Fire Safety Tips

Fire Safety Tips

According to the Insurance Information Institue, about one in 350 insured homes has a property damage claim related to fire and lightning and these are also the costliest types of claims. Additionally, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), 28% of structure fires ignited in 2017 were non-residential fires. So, how do we prevent fires both at home and at businesses?

There are a few common causes of fires, but we can all do our part to help prevent fires before the first spark!

Prevent Fires at Home



According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), cooking fires are the number one cause of house fires.

  • Never leave food unattended when it is cooking.
  • Teach children about kitchen safety and keep them away from stoves, ovens, and other kitchen equipment when not being monitored.
  • Check out our Kitchen Fire Safety blog post for more kitchen safety tips.


Heating & Fireplaces

According to the EPA, The NFPA estimates that in 2011, heating equipment accounted for 14% of all reported home fires.

  • Keep portable heaters at least 3 ft away from anything that could easily catch fire such as furniture, curtains, laundry, clothes. Check out our Space Heater Safety Guide blog post for more space heater safety tips.
  • If you have a furnace, have it serviced and inspected at least once (preferably twice) a year. Check out our “Puff Backs”: 101 blog post for more furnace safety tips.
  • Have your chimney swept regularly, keep the screen closed, and burn only hardwood. Check out our Fireplace Safety Tips blog post for more fireplace safety tips.



According to, during 2012-2016, one in 20 home structure fires were started by smoking materials and smoking was the leading cause of home fire deaths during that time.

  • A cigarette that is not put out properly can cause a flame, as the butt may remain lit for a few hours.
  • The butt could ignite flammable materials such as clothing, bedding, or flammable solutions.
  • Never smoke indoors, especially in bed or on the couch where you may fall asleep.
  • Smoke outdoors and extinguish butts into closed containers to prevent fires indoors and outdoors.



  • Electrical Equipment
    • Replace any equipment with a frayed, broken, or discolored electrical cord.
    • Only use UL rated equipment, lights, and surge protectors.
    • Never overload an outlet in your home.
  • Faulty Wiring
    • Call a licensed electrician or your landlord if you see any of the following:
      • The lights dim if you use another appliance.
      • You have to disconnect an appliance in order for another to work.
      • Fuses blow or trip the circuit frequently.



According to, candles cause an estimated 15,600 house fires, 150 deaths, and 1,270 injuries each year.

  • Always extinguish candles before you leave a room.
  • Keep them out of reach of children and pets.
  • Check out our Candle Safety blog post for more candle safety tips.



  • Lampshades and light fittings can become flammable if they are too close to light bulbs.
  • Use the right light bulb wattage for all lamps and fixtures.
  • Purchase lamps and fixtures that are UL rated and certified.
  • Position lamps away from open windows where strong breezes may blow draperies onto a hot light bulb or knock a lamp over.



10,600 home fires are started by grills each year, according to

  • Grills should always be used away from the home and any other flammable objects or structures.
  • Only use your grill outdoors.
  • Keep your grill clean and maintained between uses.
  • Check out our Grilling Tips blog post for more grilling safety tips.


Fire Pits

According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission, in 2017, injuries related to fire pits or outdoor heaters treated at emergency rooms nearly tripled between 2008 and 2017.

  • Take extra care if you live in a region where brush fires are of concern.
  • Never burn during windy conditions.
  • Have a bucket of water or hose ready to go.
  • Check out our Fire Pit Safety blog post for more fire pit safety tips.



According to the NFPA, fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires each year, including 1,300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires, and nearly 17,000 other fires.

  • Read the instructions and warnings on all fireworks.
  • Only purchase and use legal fireworks.
  • Only light fireworks outside and away from dry grass, plants, houses, and other flammable objects.
  • Check out our At-Home Fireworks Displays Safety blog post for more fireworks safety information.



  • Install smoke alarms inside every bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of the home including the basement.
  • Test your smoke & carbon monoxide alarm monthly.
  • Replace the batteries at least once a year (preferably twice, you can do it during the spring and fall equinox!)
  • Replace the entire alarm every 10 years
  • Every home should have at least two or three fire extinguishers.
  • Check the pressure gauges of your fire extinguishers monthly.
  • Create a fire escape plan for your household.
  • Discuss fire safety and your fire escape plan with your children regularly.


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