Common Causes of House Fires
Between 2012 and 2016, the U.S. Fire departments responded to an average of 355,400home structure fires per year. These fires caused 11,670 civilian injuries, 2,560 civilian deaths, and $6.5 billion in direct damage. Listed below are a few of the most common ways house fires get started and tips to prevent them.
- Cooking equipment: Pots and pans can overheat and easily cause a fire if left unattended.
- Heating: Keep all portable heaters at least 3 feet away from anything that can catch fire such as furniture, curtains, and laundry. If you have a furnace, be sure to get it inspected once a year to make sure it is up to safety standards.
- Smoking in Bedrooms: A cigarette that is not put out properly can cause a flame because the butt may stay lit for a few hours. If it comes in contact with flammable materials, such as furniture, it could burst into flames.
- Electrical Equipment: An electrical appliance, such as a toaster, can start a fire if it has a faulty or frayed cord. Any power point that is overloaded can cause a fire from overuse of electricity. Double check the appliances and power points in your home.
- Candles: Candles smell and look pretty, but they can be hazardous if left unattended. They can easily burst into flames and need to be kept away from any obviously flammable items such as books and tissue boxes. If you are leaving the house, make sure to blow out any candles beforehand.
- Curious Children: Kids are known to do crazy things. They can cause a fire out of curiosity, just to see what would happen if they set fire to an object. Keep any matches or lighters out of reach of children. Installing a smoke detector in your children’s room will avoid curiosity turning into a disaster.
- Faulty wiring: Homes with inadequate wiring can cause fires. Signs you have faulty wiring include: lights dim when using another appliance, having to unplug one appliance to get another to work, and frequently blowing fuses. Have a licensed electrician come and inspect your home.
- Barbecues: Keep BBQs regularly maintained and cleaned, including checking the gas for leaks before using it each time. The grill or BBGS should be kept away from the home, tablecloths, and any plant to avoid a fire.
- Flammable Liquids: If you keep any flammable liquids in the house or garage such as petrol or kerosene, keep them away from heat sources. Always check the labels before storing and use extreme caution when pouring.
- Lighting: Lampshades and light fittings can build up heat over time. Lamp bases can become hazardous they are easily knocked over.
The tips above are a guide to avoiding fire damage in your home. If you disaster strikes and you find yourself in need of fire damage restoration and clean up, call SERVPRO of Tuscaloosa at 205.553.8377
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