House fires are the leading cause of property damage in the United States. An estimated 350,000 house fires occur each year, resulting in millions of dollars in damages. Check out these seven tips for fire safety in the home to keep your family safe.

1. Fire Safety in the Home: Make an Escape Plan

Create and test your fire escape plan to ensure everyone in the house knows what to do in an emergency. Make sure all family members are familiar with different exits and determine a designated meeting spot outside the home. Practice your plan with your family, so everyone is prepared to exit calmly in case of fire.

2. Smoke Alarms are Key for Home Fire Safety

Smoke detectors are the best way to be alerted to a house fire in its early stages. Place detectors on every level of your home and inside each bedroom. Test them regularly and replace the batteries at least twice per year.

3. Keep Flammable Items Away from Heat Sources

Keep flammable items such as newspapers and curtains away from heat sources, including stoves, fireplaces, radiators, and space heaters. Keep matches and lighters out of reach of children, and teach kids that these items are not toys.

4. Keep a Fire Extinguisher for Home Fire Safety

Learn how to use a fire extinguisher to put out small fires and limit the damage they cause. Read the instructions before using the device and keep it in an accessible location. It’s best to have fire extinguishers near areas where fires are more likely to occur, such as the kitchen and garage.

5. Avoid Overloading Outlets

One of the most common causes of house fires is overloaded outlets. Don’t plug too many appliances into one outlet, and avoid using extension cords for prolonged periods. Replace any damaged wires or power cords immediately.

6. Keep Electrical Appliances in Good Condition

Regularly inspect your electrical appliances to ensure no frayed cords or exposed wires. Regular maintenance and repairs can help prevent fires from occurring due to faulty appliances.

7. Home Fire Safety Means Regularly Monitoring Your Fireplace

If you have a fireplace in your home, have it cleaned and inspected once a year to ensure it is in good condition. Monitor the flue and chimney for cracks or damage that could lead to smoke entering the house.

Following these tips will help keep your family safe from fire. Practice your fire escape plan and store fire extinguishers in an easy-to-reach place in case of emergency. Stay alert and be aware of the potential dangers that can cause fires, so you can prevent them from occurring.

Old House Home Inspectors offers inspections for home buyers or sellers of older homes and historic properties in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Contact us to schedule our services.