House fires are very dangerous. But, unlike tsunamis and earthquakes, they are often preventable. Most of us have heard fire prevention rules since we were in second grade, but have buried some of them along with several state capitals and the name of the 25th President (and yes, we had to look that up too).
HERE ARE 10 TONGUE-IN-CHEEK GUIDELINES FOR KEEPING OFF THE “BURNED DOWN YOUR HOUSE” LIST OF STATISTICS KEPT BY THE U.S. FIRE ADMINISTRATION:
- Avoid paying good money to a professional chimney cleaning service that can actually remove creosote from your chimney. Instead, buy those convenient little chimney cleaning logs at the grocery store.
- Leave the fire smoldering when you go to bed instead of extinguishing it. What could go wrong?
- Avoid using a screen in front of your fireplace. It’s much more exciting to watch little bits of burning firewood pop out onto your floor like tiny sparklers.
- Help your fire along by throwing newspapers and wrapping paper onto the burning logs. The whooshing sound is so cool, and it’s fun to watch the burning paper drift around like tiny flaming butterflies.
- Ignite your fire pit close to your house, so you don’t have to walk so far when you need to get more chips. Better yet, just set it on your deck.
- If the wood in the fire pit balks at taking off, throw a little gasoline on it. It will be fun watching it “take off.”
- Once the fire gets going and you’re ready to settle back in your chair to relax with a cool beverage, go ahead and pile wood up to the top so you don’t have to keep getting up to add more. If the pile should shift for some reason, it’s no big deal. You’ll be able to move fast enough to avoid the shower of little torches. Won’t you?
- Light candles in every room, just because the glow is so romantic. Then, let them burn while you take a nap. You won’t forget about them, right?
- Use the top of the gas stove as extra counter space. What are the chances your pile of bills will catch on fire? Please. That pilot light is far enough away. Anyone can see that.
- Open the window near the stove while you cook to help clear the air. The nearby paper towels fluttering in the breeze ignite way faster than you ever would’ve guessed. Too bad you didn’t get your fire extinguisher recharged so that it could do its job. (What do you mean you don’t have a fire extinguisher?).