How To Keep Home Fires From Burning
North American Precis Syndicate
A few simple steps can help seniors stay safe at home. (NAPS)
(NAPSI)—More than 350,000 fires occur each year and often in the
homes of seniors. In fact, older adults are consistently more threatened with
death or injury by fire than any other age group-but you can keep your home
safe by following these safety tips.
• Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating
• Don’t use your stove for heating.
• Don’t dry clothes on a space heater.
• Have your heating system inspected by a qualified service
professional at least once a year.
• Make sure all fuel-burning heating equipment is vented to the
• Keep intake and output vents clean and clear of debris and dust.
• Inspect heaters for cracked or broken plugs or loose connections
before each use. If anything is frayed, worn or damaged, don’t use the
• Place space heaters on level, flat surfaces and out of
high-traffic areas and doorways.
• Plug portable space heaters directly into an outlet; don’t
use an extension cord.
• Keep space heaters at least three feet away from anything
• Never leave a space heater unattended. Turn it off when you leave
the room or go to sleep.
Fireplaces and Wood Stoves
• Have your chimney or wood stove inspected annually by a certified
• Use a fireplace screen to stop sparks from flying into the room.
• Never leave an open flame unattended.
• Unattended cooking is the leading cause of home fires. If you have
to leave, even for a short time, turn off the stove.
• Wear short, close-fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking.
• Keep the stove top and oven clean and free of grease and oil.
• Keep all flammable material away from heating elements.
• Keep towels and pot holders away from hot surfaces.
• Turn pot handles in.
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms
• Place alarms inside each bedroom, outside each sleeping area and
on every level of your home.
• Don’t put alarms near windows or ducts where drafts might
interfere with their effectiveness.
• Never paint smoke alarms.
• Test them at least once a month and change the batteries at least
once a year.
• Keep smoke alarms at least 10 feet away from cooking appliances to
minimize false alarms.
• People who have difficulty hearing can get alarms that make
low-pitched sounds or vibrations.
• Call an electrician if you see a discolored wall plate, smell
burning, or hear a crackling or buzzing sound from wall switches or
• Never plug two extension cords into each other.
• Make sure all appliances are plugged directly into a receptacle.
• Don’t run extension cords through walls or doorways.
• Don’t cover cords.
• Avoid nailing or stapling cords.
• Don’t substitute extension cords for permanent wiring.
• Have a licensed electrician install an arc fault circuit
interrupter (AFCI) circuit breaker or receptacle. AFCIs can prevent 50
percent of home fires.
• Make sure all appliances have been approved by a nationally
approved testing laboratory.
• Have your home inspected by a licensed electrician every 10 years
to determine if you have the proper electrical equipment.
For further facts and tips on safety, from the experts at Electrical
Safety Foundation International, the premier nonprofit organization dedicated
exclusively to promoting electrical safety at home and in the workplace,
“More than 350,000 fires occur each year, often in the homes of
seniors. In fact, older adults are consistently more threatened by fire than
any other age group—but you can keep your place safe. http://bit.ly/2CDXo1Y”
On the Net:North American Precis Syndicate, Inc.(NAPSI)