Tips to Help Prevent Fire and Smoke Damage

  • Be sure whenever you cook to never leave the stove or oven unattended for long periods of time, and never leave dish clothes or pot holders near the burners of the stove.
  • Make sure to clean the dryer exhaust duct, damper, and space under the dryer to help prevent fire from starting.
  • When using and positioning your grill make sure that you have it at least 3 feet away from your siding and out from under eaves to help prevent anything from catching on fire.
  • If you have a fireplace, never close your damper with hot ashes in the fireplace. A closed damper will help the fire heat up again and can force smoke and carbon monoxide into the house.
  • Be very cautious when you use a portable space heater. There are special gates you can buy to put around them so that people or pets don’t accidentally knock them over and to reduce their exposure to fabrics like clothing and curtains.
  • Never leave candles unattended
  • If you have a live Christmas tree make sure to keep it watered. A dry tree can start on fire twice as fast as a tree that is kept watered.
  • Before starting up your fireplace, make sure to have your chimney checked to make sure you have no obstructions, deteriorations and / or creosote buildup.
  • Don’t overload circuits
  • Don’t smoke in bed, when lying down, or when you are likely to fall asleep in a chair.
  • Don’t let old papers and trash gather in closets, attic, basement, garage, or under steps. If they ignite, flames can spread rapidly. Throw out trash regularly.
  • Keep things like gasoline, kerosene or other flammable liquids outside. Keep them stored in approved containers in areas away from possible ignition sources such as your furnace and water heater.
  • Never discard hot ashes inside or near the home. Place them in a metal container outside and well away from the house.
  • Examine electrical cords for wear and tear, keep kinks out and use a heavy duty cord. Do not let electrical cords for items such as appliances or lamps get wet.
  • Don’t hide extension cords. Extension cords should be in good condition and out in the open rather than under rugs, over hooks or through door openings and partitions.

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