Good housekeeping enhances fire safety

  • Published
  • By Tim Johnston
  • Fire inspector
There are over 1,700 home fires every day in this country. On average, one home starts burning every minute. Home fires cause death, injury and property damage, yet most of them are preventable. People need to be aware of the careless ways fires start and they need to periodically check for fire hazards. The Vandenberg Fire Department recommends the use of the following checklist.


· Are all appliance cords and extension cords in good condition? Worn or damaged cords can start a fire.

· Are all electrical cords in the open ... not under rugs, over nails, or through the doorway?

· Are all appliances with hot surfaces kept away from things that can burn easily (i.e., paper, cloth, etc.)?


· Is the chimney flue and heating unit cleaned and overhauled before each heating season?

· Are all flammable materials kept away from the furnace or other heat sources?

Flammable Liquids

· Is the garage kept free of oil, paint and grease?

· Are flammable liquids stored in Underwriters Laboratory (UL) approved metal safety cans outside the house?

· Do you know never to use gasoline to clean?

· When you use flammable liquids, do you use them in well-ventilated area away from heat sources?


· Are accumulations of old furniture, newspapers, books and magazines kept to a minimum?


· Is the area around the outside of your house kept free of rubbish and dry leaves?

· Is the barbecue grill kept away from combustibles and where it will not tip over on anyone?

· Do you always wait for motors (lawn mower, mini-bike, etc.) to cool down before refueling them?

Matches and Careless Smoking

· Are plenty of large, deep ashtrays kept where people smoke?

· Do you make certain that all smoking materials are cold before disposing of them?

· Are matches kept out of the reach and sight of young children?

· Do you ever smoke while in bed?


· Do you know never to wear loose-fitting clothing near the stove?

· Are cooking appliance cords kept up on the counter, out of reach of children?

· Are young children kept away from cooking areas?

· Are cooking areas kept clean from grease?

· Do you know never to use water or flour on a grease fire? Use the lid to the pan, baking soda, or a fire extinguisher.

If you have any questions concerning fire prevention, call the fire prevention office at 606-4680.