Take the Fire Prevention Quiz
Do you know what to do if a fire breaks out at home? How can you best prevent a home fire? Find out more by taking this quiz on fire prevention.
Mattresses and bedding are the most common materials to burn first in a fire started by a cigarette, cigar, or pipe. Those materials are followed by trash and upholstered furniture, according to the NFPA. If you smoke at home, take these steps to prevent fires:
- Keep your smoking materials away from anything that can burn.
- Don't smoke in bed.
- Use large, deep ashtrays so ashes are less likely to spill onto furniture.
- Make sure cigarette butts are doused with water before putting them in the trash.
- Whenever someone has been smoking in your home, check around upholstered furniture and cushions, and in the trash, for cigarette butts that might be smoldering.
That's more than in any other place in the home, according to the NFPA. Cooking fires are the leading cause of home fires and of home fire injuries. The main cause of cooking fires is leaving cooking unattended. To help prevent cooking fires, follow these tips from the NFPA:
- Never leave cooking unattended on the stovetop.
- Check frequently on cooking in the oven.
- Keep areas around the stove and oven clear of grease, potholders, towels, drapes, and food packages.
- Turn pot handles away from the front of the stove so they can't be accidentally bumped or grabbed by children.
- Never use a wet oven mitt because the moisture can scald you if it becomes heated.
If a small grease fire starts in a pan, put on an oven mitt and slide a lid onto the pan to smother the flames. Turn off the burner, and leave the pan alone until it is completely cool. Never use water on a grease fire, because that can spray burning grease elsewhere in the kitchen.
The NFPA says that Christmas Day is the peak day for candle fires, followed by Christmas Eve and New Year's Day. More than half of candle fires occur when a candle is left burning unattended near a combustible material. To help prevent fires caused by candles, follow these tips from the NFPA:
- Put out all candles when leaving a room or going to sleep.
- Keep candles away from anything that can catch fire.
- Use candle holders that won't tip over easily, won't catch fire, and are large enough to catch dripping wax.
- Don't put candles in windows.
- Don't use candles in places where they might get knocked over.
- Trim candle wicks to a quarter inch and extinguish a taper or pillar candle that is within two inches of the holder. Votives and candles in containers should be extinguished when there is only a half-inch of wax left to melt.
If you use candles during a power outage, don't carry a lighted candle. Never use a lighted candle to check on pilot lights or when adding fuel to a heater or lantern.