How to protect the ones you love from fire

Posted by Gregory Damis - CNHS on Dec 6, 2019 in News

Smoke alarms are great devices that save lives and protect your home...but only if you have them installed, and know how to properly maintain them. Here are a few tips and tricks on how to not only make sure your alarms are properly cared for, but how to prevent common house fires from ever starting. And be sure to check out the last tip on making sure you keep your house and family safe during the upcoming holiday season!


  1. Cook with safety!
  • When frying, grilling, or boiling food, always be sure to stay in the room. If you leave the kitchen (even if it is momentarily), turn off the stove; especially if you have kids in the house.
  1. If you're using a portable heater...
  • Only buy heaters evaluated by a nationally recognized institution, and make sure it has a thermostat control. Be sure the heather also provides an automatic switch that turns off the heater incase it ever falls over.
  • Make sure heaters are placed on a hard, flat surface, and away from anything that can burn.
  1. Preventing electrical fires
  • If you have worn down, old, or frayed wires, or damaged appliance cords, be sure to replace them immediately. Be sure to contact a professional and reputable electrician, rather than trying to replace the problems yourself.
  • Never run your electrical cords under rugs or furniture. Be sure the plug you are using fits into the correct outlet...never force-fit a three-pronged plug into a two slot outlet. 
  • If a light switch is hot to the touch, or the room lights flicker, you should immediately shut off the switch and have a licensed electrician check your wires. If anything you plug in gets hot, unplug immediately, and never leave it plugged in overnight or upon leaving the house.


  1. If you wish to install smoke alarms yourself...
  • Be sure to install an alarm on every level of your home... even the basement! And be sure to test the batteries monthly, and replace them annually (unless it is a 10-year lithium battery). It is best to replace the entire alarm every 8-10 years. 
  • Never disable your smoke alarm when cooking. If it gets triggered from your oven or stove top, you should look into moving the alarm to a better spot in the kitchen area. Some modern smoke alarms have the ability to disable to decrease the sensitivity of the alarm for 10-15 minutes, but this is not the best solution.
  1. Cellphones and laptop computers
  • Many people charge their phones or laptops on top of their couch, or in bed. Some people even put the charging device under their pillow when sleeping, without knowing it is a large fire hazard. When this is done, the device can not dissipate and it will continue to get hotter, which can cause the pillow or bed to catch fire. 
  • The best thing to do is charge your devices on a surface that allows for it to ventilate, and that is not in direct exposure to the sun.
  • Never use a charger that is not meant for your specific phone type, or a charger made from an unreputable company.


  1. Christmas trees- YES! They are a fire hazard!
  • Christmas trees are a beautiful holiday decoration, but unfortunately, they are incredibly hazardous. Some tips for making sure you keep your home safe while having one in the house are...
    • Pick a fresh tree, and make sure you keep it watered! Trees can absorb lots of water in a day, and making sure they are hydrated can reduce the chance of it catching fire.
    • Check the lights on the tree to make sure they are all in good shape. Discard any that are broken, or have frayed wires. It is also helpful to make sure you are using high-quality lights. Try to turn the lights off upon leaving the house.
    • Keep the tree away from a heat source. Whether it is a fireplace, standing heater, or radiator, it is best to keep the tree a minimum of 3 feet away. Never use real candles to decorate the tree.