for children and pets to be around secondhand smoke.
- If you do smoke in your home, use a proper ashtray and never smoke while in bed.
- Douse cigarette butts, ashes, and matches with water or sand before disposing of them.
- Extinguish candles whenever you leave a room.
- Keep candles out of the reach of children and pets.
- Never burn a candle on or near anything that can catch fire, and always place it on a flat surface so it won’t easily tip over.
Top Fire Starter: Dryer with a clogged lint trap, a leaking washer
- Scrape out your dryer’s lint trap before or after each load of laundry.
- Clean the lint from the dryer’s vent pipe every year or more often if you notice that clothes are taking too long to dry, or hire a professional to do it.
- Regularly check the dryer’s outdoor vent flap to make sure it’s not blocked by snow, leaves, or debris.
- Never leave home when the washing machine or dryer is operating.
- Plug appliances directly into the wall, not into an extension cord.
Top Fire Starter: Ash residue in the chimney
- Hire a qualified company to clean it every fall.
- Keep flammable materials, including furniture and firewood, at least 3 feet from the fireplace.
- Use a sturdy screen to prevent sparks from flying into the room.
- Allow ashes to cool completely before disposing of them in a nonflammable container kept a safe distance from your home.
- RELATED: Your Family's Plan in Case of a Fire
Top Fire Starter: Portable or fixed space heaters, woodburning stove, hot-water heater
- Install a smoke alarm above the lowest step on the basement stairs to detect smoke before it reaches the ground level.
- Keep flammable objects 3 or more feet from heaters.
- Turn off space heaters when you leave the room or go to bed.
- Never plug a space heater into an extension cord.