Safety is a number one priority when people are looking for a place to live. Whether it is the structure, the interior, or the location of the home, a question about safety is one that I hear the most. All of which are important, however I rarely hear questions about fire safety and how to prevent a fire from occurring.

According to the NFPA, in 2016, home structure fires cause 81% of civilian fire deaths and 73% of civilian fire injuries. The leading cause was cooking. Below are tips to prevent fires from occurring and what to do if one occurs.

Where there is smoke, there is fire.

  • Install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors on every level of your home.
  • Make sure all smoke detectors are working properly. Test them regularly and change the batteries yearly.
  • Learn how to use a fire extinguisher, keep it in an accessible place such as the kitchen or garage.
  • When cooking do not leave the stove top unattended if frying, grilling or broiling. Where short sleeves, or tightly rolled sleeves. If you are grilling make sure you are 10 feet away from the siding or deck rails.
  • Check your home for frayed wires or damaged wires and replace them with new ones. Never run cords or wires under furniture or rugs.
  • Never use your stove or oven to heat your home.
  • Store combustibles away from heat sources.
  • Turn space heaters off when leaving your home and when you go to sleep.
  • If you have light switches that are hot to the touch, have them professionally replaced.

Communicate and Plan

  • Make an escape plan with your family. Discuss what to do in an emergency situation.
  • Make sure everyone is aware of more than one way out of a room.
  • In the event a fire does happen, be sure everyone knows to call 911 and to get out of the home and to stay out. Never go back inside.
  • Teach kids about stop, drop and roll if their cloths catch fire.

These are just a few tips on how to prevent the risk of fire and what to do if your home does have a fire. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. For more information click the links below.

You can also download a fact sheet from the NFPA by clicking below.

NFPA Fact Sheet


American Red Cross

National Fire Protection Association