By Landon Biehl

Whether a fire starts while cooking or your electrical malfunctions in your home, a fire in your apartment or house can get out of control quickly.

According to the latest available data from the New York City Fire Department, there were 605 structural fires citywide and 331 structural fires in Brooklyn during August of 2018. Although the average response time during the month was about four and a half minutes, a considerable amount of damage can be done in a short period.

To keep yourself safer in the event of the fire, and to reduce the risk of a fire starting in your home, check out some of the most “high-risk” areas in your home and how to protect yourself from a fire risk. 

Before we discuss the fire risks in greater depth, make sure that you always have smoke detectors in your apartment or house (at least one in each bedroom and kitchen), maintain the alarms and have an escape plan in the event of a fire.

Space heaters: Never leave them unattended and keep children, curtains, blankets and clothes away from them. Photo: Flickr

In Your Bedroom

The risk of a fire starting in your bedroom may be higher when you’re sleeping at night. Some residents don’t wake up until a fire has spread quickly through their room and to other areas of their apartment or home.

If you use an electric blanket during the cold winter months, always do your research before you buy one and never fall asleep with one on to help reduce your risk of burns. The same goes for space heaters; never leave them unattended and keep children, curtains, blankets and clothes away from them.

A humidifier is essential, particularly during the winter, and cold and flu season, but burns can occur when young children get too close to the humidifier (depending on the type). Always keep it out of reach of children and always unplug a humidifier when you’re not using it.

Nearly every bedroom has a lamp, but an old lamp with faulty wiring or a lamp that is left on too long (and unattended) can be a fire risk. Use low-wattage bulbs and never use a lamp that has “glitches.”

Unattended food can burn quickly, and if you are using oil, a fire could break out quickly. Photo credit: Barksdale Air Force Base.

In The Kitchen

Whether you do the majority of your cooking in an oven, stovetop, microwave, on a hotplate or in a toaster oven, it’s important to always keep a close eye on the food you are cooking or baking. Unattended food can burn quickly, and if you are using oil, a fire could break out quickly.

Have a fire extinguisher nearby and always teach your children about the risk of fires or burns in the kitchen. Keep pots and pans on a back burner and out of reach of young children.

Other Fire Risk Areas

Although bedrooms and the kitchen are some of the “riskiest” rooms for a fire in the home, every room has the potential a fire, including kitchens and patios. For a complete overview of fire risks in the home, take a look at this guide outlining fire and burn risks.


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  1. Thanks for bringing awareness to home safety, and in particular cooking safety. I would like to add that in addition to legally required smoke detectors and CO detectors there is one detector that needs to be spoken about, and that is the Stove Reminder Stove Sensor detector that allows you to be reminded that your stove is “ON” if you walk away from the stove and forget the stove is “ON”. Unattended cooking can be deadly for you and your neighbors, but not anymore if you use a stove reminder such as BurnerAlert Stove Reminder Stove Sensor.

  2. The importance of having a fire extinguisher at hand in the home is vital in case of fire. The extinguisher can save our lives and also cause that there is not too much damage.
    Great Post!

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