Ten things you can do to prevent a house fire in six scenarios

A free burning fire can double in size every 60 seconds.  Help your family to recognize some of the most common ways that fires can start.

  1. Unattended cooking on your stove top. 
    1. Do not leave the kitchen with food cooking on your stove top, turn off the stove top until you can give it your undivided attention.
    2. If you have a grease fire on your stove top; turn off the heat and find a lid big enough to cover the pot or pan.  This action will remove the heat and oxygen needed to feed the fire.
  2. Use caution when using space heaters. 
    1. Turn off space heaters when you are leaving the room for long periods of time or leaving the house. 
    2. Avoid combustible objects near the space heater; clothing, paper products, extension cords are common items that can ignite given enough heat over a long period of time.
  3.  Have your furnace, fireplace and dryer vents inspected annually.
    1. Keep combustible objects away from the furnace and fireplace.  Often, we put paper products in or around the furnace area.  Over time and prolonged heat; water is removed from various items and allows ignition at a lower temperature due to the dryness of the object.
    2. Dryer vents are another area that lint over time can dry out and ignite with enough heat from the dryer.
  4. Unplug and let appliances cool down.
    1. Items like an iron, curling iron, toaster, can be hot for extended periods of time.  If knocked over they may contact combustible items that can ignite.  Keep appliances away from combustible items and let them cool down on a safe surface or area.
  5. Use of powering multiple items with extension cords.
    1. Multiple high wattage items can cause overheating of the extension cord which can ignite items that are touching the cord over time.  Like an area rug that is put over the extension cord to hide the cord.  This is dangerous because you cannot see if the cord is wearing down the outside casing and the rug may be warm enough to ignite while you are away from the room.  
  6. Always monitor children.
    1. Children are always curious and may begin to experiment with matches or candles.  Keep matches and candles out of the reach of children.
    2. Keep flammable objects like curtains or paper towels away from candles that may be too close.
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Jennifer Blanchard is a Top Producing real estate agent in Basking Ridge with over 18 years of experience. She would love the opportunity to discuss any real estate questions you have.

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