In honor of the many fire-prevention education programs and events happening this month around North America , here are seven easy ways to prevent a fire in your home:
1. Periodically check to make your range’s vent hood is operating properly. If something’s broken, fix it.
2. Remove spills and splatters from your oven’s interior. If left alone, this will lead to smoking and eventually, start a fire.
3. Limit use of space heaters. Their compact sizes makes them particularly vulnerable to accidental tipping over. It’s best to keep space heaters at least three feet away from flammable objects and fabric.
Clothes dryers cause thousands fires in the U.S. and Canada every year. The common cause is lint build up that clogs dryer venting and restricts important air flow.
4. Clean out the lint filter (a.k.a. lint trap) after every load.
5. A venting system should be cleaned out from inside of the dryer to the outside vent cap at least once per year. For many, this can be a one-afternoon DIY project. It’s easy with a long brush. We also recommend Lint Alert for gas dryers. It monitors for lint build-up and blockage in dryer venting and alerts if there is a fire risk. But you should still periodically check for buildup manually.
6. Pay attention to drying time. If it’s taking longer than usual for clothes to dry, it’s likely that lint is clogging the venting system. The venting should be cleaned out as soon as possible.
7. Periodically check to make sure there are no restrictions in the vent cap areas (where the venting exits your home). Make sure that bushes, flowers, debris, snow and other obstacles are not impeding air flow.
- Once per season, check to make sure your carbon monoxide and fire smoke detectors are working properly. Schedule battery replacement dates on your calendars.
- Keep an easily-accessible fire extinguisher in your kitchen and make sure every person living in your home knows how to use it.
- Periodically review fire safety basics with children.