Man on a ladder installing a smoke alarm

Preventing House Fires

House fires can happen in any home at any time and that can be a scary thought. But, there are several things you can do to help prevent house fires and keep your family safe. Here’s where to watch for fire hazards and tips to prevent them.

In Your Kitchen
Be alert and monitor cooking at all times, especially if you’re using grease or lots of cooking oil. Turn off your range if you leave the kitchen, even for a short time. It’s also a good idea to regularly clean areas where spills occur and grease builds up (like around burners, in the oven and inside the range hood). If you have a range hood filter, regularly change or clean it. Keep flammable objects away from your range or oven.

Outlets and Cords
To help prevent electrical failures and malfunctions, limit the number of items plugged into a single outlet and limit the use of power strips. High-wattage appliances should be the only thing plugged into a single receptacle. Avoid running cords under carpets and make certain that furniture is not resting on top of any cords. Watch out for crimped or frayed cords and unplug and replace them as soon as you notice a problem. If you suspect there’s an electrical issue within your home, call a licensed professional to check it out.

In the Laundry Room
Clothes dryers are a common source of fires. For many people it is second nature to clean the lint trap before drying each load of laundry. You should also regularly vacuum the lint trap to remove any buildup. Clean your dryer ducting and vent annually.

Space Heaters
While space heaters may be convenient, be sure to use them safely. Only use a space heater that has a safety guard around the heating area and one that has an automatic shutoff feature if it’s tipped over. Never leave it on when you’re not at home or when you’re sleeping, and keep them away from flammable objects.

Be sure to properly maintain your chimney to avoid chimney fires. The Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends that chimneys, fireplaces and vents be inspected annually and cleaned or repaired, if necessary. Homes heated with gas furnaces should also be inspected for blockages or other debris.

While they can add ambience, be sure to blow them out whenever you leave the room or before you fall asleep. Keep candles away from flammable objects and place them where they can’t be knocked over by children or pets.

Maintain Smoke Detectors
Your home's smoke detectors are constantly on guard to alert you about fires. But, they're worthless if they have dead batteries or are not connected properly. Check with your local fire marshal for installation requirements. For your safety, never disconnect the smoke detectors, and test them at least twice a year. Replace the batteries once a year and the detector units every 10 years (or sooner if you discover a problem).

Install Fire Extinguishers
Fire extinguishers can contain small fires before they get out of hand. Install one on every floor in your home, particularly near the kitchen and garage where fires are most likely to occur. There are different kinds of fire extinguishers, so make sure to get some that can fight a variety of fires. Know how to use your fire extinguisher, too, but if the fire is spreading fast, exit the house and dial 911.

Learn more about how insurance can protect your home, condo or rental property and how you can save with discounts for things like having protective devices and a newer roof.

Call Plymouth Rock at 855-993-4470 or find a local agent for more information about preventing house fires.

Plymouth Rock Assurance does not issue Massachusetts or Connecticut home insurance policies. Home insurance for those states is written by our affiliate, Bunker Hill Insurance, a separate company. Each company is financially responsible only for its own insurance products. Actual coverage is subject to the policy as issued by each separate company. See the Bunker Hill Insurance website for more details.