There are about 385,500 house fires a year, according to data from the National Fire Protection Association. To help keep your residence from contributing to this statistic, consider these four safety tips.


Don’t Smoke Indoors


This might be a tough ask for some, but consider that more than 18,000 residential fires each year are started as the result of smoking materials–that’s $476 million in property damage. So it’s best not to smoke inside of your home, or on exterior balconies, or on porches. However, if you do, make sure that you thoroughly extinguish any cigarettes—and never smoke if there’s even a slight chance that you might fall asleep.


Keep Your Dryer Lint Trap Clean


Keeping the lint trap in your dryer clean can help lessen build-up and the possibility of a fire. Each year from 2010 to 2014 U.S. fire departments responded to nearly 16,000 home fires that involved dryers or washing machines. Along with keeping your lint trap clean, consider only running your washer and dryer when you’re home to supervise them—so if a fire starts, you can respond quickly.


Don’t Leave Candles Unattended


Candles can give your interior spaces a sense of peace and calm, but left unattended a candle that ignites its surroundings can change ambiance to emergency. Each year from 2011 to 2015 more than 8,500 house fires were started by candles—causing $295 million in property damage. Don’t leave a room with a lit candle left unattended, especially if you’ve got children or pets. Be absolutely sure to clear the immediate area around candles you use so that anything that could ignite—things like curtains, books, papers, and decorations—don’t become kindling.


Throw Away Frayed Cords


Over time it’s very common for cords to electronics, like chargers for cell phones, to become frayed so that the wires are exposed. Although the cord may still function, there exists the possibility that it could spark and ignite flammable items in its surroundings. It’s best to replace such cords as soon as they show this kind of wear and tear.


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