Most fire damage restoration companies keep busy most days of the year. This signifies one thing. There are a lot of house fires.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), during the period of 2013 to 2017, there was an average of 354,400 house fires in the USA. During such fires, over 2,500 people died, more than 11,200 people were injured, and the property damage was estimated to $6.9 billion.
Cooking is the major cause of house fires, but that shouldn’t make you feel at ease when you lighten up a cigarette, decorate the Christmas tree, or live in a house with inadequate wiring. Since it only takes one spark to light a fire, let’s see which things may put us in great trouble at home.
49% of house fires start due to cooking. Grease is the usual culprit. When it gets very hot, it can start a fire easily and it’s often very difficult to control the flames. It’s very important that you never leave the kitchen when you are cooking, or let anything catch your attention. The danger is a spark away.
Unattended barbecues may also start a fire. Fire restoration service teams often deal with situations like that. This is an open fire. It’s very easy to get out of hand or start a fire due to winds.
When you cook, keep flammable items – like kitchen towels, away. If you use plastic utensils, don’t leave them close to the fire.
What should you do in case of a fire? Call the fire department. Avoid dumping water over grease because you will most likely make matters worse.
Electric equipment may range from inadequate wiring to faulty cables. Shorts may cause sparks. Overloaded circuits overheat wires, running the risks of fires. Such situations are usually very dangerous because they ignite in locations away from livable spaces or when you are asleep. It’s important to have the electric system of your home checked regularly, and perhaps updated from time to time to avoid surprises.
Malfunctioning portable heaters are also dangerous. Fires may also start when flammable items are left to the heater. If you have an electric heater, make sure the wiring is fine. If the heater runs with some fuel, like kerosene, make sure to keep it off when you are not in the room.
Clothes dryers may start a fire if they are clogged. Even if the appliance is in good condition, it could still be a threat to your safety. Fires start when the heat accumulated inside the appliance cannot be freed due to the clogged vents. Make sure the lint is removed and the vents are free of debris.
In spite of their beauty, candles can cause fires. That’s open fire, too. We tend to fill the house with candles, especially during the holidays and forget how easily fires can start. Never leave the room without extinguishing the candles, or open the window in a windy day. The flames can easily pop to close by flammables, starting a fire.
Who could ever think that a tiny cigarette may burn down the entire house! As a matter of fact, cigarettes and smoking constitute the second more common reason for house fires. That’s because people tend to leave lightened cigarettes on couches, cushions, beds, and other flammables where a fire can ignite in just minutes. Also, avoid smoking in bed. Most incidents have happened when smokers fell asleep without putting out their cigarette.
Don’t let children play with matches, candles, or anything that involves fire or may start a fire. These are not toys. And don’t forget that kids are very curious, and love to experiment. Keep lighters, matches, and anything that may start a fire locked.
Flammables are not only our clothes, linens, and all fabrics and wood, but are also some liquids. If you intend to paint your home, use adhesives, or keep fuels around, be extra careful. The vapors of such flammables can ignite very easily even if only the temps are high. Don’t take chances. Keep them out of your home, or don’t keep them at all.
Christmas trees are beautifully decorated every holiday season; the whole house sparkles due to the lights and ornaments. But be extra careful with the wiring, damaged cords, and malfunctioning lights. They may start a fire. And then, there’s the tree. That’s flammable too. Don’t place it next to your fireplace or other heat sources.