If you think a house fire can’t happen to you, consider what happened at the Rolling Meadows fire station. A March fire on the roof of Station 16 caused by a contractor shows the importance of taking preventive action to reduce your risk of a fire. Keep reading to learn more about how to keep your home safe.
1. Be Careful While Cooking
Stoves are one of the most common starting points for fires in Illinois. Stove fires range from forgotten food left on the burner as you complete other chores to items left on a hot stove slowly igniting.
If the fire happens while you’re cooking, remember that you should never try to use water to put it out. Water can actually spread and intensify fires fueled by cooking oil, fats, or other greases. Instead, use the frying pan lid to smother the flames, or use a fire extinguisher specially designed for kitchen grease fires.
When you have finished cooking, be sure to keep your stovetop completely clear. Towels, crumbs, pizza boxes, and other flammables can slowly combust on a hot stove or if you mistakenly didn’t turn the stove all the way off.
2. Be Wary of Portable Heaters
Portable heaters can make a chilly room toasty without cranking up your thermostat for your entire house, but they’re one of the riskier heating methods. Fires frequently happen when a portable heater is left too close to flammables, including rugs and furniture, or is knocked over into something.
Never run a portable heater unattended, and only use newer models with safety switches that cut the power when they’re tipped over.
3. Keep Your Electric Outlets Safe
Always avoid overloading your circuits and individual outlets. If your circuit breaker keeps tripping or you can’t plug everything in without multiple power strips, it’s time to have an electrician add outlets.
You should also consider upgrading to GFCI and AFCI outlets. GFCI outlets reduce the risks of shocks from outlets near water such as bathrooms, kitchens, or outdoors. AFCI outlets reduce the risk of fires when outlets are overloaded and overheat.
4. Be Smart With Candles
Candles can leave a nice scent or make a pretty decoration, but if you’ve lit a candle, you already have a fire in your home. To keep it from spreading, never leave a candle burning in an unattended room and especially never when you’re sleeping.
5. Clean Your Dryer Vent
Even if you clean your lint trap after every load, you’re not getting all of the lint out. Lint still sneaks by and builds up in your vent over time.
To reduce the risk of this lint catching on fire, clean your dryer vent from your dryer to outside at least once per year.
6. Keep Your Outdoor Cooking Outside
Placing your grill too close to your home could melt your siding or allow embers to drift onto flammable surfaces. Always keep your grill at least ten feet from your home.
Also, regularly clean your grill to avoid grease buildups that could ignite a larger fire than you intended.
7. Handle Flammable Liquids With Care
To prevent flammable liquids from catching on fire, store them only in approved containers in a cool, dry space away from heat sources. This includes avoiding piles of rags that have been soaked in flammable liquids.
To learn more about fire prevention or what kind of insurance coverage you have to help you if a fire does happen, contact AFI Insurance today.