Nobody wants to cause a fire in their home, but certain actions and inaction greatly increase the chances of one. Avoid these nine common home fire safety mistakes that nearly everyone makes.


Mistakes With Home Heating Equipment

Mistake #1: Not keeping portable sources of heat a minimum of 3 feet from any materials that may catch fire.


Mistake #2: Plugging more than one heating device into an outlet.


Mistake #3: Not ensuring that your fireplace chimney is professionally inspected and cleaned once each year, and not using a glass or metal screen that’s large enough to keep embers from escaping.


Mistake #4: Leaving fires lit, candles burning, and heating appliances on when you leave home, while you’re asleep, or while you’re in another room.


FACT: Heating appliances, like gas heaters and space heaters, are responsible for one in six house fires, according to the American Red Cross. One out of every five deaths due to house fires, and half of all house fires from heating devices, happen between the months of December and February.


Mistakes in the Kitchen

The kitchen is a hotspot for house fires. Here are more common home fire safety mistakes to avoid.


Mistake #5: Not staying in the kitchen while you’re cooking on your stove top. Most house fires begin on stove tops, and not in the oven.


Mistake #6: Not making sure that items like dish towels, paper towel dispensers, kitchen window treatments, and other flammables aren’t too close to stove burners.


Mistake #7: Not investing in a fire extinguisher to put out a small fire while you’re cooking. If you do own a fire extinguisher, be sure that it’s easily accessible.


Mistake #8: Throwing water on a grease fire because you don’t own a fire extinguisher. If a pan fire breaks out, cover the pan with a lid to starve the flames of oxygen and suffocate them.


Mistake #9: Not making sure that a microwave that isn’t built-in is not surrounded by clutter, and that its vents are not blocked.

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