Preventing Home Fires

Prevention Tips for Your Home:


Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.

Wear short, close-fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking.

Keep children away from cooking areas by enforcing a "kid-free zone" of 3 feet around the stove.

Position barbecue grills at least 10 feet away from siding and deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.


If you smoke, smoke outside. Home fires can caused by smoking materials inside the home. Make sure cigarettes and ashes are out. Never toss hot cigarette butts or ashes in the trash can.

Never smoke in a home where oxygen is used, even if it is turned off. Oxygen can be explosive and makes fire burn hotter and faster.

Electrical and Appliance Safety:

Frayed wires can cause fires. Replace all worn, old or damaged appliance cords immediately and do not run cords under rugs or furniture.

Use electrical extension cords wisely; never overload extension cords or wall sockets.

Immediately shut off, then professionally replace, light switches that are hot to the touch and lights that flicker.

Portable Space Heaters:

Keep combustible objects at least three feet away from portable heating devices.

Check to make the portable heater has a thermostat control mechanism, and will switch off automatically if the heater falls over.

Only use crystal clear K-1 kerosene in kerosene heaters. Never overfill it. Use the heater in a well-ventilated room.

Fireplaces and Woodstoves:

Inspect and clean woodstove pipes and chimneys annually and check monthly for damage or obstructions.

Never burn trash, paper, or green wood.

Use a fireplace screen heavy enough to stop rolling logs and big enough to cover the entire opening of the fireplace to catch flying sparks.

Make sure the fire is completely out before leaving the house or going to bed.

Store cooled ashes in a tightly sealed metal container outside the home.


Store matches and lighters out of children's reach and sight, preferably in a locked cabinet.

Never leave children unattended near operating stoves or burning candles, even for a short time..

More Prevention Tips:

Never use the range or oven to heat your home.

Keep combustible and flammable liquids away from heat sources.

Portable generators should NEVER be used indoors and should only be refueled outdoors or in well ventilated areas.