Don’t Smoke Indoors

Clearly, smoking at all can make you more likely to develop all kinds of nasty health ailments. But smoking indoors, especially in a bedroom, greatly improves the odds of a still-lit cigarette butt finding its way onto flammable material. In fact, the National Fire Prevention Association cites smoking as the number one cause of fire-related deaths.

Run a Monthly Fire Drill

Everyone knows to keep at least one smoke detector in their home, but when was the last time you heard of anyone testing their fire alarm? The USFA recommends deliberately activating your smoke alarm once a month to know if batteries, or the alarm itself, need to be replaced. In addition, it could be crucially helpful to map out potential escapes routes, and rehearse where household members should go in the event of a fire. According to the Red Cross, only a little more than a quarter of American families have gone over a fire escape plan, so you’ll immediately be better prepared than most people.

Be Careful While You Cook

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls attention to the kitchen as a place where fires hazards can occur. The agency recommends wearing short-sleeved shirts, or at least clothing that won’t leave anything dangling over a flame, while cooking. In addition, you should never take your eyes off food on a burning stove, and it’s not a good idea to leave anything flammable – towels or dish rags, for instance – near the stove.

Be Selective Where You Put Space Heaters

Electric space heaters can be a great way to cut down on your heating bills during the winter months. However, the CDC notes that you should be careful not to place them anywhere near bookshelves, waste paper baskets, or anything that could catch fire.