Stop Fire Before it Starts

These 10 tips on how to prevent fire at home are worth your attention now. They are simple things for you to pay attention to, but the reward is very high. By paying attention to these things you can greatly reduce the chance of a damaging fire in your home.

Home fires are caused by many things, but these are the most common.

Open Flames

This seems obvious and yet it is a risk in many homes. Whether it is a candle or a cigarette, things that are actually burning in your home are fire risks. Here is what you can do to make them safer.

If you burn candles regularly make sure they are on a base that is not flammable so that, if they should burn down, they will simply go out. Also, do not burn a candle within reach of a child. Their curiosity will compel them to try something some day. If you cannot be in the room, put the candle out.

As for smokers, smoking is best done when you are awake in a chair or standing. Most fires occur from smoking in bed, so make that room off-limits and you will immediately be safer.

The Oven

A dirty oven is a fire waiting to happen. Over the years you oven collects more and more spilled food that increases the chances of an oven fire in your home.

The best way to avoid this is to deep clean your oven at least once per year. If you have a self-cleaning oven you need to become familiar with that process. If not, get out the oven cleaner and a pair of gloves and go to work.

Overused Outlet

If you have an outlet that is overused you may be asking too much of the electrical line serving that outlet. You should not be using devices that allow you to plug-in 3 or 4 plugs at the outlet.

When you need more plugs a quality power strip is the answer. Even then, you need to be aware of how much you are plugging into that one power strip. The item will tell you the maximum load, so figure out if you are exceeding that.

The most common use of a power strip is near the entertainment center. That is normally OK since you don't have everything on at once, but if you do you may need to assess the total drain on the outlet at that time to see if you are safe.

Clothes Dryer

Your clothes dryer creates lint, and that lint builds up over time. You already know that you have to empty the lint trap after each load, but you may not know how much lint is getting past that.

Periodically you need to check your dryer vent from the outside of the house to make sure there is no lint blocking the airflow. If it is, remove it so that air can flow freely. This is one of the top home maintenance chores you should be doing regularly.

In addition, at least annually you should remove your venting that runs from your dryer to your outer wall and inspect it by looking inside. Clean the inside if needed and then replace and re-tape the seams.

The inside of your dryer may be filled with lint as well. You will only know this if you remove the front panel. If that is more than you want to do, call in a cleaner once per year to do the job. If you find that it was perfectly clean you can stretch out your frequency of visits.


The toaster is an often overlooked appliance when it comes to fire safety, since it seems so harmless. However, over time bread crumbs collect and they certainly will burn at some point.

The good news is that most toaster come complete with a very easy collection plate that may be removed and cleaned, so keeping these crumbs from causing trouble is very simple. Don't skip that step. Keep your toaster clean.


The fireplace is the one place you want to have a fire on a cold winter day, but the fireplace carries a high risk of fire in your home if you are not careful.

There are two things most likely to get out of control with regards to your fireplace. The first comes from a thrown spark or coal into the room. To cut this possibility, make sure your fireplace is equipped with a screen or glass doors to prevent the ember from entering the room. Also, for when those are open, a fireproof rug in front of the fireplace is a very good idea.

The second risk is above the fire, in your chimney. This is where debris collects and, over time, may cause enough blockage to create a chimney fire. Make sure your chimney is inspected on a regular basis so that you know it is clean.

Stove Top

The stove is an easy place to start a fire if you are not careful. The most common causes of fire on the stove top are with flammable items and flammable liquids.

Keep towels and the oven mitt away from your stove. They are fine for the dishes or removing things from the oven, but they should not be stored near the stove where there is extreme heat. Keep your cloth items at least a few feet away.

When you cook, fire caused by flammable liquids like grease can happen. Don't be surprised, be prepared. Have a proper fire extinguisher or baking soda handy for when you need it.

Light Bulbs

Light bulbs pose a risk of fire when they are near things that burn and they are hot. Incandescent light bulbs get very hot, so you need to be careful about what is near them. Never put cloth on top of a lamp or it may very well ignite.

A good way to reduce the risk of fire from hot light bulbs is to reduce or remove the heat that they generate. One way to do this is to use cooler LED lamp light bulbs instead. You will not only save money on monthly utility bills, you will allow your light fixtures to run cool instead of hot.


The grill is another hot item that carries a risk of home fire if it is placed in the wrong spot. Here are some things to think about when it comes to your grill.

Don't ever grill in the garage. If it is raining, that means you need another way to cook. As safe as it may seem, a grill indoors is a bad idea.

Make sure you keep your grill away from the house. Don't place a hot or heating grill inches from your siding, for example. Even if you store it near the house when not in use, pull it several feet away when hot. A windy day will blow grill heat and flames a few feet from the source, so maintaining the proper distance from the house is important.

Christmas Tree

If you celebrate Christmas with a real Christmas tree, the lights are a hazard for fire. The most foolproof way to reduce this risk is to use an artificial tree, but if that is not your cup of tea here is what you need to do.

Make sure you don't buy your tree too early. A fresher tree is much less prone to fire than an old one.

Keep your Christmas tree watered. You may need to water more often than you think, so check it often and offer the water it needs. This will make a big difference in the rate at which the needles dry out.

Use LED Christmas lights instead of the hotter burning incandescent lights. Reducing the heat will reduce the risk of fire.

Play It Safe

There you have the list of things you need to know for fire prevention in your home. If you follow these 10 tips on how to prevent fire at home, your home will be a safe place to live in.