Fire Prevention Tips for News Stories:
Appliance Fire Prevention and Home Fire Safety
About 3,400 Americans die each year in fires and about 17,500 are injured. You can stop the fire before it starts. Use this fact sheet to learn how to prevent a fire in your home and know what to do if you have a fire.
Stop an appliance fire before it starts:
- Immediately fix appliances or lamps that sputter or spark.
- Keep appliances away from wet areas, especially in the kitchen, bathroom, basement, and garage.
- If an appliance has a three-prong plug, never force it into a two-slot outlet or extension cord.
- Don't let children play near electric space heaters. Keep clothes, curtains, and other flammable items at least three (3) feet away from heaters.
- Never overload outlets or extension cords.
- Regularly check your extension cords to make sure the plastic is not worn away or coming apart at the ends and never use an extension cord as permanent wiring.
- Instead of a simple extension cord, get a laboratory-tested extension cord with built-in circuit breakers.
- Check your wiring on a regular basis. Look for outlets that don't work, light switches that are hot to the touch, and lights that flicker. This could mean there is something wrong and should be checked by an electrician.
Be prepared for a fire:
- One of the best ways to protect yourself and your family is to have a working smoke alarm that can sound fast for both a fire that has flames, and a smoky fire that has fumes without flames. It is called a "Dual Sensor Smoke Alarm." A smoke alarm greatly reduces your chances of dying in a fire.
- Make and practice a home fire escape plan and set a meeting place outside. Make sure everyone in your family knows at least two (2) escape routes from their bedrooms.