Preventing Fire Damage at Home

A house fire can often start from the misuse of appliances, heating equipment, or even smoking in bedrooms. To prevent this from happening, here is a quick look at some causes of house fires and how to prevent common fire related mishaps from occurring.

Cooking Equipment

Causes of house firesWith pots and pans overheating during cooking, a common occurrence is grease splattering. This becomes an instant fire hazard since there are high temperatures and cooking oil involved. Oftentimes kitchen fires start because people get distracted and leave the cooking unattended.

Plus, combustibles like paper towels, oven mitts and dish towels are often placed in the vicinity of cooking equipment and can greatly increase the chance of becoming causes of house fires.

 

Heating Equipment

As one of the top reasons for house fires, it is very important to have your home’s furnace inspected annually. In addition, it is equally important to have the chimney cleaned and looked at as well.

To minimize the possibility of a house fire starting from heating appliances, keep portable heaters a safe distance form any flammable materials such as curtains, rugs, furniture, and wall coverings. Avoid using the heater to dry clothes or shoes inside the home and as a precautionary measure, install a carbon monoxide alarm to get detected about harmful gas levels.

 

Smoking

Neglecting to extinguish a cigarette properly or simply placing a burning cigarette carelessly can sometimes be traced as causes of house fires. It is important not only to make the bedroom off limits to smoking but also essential to supervise smokers who may become drowsy such as those on medication or drinking.

To prevent any mishaps due to smoking, make it a point to use large, deep ashtrays. Ashtrays should never be placed on or near objects that can burn easily. Likewise, it is also important to check furniture for fallen embers since a butt can smoulder for a fairly long time before starting an actual fire. So, if you do smoke, consider smoking outside.

 

Electrical Equipment

Causes of house firesOne of the major causes of house fires can be traced to the improper use of electrical equipment. What this typically means is that either the household appliances may have loose or frayed cords and plugs, or the outlets may be overloaded with plugs.

Another reason for electrical equipment triggering house fires may be running electrical wires under rugs or heavy furniture.

To prevent house fires starting from improper use of electrical equipment, make sure to never overuse an extension cord and be very cautious when carrying out your own electrical projects. Since a number of house fires may be caused by improper installation, it is always recommended to get the services of a licensed electrician instead.

 

Inadequate Wiring

Fire damage often occurs as a result of inadequate wiring, which is a common problem in older homes and apartments. In older wiring systems, one appliance may need to be disconnected first before plugging in a second one. Inadequate wiring may also be detected where homeowners may need to use an abundance of extension cords or octopus-type outlets.

Other warning signs of inadequate wiring may include fuses blowing repeatedly or circuit breakers tripping frequently. In other scenarios, lights may dim when another appliance is plugged in.

To keep the potential for a wiring malfunction to the minimum, consider having an electrician conduct an annual checkup of the home’s wiring system and be sure to use the right cord for the job. Basically, this entails using inside cords for indoor use and heavy duty cords for outside use.

 

Candles

Another common cause of house fires, candles should always be stored in a sturdy holder and placed on a level surface. This is important because simply knocking a candle over is enough to spark a fire.

At the same time, candles should always be placed away from combustible materials and kept out of the reach of children or pets.

It is also imperative to blow out candles before leaving the room since leaving them unattended is often reported as a trigger for starting a house fire. Statistically, fires started by candles are reported most during the holiday season with the three top days being Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

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