One of the best ways to prevent fire in the home is to do a home inspection specifically looking for the fire hazards or preparing for emergency measures in case of a fire. Inspect your home one section at a time:

Living room or family room

  • Be sure portable space heaters are at least three feet away from anything that can catch fire including walls and curtains.
  • Use a metal or glass fireplace screen. Have the chimney checked and cleaned regularly.
  • Put lighters and matches where small children won't find them.
  • Too small or too full ashtrays are no good. Ashtrays should be large, deep and emptied frequently, but only when all signs of heat and burning are gone.
  • Before going to bed, look under cushions for burning cigarettes. Check carpeting where ashtrays have been used.
  • Allow plenty of air space around the TV and stereo to prevent overheating. If these appliances are not working correctly, be sure to have them repaired. In the meantime, unplug them.
  • Check for worn or frayed extension cords or other electrical cords.
  • Extension cords should not run under rugs and carpets or be looped over nails or other sharp objects that could cause them to fray.
  • Check for overloaded outlets or extension cords.
  • Electrical sockets should be covered with a child-proof fitting.
  • Lamp and light fixtures should be used with bulbs with wattage at or below maximum prescribed by the manufacturer.

Fire Safety Tips are prepared by Fire Captain Matthew Rowe of the Hanford Fire Department. Become a fan of the HFD by clicking “like” at the HFD on Twitter at