Common Causes of Household Fires
We recently talked to you about common causes of workplace fires and how to prevent them, now it’s time to turn our focus to the place that matters to you most, your home. There are many common causes for fires to occur at home, but the warning signs are visible. Take measures to avoid a fire in your home and ensure the safety of your family. Here are common causes of household fires and how to spot the danger before it happens.
Candles & other lighting
Candles smell amazing and creating fantastic mood lighting, but always blow a candle out before leaving a room. You may leave a room smelling like flowers and come back to it smelling like burnt family possession. Keep candles away from any flammable items such as books and tissue boxes.
Lampshades and light fittings can build up the heat if they are very close to light bulbs. Check around the house to make sure. Lamp bases can become a hazard if they can be knocked over easily. If this is the case with your lamp base, look into what repairs you can easily do to stabilize it. If you've installed downlights in your house make sure they're insulated from wood paneling or ceiling timbers.
Faulty wiring and electrical equipment placement
An electrical appliance, such as a toaster or vacuum, can start a fire if it is faulty or has a frayed cord. A powerpoint that is overloaded with double adapter plugs can cause a fire from overuse of electricity. A powerpoint extension cord can also be a fire hazard if not used appropriately.
Homes with inadequate wiring can cause fires from electrical hazards. Some signs to see if you’ve bad wiring are:
1) Lights dim if you use another appliance;
2) For an appliance to work, you have to disconnect another;
3) Fuses blow or trip the circuit frequently.
Have a licensed electrician come and inspect your house, or contact your landlord if you have any of the above occurrences.
When you pull out the portable heater in the wintertime, double-check to see any damages that may have happened while in storage. Clean any debris or dust off of the portable heater so they don't catch flame. Keep portable heaters at least 5’ away from anything that could easily catch fire such as furniture, curtains, laundry, and clothes. If you have a furnace, get it inspected once a year to make sure it is working to safety standards.
Cooking was the most common causes of household fires. Pots and pans can overheat and cause a fire very easily if the person cooking gets distracted and leaves cooking unattended. Regular stove top cleaning can help keep food debris can reduce the risk of stovetop burners from smoking.
Barbeques are great for an outdoor meal, but should always be used away from the home, tablecloths or any plants and tree branches. Keep BBQs regularly maintained and cleaned with soapy water and clean any removable parts. Check the gas bottle for any leaks before you use it each time.
Smoking in bedrooms
Cooking might be the most common cause of household fires, but did you know that fires started in the bedroom or lounge cause 73% of all house fire fatalities? Bedrooms are best to be kept off-limits for smoking. A cigarette that is not put out properly can cause a flame, as the butt may stay alit for a few hours.T he cigarette bud may cause any flammable object it comes in contact with to combust into flames.
Kids can cause a fire out of curiosity, to see what would happen if they set fire to an object. Keep any matches or lighters out of reach of children, to avoid any curiosity turned disaster. Install a smoke alarm in your child’s room and practice a home escape plan with your children and family in case there was a fire. Inform your kids about the importance of knowing their address and if they needed to, call 911.
The above tips are a good guide to avoiding a fire in your home. If you do have a fire and need assistance with the cleanup, please call SERVPRO of Roanoke Rapids!