There are many dangerous ways that a fire could start in your home. It is important to take some simple precautions and be aware of any unseen potential fire hazards. Be aware and keep your home safe this winter!

Electrical Cords

Worn out electrical cords can quickly start a house fire. Old worn out appliances are a common culprit of frayed wires. When frayed or chewed wires run under floor rugs or along shag carpet, this is an easy way for a fire to ignite. Instead of replacing the appliance right away, a temporary solution could be to buy some electrical tape. Electrical tape, also known as insulating tape, is used to insulate electrical wires or other heat conducting materials. For a quick fit, wrap the frayed or exposed wires with electrical tape and this will prevent the wires from conducting external heat and catching fire in your home. Also remember not to place your extension or electrical cords

Cooking in the Kitchen

The kitchen is often known as the most fire-prone room in the house. When cooking on a stovetop, always be aware of your surroundings. Flammable substances, such as oven mitts, hand towels, paper towels, cookbooks, or plastic cooking utensils can flame up in seconds. Putting anything flammable near a hot stove surface is a recipe for disaster. Make sure your stove top is cleared of clutter before turning on the hot burner. When cooking in the microwave, make sure that your dish is microwave safe and free of any metal that could cause flying sparks or break your microwave.

Wood Burning Fireplaces

Wood burning fireplaces are a great source of heat for your home – if used correctly. It is important to always make sure that your chimney is clean before using your fireplace or wood burning stove. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America, “chimneys, fireplaces, and vents shall be inspected at least once a year for soundness, freedom from deposits, and correct clearances.” Even if you don’t use your fireplace throughout the year, it should still be inspected to make sure nothing has entered your chimney and cause a potential fire hazard.

Space Heaters

Space heaters are a must during cold Iowa winters. If you live in an older home, these small portable heaters are a lifesaver to help you survive the subzero temperatures that can sneak through doorways or window cracks. When placing your portable space heaters throughout your home, make sure that they are placed at least three feet away from any flammable materials.


Dryers are a commonly used household appliance that can also be very dangerous. Before beginning a new dry cycle, always remember to empty your lint tray. Your lint tray isn’t the only place that can have lint buildup in your dryer. The dryer cabinet, located near the dryers heating element near the back of the dryer can also accumulate lint and start a fire. The dryer cabinet should only need to be cleaned every 2 years.

Fire Restoration by ServiceMaster by Rice

If your home is damaged by fire, call ServiceMaster by Rice today! Our specialists provide emergency fire damage repair for your home or business. We service many locations around Iowa including Des Moines, Atlantic, Carroll, Spencer, Cedar Rapids, and Milford, as well as Fairmont, Minnesota!