Home Fire Hazards

Cooking Fires


Keep combustibles (paper, plastics, potholders, towels, etc.) away from the stovetop. Never heat cooking oil in a pan and leave the room. The oil can ignite spontaneously at a certain temperature. If fire starts, put a lid on pan and turn burner off until pan is cool.


Avoid letting grease build up in the oven. A greasy broiler can catch fire even during pre-heating. Grease from fatty meat can flare up and start a fire. If a fire starts, shut off the oven. Smother the fire by keeping the oven door closed. If the fire does not go out, use a type ABC fire extinguisher.

Leaking Gas

Never enter an area with a match or a lit cigarette if you smell gas from a stove, pipe, or heater. The smallest spark or flame could ignite gas in the air and cause an explosion.

Electrical Devices and Appliances

Electric Blankets, Heating Pads

Never fold or roll an electric blanket. Heat will build up on wires, igniting the blanket and the rest of the bed. Unplug and store flat when not in use. Don’t leave a heating pad on for more than 30 minutes. Never fall asleep with it on. Set your alarm clock to awaken you in 30 minutes if necessary.

Wires, Plugs and Extension Cords

Keep down the number of cords in one outlet. Never run cords under rugs, behind radiators or across doorways where they may become worn. Have broken cords, switches making hiccup sounds, and hot plugs professionally repaired. Don’t mask problems with masking tape. Be sure to use a proper gauge of extension cord,especially with power tools and high wattage appliances.

Light Bulbs

If a light bulb is too large overheating can occur and cause ignition.

Clothes Dryers

Never leave synthetic fabrics, plastics, rubber or foam in the dryer for longer than the manufacturer's recommended time. Clean the lint screen before and after use. Keep the immediate area free of combustibles. Dryers must be vented to outside and plugged into its own outlet.


Never leave vaporizers unattended or near combustibles. Keep the water level high. Check the cord at the plug to make sure it is not too hot. If it is, disconnect it immediately. It must be plugged into its own outlet, or with a heavy-duty extension cord.

Portable Space Heaters

Use one with thermostat (not just a switch) that shuts off by itself when tipped over. Plug directly into its own outlet. Use in an area free of combustibles and well ventilated for heat to escape. Never leave it on overnight.

Furnace, Radiators, Water Heaters

Install properly and safely away from walls and ceilings. Never store combustibles on or near units. Keep ducts and filters dust free by cleaning several times a year with unit shut off.

Fire Places and Chimneys

Storage Fires

Oil Soaked Rags

Dry out rags by spreading them in a well-ventilated area so heat can escape, then wash. Never put oily rags in a pile because they can ignite themselves. Store in a labeled, metal container, sealed with a tight lid.


Store unused charcoal in a cool dry place. Damp charcoal can ignite itself. Use a metal pail/garbage can with a tight lid and place it where heat can escape if self-ignition should occur.

Flammable Liquids

Never use or store in a room with a pilot light, or too close to hot light bulbs. Vapors in the air can easily ignite. Store in a cool, dry room in a labeled metal container with a tight lid.

Newspaper Storage

Avoid storing in a damp, warm place because newspapers generate heat and can ignite themselves. Store in a cool, dry place at least three feet away from any heat-generating source, such as a pilot light.

For information about Fire Department education programs, please see Safety Education.

Did you know?

The Police Department provides FREE security checks of your home while you are on vacation!  This service is provided courtesy of the HBPD Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP).  Sign up online for this free service.

Contact Information

City of Huntington Beach
Fire Department
2000 Main Street
Huntington Beach, CA
Phone: (714) 536-5411
Fax: (714) 374-1551

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