With St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner—along with planning the perfect green outfits to wear, searching for pots of gold at the end of rainbows, and contemplating trips to Ireland—we’ve been thinking about luck. Whether or not people can be lucky or unlucky by nature, we’re not sure, but when it comes to house fires, we definitely hope you fall in the lucky camp. And while a generous portion of luck certainly doesn’t hurt, removing fire hazards from your home will greatly decrease your odds of experiencing the devastating effects of a fire: no luck required.
Read below for some fire hazards you can eliminate now to make your home and family safer:
- Make sure there are no paper towel dispensers, towel racks, or curtains placed too close to your stove burners.
- Check the vents of your microwave to make sure they aren’t obstructed.
- Don’t have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen? It’s time to get one in case a fire starts while you’re cooking.
- Make sure anything that gives off heat is at least 3 feet away from flammable materials (both space heaters and installed heaters).
- In the winter, check outlets to ensure there isn’t more than one heating appliance plugged into the same outlet.
- If you have a fireplace, get your chimney checked and cleaned by a professional at least once a year.
- Never leave fires or candles burning, or heating appliances plugged in while you sleep or leave your home.
- Clean the lint screen every time you take a load of laundry out of the dryer.
- Do not put extension cords under rugs.
- Unplug electronics when not in use whenever possible.
- Remove flammable materials located near computers and televisions because they can overheat!
- Keep your grill at least 10 feet from your home and free from overhead structures.
- Put gasoline and other flammable liquids in tightly sealed metal containers and make sure they’re stored far away from heat sources.
- Clear any clutter stored near your furnace or heater.
For these tips and more, visit the American Red Cross’s website here.