Home fire safety: What to know, how to protect yourself

Steps people should take to keep themselves, their families safe in emergency situation

Firefighter battling a fire (WDIV)

A house fire can quickly spread, putting you and your family in danger in moments.

There are steps everyone should take to ensure their families and their homes are prepared for an emergency situation, experts say. Implementing certain tools and tactics could ensure help you safely escape a house fire before it’s too late.

We talked with fire safety experts to learn more about what we should be doing to protect ourselves and our homes. Here’s what they said.

Kitchen fires most common cause

Most house fires begin in the kitchen, officials say.

If a fire breaks out in the kitchen while you’re cooking, it’s important to know what to do to prevent it from spreading beyond the stove or oven.

People are not encouraged to throw flour on the fire, according to officials. Counters should also be as free from clutter as possible, so that a fire has fewer opportunities to spread to items nearby.

Learn more about kitchen fires in the short video report below.

Do you know what to do if a fire starts in your home? The number one cause of home fires are kitchen fires -- so it's important to know what steps to take to prevent a kitchen fire from spreading throughout your entire home.

Smoke alarms essential

Who knew something so simple could have such a giant impact?

Residents are urged to keep a smoke detector in every single room in a home, as they can alert you to a fire more immediately. People are also urged to ensure each smoke alarm is working properly.

Officials say that in most fatal house fires, the homes were found to have smoke detectors that were not working, or no smoke detectors at all.

Learn more about the importance of smoke alarms in the short video report below.

Fire experts are urging people to place smoke detectors in every room, and to make sure they're working properly. Smoke detectors are essential to alerting you and your family to a fire in your home.

Important step before bed

When it comes to protecting you and your family from a house fire, there is one specific step that should be taken every single night: Closing all of the bedroom doors in the home before bed.

A closed door makes it more difficult for a fire and its smoke to spread to a room. That closed door could also provide anyone inside with crucial extra moments to escape danger.

Learn more about the importance of closing all bedroom doors every night in the video report below.

When it comes to preventing house fires, there is one specific thing everyone should be doing every night before they go to sleep: Making sure all of the bedroom doors are closed.

Having an escape plan

Home fires happen, and one of the worst things we can do is be unprepared for one.

Safety experts say families should have an escape plan just in case a fire happens, and that the escape plan should be practiced several times. Children should be reminded what to do if their home catches fire, and to always know “two ways out of every room.”

Learn more in the short video report below.

If your house were to catch fire today, are you and your family prepared to get out safely? The best thing to do is to create an escape plan in case of an emergency, and practice it -- especially with children -- so you know what to do in an emergency.

Related: Families lose everything in Auburn Hills townhouse fire


About the Authors:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.

Nick joined the Local 4 team in February of 2015. Prior to that he spent 6 years in Sacramento covering a long list of big stories including wildfires and earthquakes. Raised in Sterling Heights, he is no stranger to the deep history and pride Detroit has to offer.