Top 5 Sources Of Residential Fires And Tips On How To Prevent This From Happening
Residential fires can spread in seconds and can have devastating consequences ranging from property damage to injuries and loss of life. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), 27% of fires reported between 2014 and 2018 were residential fires and caused $7.2 billion in property damage. Even small fires that are put out relatively quickly can cause thousands of dollars in damage and injuries that could have been avoided. Many of these are completely preventable if some safety precautions are taken. This article compiles a list of common causes of residential fires and the steps that you can take to prevent them.
Cooking is one of the leading causes of fires and made up 49% of all residential fires reported from 2014 to 2018. Kitchen fires usually come down to grease fires, with cooking oil smoking and bursting into flames once it passes 375°F. To prevent fires, always make sure you’re in the room with the heat stove and do not leave it unattended. If you’re cooking for longer periods, use a timer so you remember to turn off the stove. It’s also important to clean your cookware thoroughly and frequently to prevent grease build-up.
If there is a small grease fire, you must turn off the heat immediately and smother the fire with a metal lid. You can also pour baking soda over the fire. Do not use water to extinguish a grease fire since this can make the hot grease explode. Always keep a working fire extinguisher in your kitchen and make sure that flammable items like oven mitts and paper towels are not close to heat sources.
2. Heating Appliances
As summer ends and we begin approaching the winter months, warmth becomes increasingly important. Heating appliances such as space heaters are convenient and affordable ways to keep warm. However, these are also known to cause residential fires, especially when left close to flammable items like blankets, bedding, and furniture. Heating equipment is the second most common cause of residential fires, coming in at 14% behind cooking.
To prevent residential fires caused by heating devices, make sure that space heaters are kept away from flammable objects and liquids. You should also keep them on a level surface, prevent kids and pets from playing near them, and remember not to leave them unattended. Furnaces can also cause fires when not maintained properly and should be inspected at least once a year to ensure proper functioning.
One of the most important ways to prevent residential fires caused by heating appliances is to install carbon monoxide alarms on every level of your home and ensure that they are functioning properly.
Candles are an essential part of home décor and often seem harmless. However, they are open flames and should be treated as such. To prevent residential fires, damage, and injuries, never leave your candle unattended. If you’re going to sleep or leaving the room, the candle should be put out first. Additionally, flammable items such as bedding, clothing, and furniture should be kept at least 12 inches away from lit candles at all times.
Candles should also be kept away from younger children and out of reach of pets. It’s also advisable to have devices like battery-operated flashlights for use during emergencies rather than candles.
4. Electrical Fires
Electrical fires can be caused by everything from faulty wiring to outlets. To prevent fires, it’s necessary to have your home inspected before purchase and ensure that all lighting fixtures and electrical systems are in working order and up to code. It’s also important to hire professionals for repairs instead of attempting to take care of them yourself.
Other prevention measures include making sure that your appliances don’t have frayed or loose cords and not overloading outlets with plugs. If your light switches are hot to the touch or you see flickering lights, call a professional to get the problem fixed effectively.
Cigarettes, cigars, and other smoking materials are the leading cause of residential fire deaths and can be extremely dangerous. Because smoking materials like cigarettes are so small, they can be easy to miss and forget. Additionally, many individuals fall asleep while smoking and can drop cigarettes on the floor, causing rugs and carpets to catch on fire.
To avoid smoking-related fires, you must smoke outdoors. If you do decide to smoke indoors, never leave cigars and other smoking materials unattended if they’re lit. It’s also important to be alert when you’re smoking and avoid doing this when you’re lying down or lounging. Lastly, whether you’re smoking indoors or on a balcony, always put out cigarettes and cigars before getting rid of them. Never toss them without putting them out properly.
911 Restoration Can Help Mitigate Fire Damage
Fire damage can result in thousands of dollars worth of damage. To get your home back in its proper condition, you need to hire fire damage restoration services that are experienced and knowledgeable. That’s where 911 Restoration comes in. We’re available 24/7 and can be at your downtown LA property within 45 minutes of your call. Reach out to us here to learn more about our comprehensive home restoration services.