Though numbers have been steadily decreasing since the 1970s, there are still over 300,000 reported home fires per year in the US. On average, fire departments respond to a home fire every 90 seconds.

 

Accidents happen, but there are also so many precautions you can take to help prevent a fire from occurring in your home. These are some of the most common ways a house fire starts, and what you can do to make sure they don’t happen to you.

Bad electrical wiring

Faulty wiring can be a ticking time bomb in your home. Bad or damaged wires and electrical appliances account for nearly 10 percent of all house fires that occur. Make sure you unplug appliances when not in use to prevent overheating, and keep them away from sources of water like sinks and bathtubs. It’s also important to have your wiring inspected frequently to make sure it is in proper working order.

Overflowing lint catcher

How often do you remember to clean out the lint catcher in your dryer? After every use? After a few uses? It might not be something you always think about, but a build-up of lint plus a high level of heat in a confined space is a recipe for disaster. It’s best to clear your dryer of lint after every use—it doesn’t take much to cause a problem.

Kitchen mishaps

We’ve all had a close call in the kitchen, and mistakes are inevitable, but one of the most important things to remember is never to leave a stovetop unattended and to always set a timer for food in the oven. It’s easy to get distracted and forget about a pot boiling or turkey roasting, but this neglect can quickly turn dangerous.

Blocked space heaters, vents, and other sources of heat

Space heaters can be a convenient way to generate heat in a space without centralized air, but if they are left on for an extended period of time or get blocked by an object, they can become hazardous. The same goes for floor or wall vents. Make sure any and all sources of heat are free and clear to ensure they do their job safely.