We all know that home fires can be devastating, but you may not know or be aware of a few hard truths. Aside from the fact that fires can become life threatening in less than two minutes, a small flame caused by an overturned candle or overheated appliance can transform into a major fire in less than 30 seconds.

Thankfully, there are many things we can do to prevent home fires and protect our families, houses and financial security. Follow these tips to prevent home fires and the inconvenient, grievous and financially-disruptive consequences that may follow.

Unplug Unused Electrical Devices

Be sure to unplug appliances when they are not in use to prevent overheating or an electric surge. Small kitchen appliances, chargers and entertainment systems not only waste electricity when they are not being used, they are commonly to blame for appliance fires.

Use Surge Protectors Safely

Too many fires are a result of improper power strip safety. Your surge protectors, power strips and electrical cords should have an internal circuit breaker that will get ahead of overloading or overheating.

Send the Smokers Outside

Between discarded and unattended cigarettes, ashes or matches and the extreme flammability of items found around the home, it’s best to not smoke inside. If someone does smoke in the home, they should never smoke in bed and always use sturdy ashtrays and child-proofed lights.

Clean the Dryer’s Lint Filter Regularly

Home dryer fires are caused by clogged lint filters. That’s why it’s critical to clean them after use — every time. Be sure to make it a habit to inspect the filter before and after each load of laundry.

As a homeowner, it’s important to safeguard the safety, peace of mind and financial well-being of everyone in your household. Doeren Mayhew Insurance Group works with individuals and families to minimize the financial fallout after fire or smoke damage to their homes. For more insights into how to prevent home fires, read their latest article.