As a homeowner in Oakdale, MN, one of your primary concerns should be keeping your home and family safe from fire. And while fire prevention is certainly about installing the correct amount of fully-functioning smoke alarms and fire extinguishers, it’s also about knowing what causes most residential fires to occur in the first place.
If a fire starts in your home, you may have as little as two minutes to get out and avoid injury. But you can protect your home and family by following the safety rules below, which combat the most common causes of home fires.
1) Never Overload Electrical Outlets
Start by keeping an eye on electrical outlets. Electrical fires are more common than you may think. To avoid electrical fires in your home, never overload outlets with too many appliances. Keep power bar, electrical extension cord, and outlet extender use to a minimum.
Lastly, don’t forget to consider using AFCI outlets. AFCI outlets can be extremely useful because they detect arc-faults in electrical currents within your walls at once and will automatically shut off electricity to help avoid fires.
2) Don’t Leave Cooking Unattended
You should absolutely never leave your cooking unattended. This is one of the most common reasons for residential fires.
In your kitchen, also make sure that open flames and heated appliances are kept far away from flammable materials such as dish towels, curtains, and oven mitts. Keep children and pets away from cooking, and always closely monitor what you’re doing — keeping a fire extinguisher on-hand in case of emergency.
3) Check Your Dryer Vent for Lint Build-Up
Lint buildup in your dryer vents can be another common source of fires in the home. The remedy for this problem is simple: make sure to clean out your dryer vents on a regular basis. Don’t allow lint to build up, and keep an eye on vents when they are in use.
4) Take Care When Using Flammable Liquids
Whenever you use flammable liquids like turpentine, paint, furniture stain, or some other home cleaners, take extra care. Using these flammable liquids with paper towels or rags can cause potential fire hazards. This is why you should never leave soaked rags laying around in crumpled piles, and never put them directly into the trash either. Spontaneous combustion can occur, which can cause out of control fires in just moments.
5) Never Leave Space Heaters Unattended
Whenever you use space heaters in your home, keep them away from flammable objects. Make sure that they won’t tip over as well. Finally, never leave the room when you are using a space heater, and keep children and pets far away from where they are being used.
6) Know How to Grill Safely
Grilling outdoors can be a wonderful activity for family and friends, but it can be dangerous as well. Keep grills far away from homes and other structures while they are in use. Furthermore, clean your grill often to avoid grease and buildup. This buildup can spontaneously catch fire at any time, causing flames that are too difficult to tame without professional help.
7) Watch Candles Closely
Lastly, keep a close eye on burning candles. These are great decorations for holiday events and special occasions, but they’re open flames, which means they need to be looked after carefully. Don’t allow children or pets to go near burning candles, and keep other obstacles like draperies and napkins away from candles as well.
Remember that safety in the home begins and ends with you. Keep these fire prevention tips in mind, and alert your family to them as well. For additional fire safety information and to learn how home insurance can also protect your home from serious damage, contact Andreotti Insurance today.