Preventing House Fires: Precautions to Take

Burning House in St. Paul MinnesotaThe holiday season is a time for festivities, but homeowners shouldn’t be careless. Fires can be devastating, causing serious loss of life and property. It is important that you take precautions against this danger.

What can you do to keep your home safe? Here are a few simple guidelines that greatly reduce the chances of a fire occurring:

1. Install smoke alarmsYour smoke alarms are the most reliable warning against any possible fires, and will give you valuable time to escape if necessary. Make sure that they’re all in working order, and replace their batteries regularly. Have at least one on every floor.

2. Replace old Christmas lights – Many fires are caused by electrical problems, and this is one of the most common. Are your lights frayed or damaged? If so, discard them immediately. As notes, residential Christmas lights are affordable, so there’s no reason to use old sets.

3. Place trees carefully – Don’t put your tree near any heat source, like the fireplace or kitchen. If you’re using a real tree, make sure that you purchase a fresh one, and keep the trunk’s base watered at all times. When buying an artificial one, look for fire resistant types.

4. Put out candles – Never leave lit candles unattended. Avoid placing them near curtains, books, or other easily flammable materials. A good precaution is to put candles inside glass containers, but this isn’t a foolproof measure.

5. Keep matches away from kids – Be careful where you put matches or lighters; whenever possible, have one on your person and hide the rest in a locked drawer. Children usually don’t understand how dangerous these tools can be, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Always remember, house fires can be easily prevented with just a little diligence. Make sure that you get the entire family onboard, and that you have emergency numbers within easy reach.