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Eleven Tips to Keep Your House from Burning Down

Jun 14, 2008
There are a number of things that could happen to cause a fire in your home, ranging from electrical sparks to lit candles being knocked over. The following eleven tips will help you minimize the chance of this dreadful event happening to you or your family.

1. Make sure professional electricians do the wiring in your home. If you are building a new home, make sure the wiring is done by a professional the first time. If you live in an older home, it would be a very good idea to have an electrician inspect your wiring. Wiring located in attics or crawl spaces can be damaged by bugs.

2. Keep space heaters clear of debris and other items. Even when they're turned off, keep them clean, because you never know when someone (or some thing such as a pet) is going to accidentally turn them on.

3. Keep children and pets away from lit objects. For example, a candle can make your house smell great, but if you knock it over, it can also burn your house to the ground. It is not safe to leave small children alone in a room with any kind of lit object.

4. Watch your stove. Do not leave objects such as oven mitts too close to any hot object. Do not leave boiling water unattended. Also make sure to keep pot handles turned in toward the stove to prevent children from pulling hot pots off of the stove top.

5. Don't smoke cigarettes in the house. For one thing, your home will smell better. But the main issue here is that cigarettes are like little torches that can definitely set things on fire. Falling asleep with a cigarette in your mouth can be disastrous, so don't smoke when you're feeling sleepy.

6. Clean out your clothes dryer vents. Lint that builds up in the vents can catch fire. You should do this twice a year or more.

7. Make sure your smoke alarms work. They will most likely have a button for testing. Test often and replace batteries immediately if needed.

8. Keep matches and other flammable devices away from children. For some reason, kids love to light matches, so it is best to keep the temptation far out of little hands' reach.

9. Keep your stove free of grease. Grease fires catch on quickly and are difficult to deal with. Keeping your stove as clean as possible will help you avoid having to deal with grease fires.

10. Never store flammable liquids near possible sources of ignition. Gasoline, paint thinner, and similar products should be kept in a safe place away from any possible spark.

11. Water your plants. Plants that get dry become brittle and very combustible. This is especially true of your Christmas tree. Christmas trees tend to get very dry, which creates the possibility of fire caused by lights on the tree. Unplug your Christmas tree lights when you're not home. You'll have a much jollier holiday season if your house does not burn down.

So there you have it. Eleven tips to help you keep from burning your house down. You probably already know everything on this list, but it doesn't matter how much you know if you don't think about it. So think!
About the Author
Don Singleton is an Atlanta personal injury attorney and volunteer fireman.
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