How to Prevent a House Fire – Top 10 Tips (+ a Bonus!)

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The topic of house fires is by no means an overlooked one. Everyone knows about house fires, everyone has extinguishers and smoke alarms, everyone is always aware of the possibility. But we don’t think quite enough attention is paid to how to prevent a house fire before it ever happens!

We’re Cleaner Guys, a professional fire damage restoration company. We’ve been dealing with the aftermath and cleanup of house fires for decades. In this article, we’re going to go over the top 10 most important ways to prevent a house fire before it ever happens. We’re also including some tips that we don’t hear anyone else talk about!

Table of Contents

Top 10 Ways How to Prevent a House Fire

They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure… and we certainly find that to be true with house fires! Conscientiously practicing all of these tips can save you tens of thousands of dollars of repair after a fire. Don’t undermine or undervalue any of them.

  1. Check regularly for damaged electrical cords; frays or breaks can cause house fires!
  2. Use candles and space heaters only on flat, nonflammable surfaces, away from anything flammable.
  3. Always blow candles out when you leave the room.
  4. Clean the dryer lint trap every time you do laundry; lint is a perfect tinder for flame.
  5. Never use an extension cord for a large major appliance, like refrigerators or dishwashers. It will overheat and could cause a fire.
  6. Don’t run electrical cords under rugs, carpets, or anything flammable.
  7. Keep all flammable items, like anything wood or cloth, at least 2 feet down the counter from the stovetop.
  8. Keep the stovetop itself, as well as the range and backsplash, clean of grease and oil spatters, which can help fire spread.
  9. When you light candles in a bathroom, keep them away from hand sanitizer, hairspray, and all other potentially flammable bathroom products, especially aerosolized ones.
  10. Keep all candles, matches, and fire out of reach of children and pets.

Bonus tip: check inside your oven before preheating it, every time! This is a tip we’ve never seen anyone else suggest, and that’s because it comes from our real-life experience as fire damage restoration experts. We had to restore a home from a house fire during Christmas of 2023, because someone hid the Elf on the Shelf in the oven, and it was turned on without being checked. The photos below demonstrate the damage that came from that one small act.

How to Prepare for a Possible House Fire

While preventing a house fire from ever happening should be your #1 priority, sometimes, you can’t control everything, and it may still happen. Therefore, preparations in the event of a fire are almost as important as prevention! Follow these steps to make sure you have peace of mind that if a fire did occur, you and your loved ones would know what to do.

  • Make digital copies of all your important documents, and keep the originals in a fireproof safe, if you can.
  • Close all the doors in your home at night; if a fire occurs, it won’t be able to get into rooms with closed doors.
  • Have and maintain fire extinguishers and smoke alarms in all rooms.
  • Keep a fire escape ladder or rope in every bedroom. Secured to something that won’t break or move if you have to climb down the ladder or rope that is attached to it.
  • Develop a fire escape plan for your home, and regularly practice it with everyone living there. Designate someone to get any children out, and designate another to try to put out the fire, if possible.

How to Stop a Fire at Home

The first step in stopping a fire at home is to first call 911, or have someone else call 911 so that you can work on putting out the fire. The second step is to use the fire extinguishers you should have in your home to put out the fire. If you want to go the extra step with your fire prevention methods, you can also keep fire blankets or a fire extinguishing ball in each room.

What to Do After a House Fire

If you ever suffer a house fire, once it has been put out, you should immediately call a fire damage restoration company. They are the ones who clean up and restore property after fire damage. No one else has the training, knowledge, and equipment to restore your home to pre-fire conditions effectively. This is not a step you can skip.

What Most People Don’t Realize About Fire Damage…

Something people usually don’t realize about fire damage is that it often ends up coming with water damage, too. This is because water is usually used to help put out the fire, especially if firemen have to put it out. We love and respect our firemen, but the only method they have of putting the fire out — pouring hundreds of gallons of water on it — creates water damage on top of the fire damage! And, if you’ve read any of our other articles in our vast archives, you probably know that that much excess water can cause mold growth within 24-48 hours.

This is why it’s important to try to find and hire a restoration company that does both fire damage restoration and water damage restoration! Not all companies do both.

If you aren’t sure how to find a trustworthy fire damage restoration company that suits your needs and budget, check out our full guide on finding the right service company for you!

If you’re curious about the process of cleaning up and restoring fire damage, read our article about it here!

We hope this article has been helpful to you in preparing your property for a fire, and hopefully, preventing it from ever occuring.

A photo of some of the team at Cleaner Guys, ready to help you with your fire damage.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. No part of this article is medical or legal advice, and may not be used as such. For all serious medical matters, consult your doctor. For all serious legal matters, consult your legal advisor. This article contains Cleaner Guys’ experience and opinions only.

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