© Maxal Tamor

How to Prevent House Fires

October 25, 2017
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Home Living

Everyone sets off a smoke alarm every now and then, but actual home fires happen more than you may realize. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), there were more than 358,500 home fires per year from 2011-2015, resulting in an annual average of $6.7 billion in damage. Here's what you need to know to prevent fire in your home.

Where Fires Start

Home fires are most likely to start in the kitchen, with cooking equipment being the leading cause. Never leave a burning stove unattended, and make sure towels, curtains and other flammables aren't too close to the cooktop. Have a lid handy to help smother potential flames.

Space heaters, chimneys and fireplaces are also cause for concern. Buy heating equipment with automatic shut-offs, and keep heaters away from upholstered furniture, clothing and bedding. And be sure to have your chimney professionally cleaned and inspected every year.

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Smoke Alarms

Your home should be equipped with functioning smoke alarms. The NFPA recommends having one alarm on each level of your home, inside each bedroom and outside each sleeping area. Test alarms monthly and replace batteries twice a year.

Fire Escape Plan

It's also important to have a fire escape route planned in case evacuation is necessary. Walk through each room in your home and identify two possible exits in case of fire. Be sure to set a meeting place where everyone should gather once they are safely outside.

Practice your escape plan and these safety tips regularly. Fire safety is never something you want to leave to chance.

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