It can take only 30 seconds for a small flame to turn into a giant fire, so it’s essential to prevent fires before they turn into fatal incidents. Below are some fire safety tips to keep in mind to help keep your home and family free of fire danger.

1. Fix Electrical Hazards in the Home

Over 50,000 fires are caused annually by electrical issues in the home. Many of these fires could have been prevented by proper electrical maintenance. Inspect your home’s wiring and outlets regularly to ensure they are not overloaded or damaged. If you notice any frayed wires, immediately replace them. If you live in an older home, consider having a professional electrician come and inspect the wiring to ensure it meets current safety standards.

2. Never Leave Cooking Unattended

In addition to electrical hazards, another common cause of home fires is cooking. Suppose you must go to the kitchen while cooking. Turn off the stove first. Never leave food unattended on the stove, as it only takes a few seconds for a fire to start. Keeping the area around your stove clean and free of combustible materials such as paper towels or potholders is also essential.

3. Be Careful with Candles

Candles may make your home smell nice, but they can also be a fire hazard. Never leave candles unattended; keep them away from flammable materials such as curtains or furniture. If you’re going out of the house for an extended period, it’s best to blow out all candles before you leave. Almost 20% of emergency visits in the United States involve an injury, so keep this in mind if you think candles can’t hurt you. Severe burns can result from coming into contact with a hot candle flame.

4. Don’t Overload Outlets

As mentioned, overloaded outlets are one of the leading causes of electrical fires in the home. Be sure not to plug too many devices into one outlet, as this can cause a dangerous heat buildup. If you frequently find yourself needing to use multiple extension cords or power strips, it’s a good idea to have additional outlets installed by a professional electrician.

5. Clean Your Dryer Vent

Another leading cause of home fires is the buildup of lint in dryer vents. This lint can catch fire easily, so it’s essential to clean your vent regularly. You can do this yourself with a vacuum or by hiring a professional. Be sure to clean the lint trap in your dryer after each use. While you’re cleaning your dryer vent, consider cleaning around the home. A cluttered home is more likely to catch fire than a clean one. Regularly declutter your home, and dispose of combustible materials such as newspapers or magazines. If you have any excess clutter, consider renting a storage unit to keep it in.

6. Keep Your Home Fireplace Clean

If you have a fireplace in your home, keeping it clean and free of debris is essential. Have the chimney inspected and cleaned at least once a year by a professional. Before lighting a fire, be sure the flue is open to allow smoke to escape. Never leave a fire unattended, and make sure the embers are extinguished before going to bed or leaving the house.

Follow these tips to help prevent fires in your home and keep your family safe. But accidents can still happen even if you take all the necessary precautions. That’s why it’s also vital to have working smoke detectors in your home and to create a fire escape plan. You can help keep your family safe from fires with a little preparation.