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12 Amazing Fire Safety Tips

 While there is plenty of information on fire safety, home fires continue to be a huge problem in the United States. From 2011 to 2015, fire departments across the country responded to an average of 358,500 home structure fires, which resulted in $6.7 billion in damages. While in certain rare instances a house fire can't be avoided - like those started by forest fires - most fires are caused by things that could have been avoided entirely. The below information is advice from firefighters which will ensure that your home doesn't go down in an inglorious blaze. 
 
1. Pile up dead leaves far away from the house
fire safety tips
Firefighters often warn about piles of dead leaves which can easily ignite. They recommend keeping them far away from your home to prevent them from causing a house fire. 

2. Know how to properly put out a small fire

If you ever have a fire in your house that has gotten out of control, the only thing you need to do is call 911 and evacuate as soon as possible. But if the fire is small and manageable - like a small stove fire - there are ways to put it out before it becomes a real emergency. The best way to put out a fire on the stove is to snuff out the oxygen. Ways to go about it is to put the lid of a pan over the top of it or to cover the fire with a very wet rag. One thing you shouldn't do is douse your fire with water as using too little can actually cause the fire to spread. 

3. Always clean your outdoor grill
fire safety tips
Be sure to thoroughly clean your outdoor grill both before and after using it. The grease builds up every time you light up the grill and if left on there, it can cause either flare-ups or full-on fires. 

4. Watch the kids closely

Keep an eye on your little ones. They can potentially start a fire by accidentally turning on the oven or knocking over a burning candle. Furthermore, if a fire is about to start, it's important to know where they are so that you can get them to safety as soon as possible. 

5. Have a “go-bag” ready
fire safety tips

One of the simplest ways to prep for an emergency fire situation is to prepare a go-bag. In your bag (which should be lightweight enough that it won't slow down your escape) you need to have clothing, toiletries, emergency supplies, and various everyday essentials. 

6. Close the door

If you find yourself caught in a house fire it's important to close the door behind you to keep the fire contained. As you make your escape, be sure to stay low to the ground as possible so as to avoid the worst parts of the smoke and heat. 

7. Enjoy Christmas responsibly
fire safety tips

Don't prolong getting your Christmas tree out of the living room once the holiday is over. While it is pretty, it is just a house fire waiting to happen. Within five minutes it could turn ugly fast. It's amazing how quickly a dry Christmas tree goes up. 

8. Don’t smoke in bed

If you smoke, you should never do so in bed or on the couch. The National Park Service says that most home fires are caused by smoking materials that start inside the home due to cigarettes placed near flammable materials (like fabric), so your safest bet is to take your cigarette break outside. 

9. Test your smoke detectorsfire safety tips

It is highly recommended that you test smoke detectors throughout your house at least once a month to make sure they work. Alarms should be replaced entirely every 10 years. 

10. Don’t use your oven for storage

If you leave flammable objects in your oven and you accidentally turn it on, you may potentially start a fire. 

11. Clean your dryer’s lint filter
fire safety tips

An estimated 15,500 fires are caused every year by clothes dryers in the United States. One way to ensure that you don't become a part of that statistic is to clean out your lint filter before and after each drying cycle. Lint is highly flammable and accumulates easily. 

12. Use extension cords properly

While extension cords make it possible to have various electronics plugged in at once, if used improperly these accessories can become a serious fire hazard. They are there for temporary use, though a lot of people plug them in various places and they stay there. The problems arise when you run a cord under a carpet. Cords should never be kept under a rug or through a doormat and big appliances like a microwave or toaster straight into the wall.

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