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7 Ways to Reduce Your Chances of a Home Fire

Resideo Offers Tips to Help Prevent a Fire in Your Home

Updated 10/1/2022

Let's talk about fire safety and fire prevention. Fire is one of the biggest dangers in a home, and a few simple but crucial preventative measures can help you and your family greatly reduce the risk of a fire.

  1. Keep an eye on the kitchen. The number one cause of home fires is unattended cooking. According to the National Fire Protection Association, U.S. fire departments respond to an estimated average of 172,100 fires that start in the kitchen. That’s an average of 471 kitchen fires a day: the peak times are during November and December holidays. To help avoid kitchen fires, watch what you cook, especially deep fryers and other frying equipment. To prevent a fire from spreading, keep a fire extinguisher nearby to help contain a small fire. As an added level of precaution, keep children and pets away from stoves and ovens.

  2. Detect it early. Detect it early. Smoke detectors offer an early warning that can help give you enough time to escape in the event of a home fire emergency. Install smoke alarms on every level and in every bedroom and test them regularly. Change the batteries at least twice a year or upgrade to 10-year sealed battery alarms to help eliminate the need for battery replacements for a decade.

  3. Stay safe if you smoke. It’s the leading cause of deaths in home fires. Smoldering cigarettes and ashes can easily burst into flame when they come in contact with flammable materials, like furniture and carpeting. It’s best to never smoke in the home, but if you do, make sure you put smoking materials all the way out. One key aspect of fire prevention is to never smoke in bed where you could easily fall asleep and set fire to your bed. Be especially careful with smoking on exterior balconies and open porches where 18% of all smoking-related fires start.

  4. Avoid using space heaters. Heating equipment is the second leading cause of death in home fires. Avoid using them, if possible, but if you do use heaters, never leave them unattended while they are on. Also, plug them directly to the wall outlet. Extension cords and power strips are not meant to be used permanently – especially for heating equipment.

  5. Clean the laundry room. Washers and dryers are another area of the home you can keep an eye on to improve your home fire safety. The vast majority (92%) of laundry room fires start in the dryer, where dust, fiber and lint get trapped. It’s important to clean out the dryer lint trap every single time you use it. Also, regularly clean all vents to maintain proper ventilation. Fires can also start in a washer because of failing equipment, including wire or cable insulation, appliance casing or the drive belt. Keep your washer maintained to help avoid a fire. It’s also recommended that you only run your washer and dryer when you are home.

  6. Keep electrical outlets safe. As you add technology, chargers and lights to your rooms, make sure you don’t overload electrical circuits. Keep a look out for a frayed cord or an outlet with too many electronic cords plugged into an outlet or extension cord, which could be a fire risk. And don’t put extension cords under rugs – walking on them can cause them to fray.

  7. Curb sources of flame. Candles, lighters and matches can be a big temptation for kids who want to play with them. It’s recommended to replace all candles with flameless, battery operated candles to keep your children (and pets) from coming in contact with open flames. Learn more about candle hazards. Keep lighters and matches stored where children can’t reach.

Home fire prevention is just one important part of home fire safety. First Alert encourages families to practice whole home safety and install systems you can trust. Learn more at