Ever heard of the Great Chicago Fire? This tragic two day fire in 1871 killed more than 250 and burned more than 2,000 acres. To commemorate this event, Fire Prevention Week was established and provides a way to keep the public informed about the importance of fire prevention.

What are the most common fire hazards seen by local fire departments and what can you do to prevent them from happening?

  1. Cooking

Cooking is the leading cause of home fires. Most often fire departments find these cooking fires occur when something is put on the stove and is forgotten. Monitored smoke detectors connected to your alarm security system ensures that you’re protected – whether you’re paying attention or not.

Avoid cooking fires:

  • Never leave the kitchen when frying or boiling food.
  • Use a timer when you have something in the oven.
  • Always check your kitchen before you go to bed.

2. Careless Smoking

More things in your home are flammable than you might realize. Careless smoking is the leading cause of residential fire deaths. It is always better to smoke outside.

Protect your life and your loved ones lives:

  • Always make sure your cigarette is put out all the way.
  • Put water on ashes and butts before putting them in a trash can.
  • Never smoke in bed, especially not after taking a medicine that makes you sleepy.

3. Portable Space Heaters

As temperatures cool down, we start looking for ways to heat back up. Portable heaters are high wattage appliances and are likely to ignite if placed near curtains, beds, paper or flammable liquids.

Avoid potential portable space heater fires:

  • Be sure your heater is placed on a stable, level surface.
  • Locate your heater somewhere that it will not be tipped over or invest in one that shuts off if tipped over.
  • Never place your heater near flammable objects or furniture.

4. Grills

Fire departments everywhere have stories about homes that have been destroyed because of the grill. 

Even when it’s raining, consider these safety tips:

  • Never place a grill inside a garage, carport or covered area.
  • Keep grills at least 25ft from your house.
  • Always check the propane tank before and after grilling.

5. Candles

From jack-o-lanterns to traditional Christmas windows, holiday decor often involves candles. Candle fires account for approximately 4% of all US fires. While this doesn’t seem overwhelming, over 85% of candle fires could be avoided.

Prevent candle fires by following these tips:

  • Never leave a burning candle unattended.
  • Never burn a candle on or near anything that might catch fire.
  • Always keep candles out of reach of children and pets.

These simple tips can help prevent household fires. Having fire extinguishers and working, monitored smoke alarms, as well as an escape plan, can be key to minimizing damage and risk! Protect your home and family – protect what matters most with Preventia!