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Steps to Prevent a House Fire

Oct 12, 2007
Whether you think that it can happen to you or not, a house fire can be one of the most trying experiences that you can have, but the majority of house fires can be prevented simply by paying attention to what you are doing and using the electrical devices in your home the way that they were intended.

When cooking in the kitchen, you should never leave oil or shortening to heat on the stove unattended. This is the cause of more house fires than you can imagine and it is easily avoidable by simply not leaving the room for more than a minute or two (literally). If you have to put out a grease fire, you should know that you cannot do this with water. Use baking soda or your fire extinguisher, depending on the size of the fire. If it is very small, the baking soda should take care of it. If it is larger and threatens to spread beyond the stove, use the fire extinguisher.

The electrical devices most notorious for starting house fires are used during the winter to keep the house or the people in it as warm as possible. Electric blankets have been known to catch beds on fire with people asleep in them and go on to burn the rest of the house to the ground.

While you may think that you know how to use an electric blanket, you may want to reconsider leaving it on while you are asleep under it. If you absolutely must leave it on, it should be on a low setting. Never leave it on a high setting, especially when it is underneath other blankets. The other blankets will insulate the heat and make it even more likely to catch on fire. Secondly, do not allow pets or children to walk on the bed while it is on it. Walking on electric blankets can damage the heating elements.

Space heaters are another concern for those of us who cannot afford to pay the extra cost of a gas bill during the winter time to heat the house. These can cause house fires quickly, as well, and should be used with caution. Do not place them in the rooms of small children since they often have a number of plush toys and blankets in the room that can catch on fire. An area of at least 3 to 5 feet or more should be cleared from around the heater so it does not catch anything on fire.

Something else to consider when using devices that emit heat is to never use an extension cord with them unless it is a heavy duty gauge of at least 14. Small cords used with lamps and other devices cannot handle the current needed to provide power to devices that emit heat. They will melt.
About the Author
Jim Corkern is a writer and promoter of quality
Miami Residential Water Damage Restoration Contractors and
Orlando water Damage companies.
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