House fires are unfortunately common and they are also one of the most expensive disasters for a home to sustain. This is mainly due to the fact that fires have the capability to inflict much damage upon a home. Not only is damage incurred from the burning of the fire itself, but also from the secondhand effects of the smoke damage which is even more difficult to remove. There are steps you can take to prevent fires, but unfortunately, sometimes they are outside of our control. Here are some of the most common causes of house fires.
If you use a portable space heater, make sure to keep it at least 3 feet from anything that could be flammable – especially curtains, laundry, clothes, etc. since these are all common ways that house fires start. Obviously, this is more of an issue during the winter.
This includes pots and pans, as well as burning food. Never leave a stovetop unattended if it is on. This is a great way for a fire to start. If you do need to leave the room, have someone else watch it.
Smoking should never occur in a bedroom. A cigarette butt can continue to burn for hours and if it is near clothing or furniture it could potentially start a fire. Bedroom fires actually account for 73% of all fatalities that are caused by fire. If you do smoke, please refrain while in the bedroom.
Appliances such as toasters, microwaves, etc. are a common cause of fires. Usually, these types of fires result from frayed cords, so if you do have anything that plugs into the wall that is frayed in any way it should be repaired or not used. These can short out much easier. Also, do not overload power outlets and power strips – the overuse of electricity can start a fire.
Be careful with candles. Although they smell and look nice they are an open flame. Never leave a candle unattended, because if it does somehow catch onto something it could spread very quickly. Also be extra careful if you have animals or children, as they could potentially knock a candle over.
Children are a ton of fun and curiosity is a good thing normally. That being said, they do unintentionally cause a lot of fires every year. Always make sure that you keep matches and lighters away from young children. These devices can be tantalizing to a child, but are one of the easiest ways to start a fire. Keep smoke alarms in your children’s bedrooms and teach them to stop, drop, and roll. Also, make sure they know the number to call if a fire breaks out.
Bad wiring is an extremely common cause of fire damage. Especially in older houses that use nob and tub, since they can heat up and cause the wood to burst into flame. Watch for lights dimming when another appliance is being used. If you have fuses or breakers that blow often, this could also be a sign of bad wiring. Call an electrician if you suspect any issues.
While the food is amazing, they are also a great way to burn your house down. Make sure that you keep them away from your house, tablecloths, trees, and plants. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby in case of a fire.
Try to prevent these common fires and you’ll make your home a safer place.