In December of 2000, my family went through a house fire and thankfully no one was hurt.  The incident involved a young child playing with a candle, and since then I have been a pretty big advocate for fire prevention.

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One of the items my parents didn't have in the house was a fire extinguisher, and a decent sized one could have prevented the whole upstairs of the house from being damaged.  The smoke detectors were there though, and they did their jobs.

October is Fire Prevention Month, and I wanted to share some basic fire prevention tips to help keep your family and home a little safer.

Smoke detectors

Aaron Savage, Townsquare Media
Aaron Savage, Townsquare Media

We all know we should have smoke detectors in our homes, but do you have enough of them?  It's a good idea to not only have them on every level of the home, but also in every bedroom.  That may seem like overkill and can be a bit costly depending on how many bedrooms you have, but what is the cost of a life?

Carbon monoxide alarms

These should also be on every floor and in every bedroom, and instead of having to mount two separate alarms, you can buy smoke alarms with these built in too.  Every year there are carbon monoxide poisoning cases, and they can be fatal.

Fire extinguishers

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You should have a decent sized fire extinguisher on every level of your home plus one dedicated to the kitchen, and don't forget the garage.  In the event of a home fire that's out of control, if not to extinguish the fire, you might be able to use an extinguisher to get yourself or others out safely.


These three items properly placed throughout the house can do a lot to help keep the family safe.  Don't forget to change batteries in your detectors every year, and make sure your extinguishers are not expired either.  If you do use candles in the home, of course keep them away from edges of tables or counters and away from anything that can easily catch on fire like curtains.

As we approach winter, also make sure your family is safely using any electric heaters in the home.  Those tend to be a source of many home fires every year too.

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