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Home Fire Prevention

Carelessness with candles, cooking, and electricity can lead to fatal consequences. The U.S. Fire Administration estimates that over 3,500 Americans die in residential fires every year. Almost two-thirds of home fire deaths per year in America occur in residences without properly installed smoke alarms. Explain the dangers of fire to children. Never allow children to play with matches or lighters, and store these items in a childproof location.

Take the following precautions against everyday dangers to keep you and your family safe.

Bedroom Fire Safety

More electrical fires start in the bedroom than in any other room in the house. Consider whether there are fire hazards in any of your bedrooms.

  • Keep portable heaters at least three feet away from curtains, clothes, bedding, and any other flammable material.
  • Don't allow electrical cords to get tangled or bunched up, as knots and kinks in cords can cause heat to build up and ignite. Keep cords loose, stretched out, and away from other objects.
  • Always ensure that cigarette butts and ashes are properly extinguished. Never smoke in bed – dozing off while your cigarette is still lit can cause your home to catch fire in minutes.

Candle Fire Safety

Candles are a leading cause of residential fires; nearly 42 home candle fires are reported to fire departments around the country every day.

  • Light candles only if they are in sturdy glass, metal, or ceramic containers to keep them stable and upright
  • Keep candles away from flammable objects like curtains and decorations, and place candles above waist level where they won't be easily knocked over. Avoid using open-flame candles in bedrooms and sleeping areas.
  • Never leave candles unattended, and always extinguish them before going to bed.
  • Consider an alternative to using traditional open-flame candles. Fragrance warmers and flameless electric candles provide the smell, feeling, and warmth of a candle without the potentially dangerous flame.

Kitchen Fire Safety

Kitchens are the source of most home fires. Pay attention while you are cooking to keep a lid on accidental flames.

  • Make sure all the appli-ances in your kitchen are working properly, and plug electrical cords directly into an outlet. Avoid using extension cords, as they can overload the circuit and result in a kitchen fire.
  • Store a kitchen fire extinguisher in an accessible location.
  • Never put water on a grease fire; splashing will cause the fire to spread. Cover the pot with a metal lid or pour baking soda on small grease fires to extinguish them.
  • Keep oven or microwave door closed if fire starts inside. Fires cannot burn in the absence of oxygen, so flames will die down if cut off from an air source.
  • Keep your stovetop clear at all times and never leave flammable objects such as oven mitts, napkins, or potholders on the stove.
  • Never leave cooking food unattended. This is the leading cause of kitchen fires and drastically increases your chances of starting a residential fire.

Backyard Grilling Fire Safety

  • Even the most well-seasoned grill masters need to take precaution when cooking over an open flame. Place your outdoor grill at a safe distance from your house, deck rails, or overhanging branches. Keep children away from the grill.
  • Wear an apron when grilling, use long-handled grilling tools to move food, and never stand close enough to touch the grill with your body or clothing.
  • Keep your grill clean and don't allow grease or fat residue to build up. Remove and empty grease trays after every use once the contents have cooled.
  • Propane leaks, while rare, are extremely dangerous. When using a propane grill, check the cylinder regularly for leaks. If you smell gas, immediately move away and call the local fire department.
  • If you are cooking with a charcoal grill, use the proper starter fluid and dispose of coals once they are cool by placing them in a closed metal container.

About U.S. Security Associates

U.S. Security Associates (USA) is one of North America's largest security companies, with 160 locally-responsive offices providing premier national security services and global consulting and investigations to customers in a range of industries. Recognized for world class customer service, leading-edge technology, and an enterprise approach to risk management, USA offers optimized security solutions to meet specific customer needs. USA is committed to building quality security and risk management programs that are Safe. Secure. Friendly.® The Securing Knowledge series is part of the extensive and growing library of reference and training tools that contribute to USA's award-winning customer service and benchmark security programs. USA's investment in training and development resources is reflected not only by BEST Awards from the American Society for Training & Development, consistent ranking on the Training magazine Top 125, and technology-driven quality management system, but also by the company's leadership team, security officers, and service excellence on a daily basis.

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