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Common Causes of Fires, and Ways to Prevent Them

Fire Prevention & Safety Information

Kitchen Fire While Cooking

  • Don’t leave food cooking unattended.
  • Pay special attention to hot grease or oil.
  • Always supervise children.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher nearby, and make sure it shows “A, B, C.”
  • Never use water on a grease fire! Salt or baking soda can also be used to extinguish a fire; or, smother a fire in a pan by putting a lid on it. 

Wood/Coal/Pellet Stoves or Fireplace Inserts

  • Make sure your stove or insert has a “UL” label on it.
  • Make sure your stove was installed properly by a contractor, according to NFPA standards for proper clearances, floor covering, wall covering, flue and chimney.
  • Make sure your chimney is cleaned regularly, especially at beginning of the season.
  • Never use homemade stoves, which are a common cause of fires.
  • Don’t install or use stoves in a garage; they can contact combustible materials more readily.

Candles/Potpourri Burners

  • Burn candles and potpourri only when you are in the room.
  • Keep open flames away from curtains and other combustible materials.

Outside Burning and Bonfires

  • Don’t start open fires when ground and surrounding vegetation is dry.
  • Don’t burn when winds are stronger than a gentle breeze.
  • Always have a strong water source ready in case a fire begins to get out of control.
  • Stay with the fire at all times.
  • When finished, rake through the ashes to ensure that all coals are cooled.

Other Considerations

  • Make sure all outside antennas are properly grounded.
  • Install lightning rods to reduce possibility of fire by lightning strike.
  • Be sure that your home’s wiring is updated and adequate to handle electrical loads.
  • Don’t overload circuits. Breakers trip and fuses blow when overloaded.
  • If you have an older heating system, get it checked by a professional for safety.