causes of house fires

A house fire is devastating in so many ways. Lives are lost or put in danger. Necessities of life — and priceless memories — go up in flames. To avoid house fires, awareness is key. Make sure you know about these causes of house fires, and take steps now to prevent them from happening.

Cooking Equipment

Fires in the home are most likely to start in the kitchen. Overheating happens. Splatters happen. Avoid kitchen fires by staying in the kitchen when you’re cooking. It might be tempting to switch the laundry while the onions sizzle, but don’t take the chance. Always stay nearby. Keep a smoke detector near the kitchen (but not above or around the stove — steam or cooking smoke may trigger the alarm).

 

Heating Equipment

Be careful with your portable heaters. Keep them away from bedding, curtains, and anything else that can catch on fire. Turn them off when you leave the room. Also, be sure to get your furnace inspected each year. And have your chimney cleaned annually.

Electrical Equipment

We use our electrical appliances every day without issue, so it’s hard to remember their potential danger. But toasters, blenders, hairdryers, and the like can cause deadly electrical fires. To protect yourself, pay attention to their cords. Replace them if you see any fraying. Don’t overload your power strips. Never run electrical wires under rugs or furniture.

Faulty Wiring

You’re not an electrician, but there are some clear signs of faulty wiring that anybody can recognize. Do lights dim when you use another appliance? Do you have to disconnect one appliance so that you can use another? Do fuses blow frequently? If you’re experiencing any of theses signs of faulty wiring in your homes, call an electrician.

Flammable Liquids

You have some leftover cans of paint from your last painting project. Oh, and some fuel for the lawnmower. And a whole host of cleaning agents. Make sure these items are stored away from heating sources, and be aware that even high heat can cause the vapors from these materials to ignite.

Candles

The National Fire Protection Association reported in 2017 that in five previous years, of the fires begun by candles, a third of them began in bedrooms. Since it’s so easy to fall asleep with a candle burning, make sure you blow out your candle before getting into bed (or settling in for a Netflix binge on your living room sofa). Keep candles in sturdy holders, and place them only on sturdy surfaces. Don’t leave a room when a candle is burning. And keep candles away from flammable materials.

Barbecues

Keep your barbecue grill clean and maintained. Take removable parts out and clean them with soapy water. Don’t use your grill in your home or garage, and keep it away from flammable items (including your home!). Be sure that no tablecloths or tree limbs are nearby. And always check the gas bottle to make sure there are no leaks.

Smoking

If the butt of a cigarette is not extinguished completely, it can spark a fire.  So make sure you establish firm rules for smoking in your home. Never smoke in your bedroom or when drowsy. And don’t keep ashtrays near flammable items.

Now is a good time to walk through your home and make sure you’re making safe choices with your appliances and other items. Don’t risk it. Take the time now to protect yourself against the common causes of house fires.

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