It's hot in San Diego in the summertime. We are a desert climate after all. The weather is not the only thing that heats up. A recent 5-year study by the National Fire Protection Association discovered that US fire departments responded to 1,000 home fires every day on average, causing $228 in damage each second they burn.

The majority of home fires can be prevented by making simple changes. Here are 8 important ways to mitigate fire hazard in your home. 

1. Leave space around electrical appliances so any heat they generate may dissipate.

2. Stay with food that is cooking. Unattended cooking is the leading cause of home fires and frying is the riskiest.

3. Use electrical extension cords independently of one another. Linking extension cords overloads them, which can cause a short. The best solution is to have a qualified electrician install outlets where you need them. 

4. Replace damaged or worn out electrical cords. Fire risk is increased if heat from the cords comes in contact with anything that can burn.

5. Unplug appliances before leaving the house, including the ones not in use. Crock pots are the exception to this, because they don't get hot enough to catch fire.

6. Remove the lint from your dryer. Almost 3000 clothes dryer fires are reported every year and 34% of those were ignited by heat unable to escape because of a lint clog. Clean the filter often, but also check around the drum and hoses at least once a year.

7. Blow out candles when you leave a room, or your home. Using sturdy holders that can't be easily blown or knocked over is an important consideration.

8. Have your chimney inspected and cleaned annually if you use it regularly. Creosote builds up inside the chimney and causes chimney fires. Avoiding oily wood, such as eucalyptus, will help keep the creosote in your chimney down. Pay a bit more and use high-heat, low-creosote wood, such as oak.

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