Top causes of Fires in the Home
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), home fires are the leading cause of all fire deaths in the United States. For the most part, home fires are easily preventable.
Here are the top causes of home fires.
1.Cooking equipment. This may seem like a no brainer but believe it or not, cooking equipment is the leading cause of all home fires. Do not leave the stove or oven unattended while cooking. If you do need to leave the room, even for a second, make sure there are no flammable items such as dish rags,cookbooks, grease, curtains or paper products near your appliances. It’s always a good idea to keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen as well, just in case.
2. Heating, the second most common cause of home fires. Most fires involving heaters are caused by portable space heaters. They may be nice and convenient but blankets, lint and other flammables can easily get caught in them. If you have to use a space heater, make sure there are no loose materials that could easily burn around it.
3. Smoking. Cigarette’s and their ashes can easily catch on curtains, bedding and clothing which can quickly result in an out of control fire. Many fires caused by smoking happen in the bedroom when someone falls asleep with a cigarette in their hand. If you must smoke, do so outside your home for the safety of everyone involved.
4. Electrical fires can happen for a variety of reasons. Here are the top four:
- Never remove the grounding plug on an appliance. Three pronged plugs exists on appliances that need extra power to operate. Get an electrician to install the proper outlet if you find this a problem in your home.
- Lamps and light fixtures. You should never install a bulb with wattage that is too high for a particular appliance. This will cause the bulb to overheat and in turn, catch the lampshade or other flammables nearby on fire. Another thing to avoid is covering your lamp shade or fixture with a cloth or paper. While it may look nice, it’s not worth the potential fire you may cause.
- Faulty cords and outdated appliances. Never use a cord that is worn or frayed. For this reason, you should also avoid running cords under rugs where they could become worn and go unnoticed for a long amount of time.
- Last but not least, outdated wiring. If your home is more than twenty years old, you may want to have a licensed electrician take a look at the wiring system. While replacing the system can get costly, it is nothing compared to a life or the belongings you could lose if the old wiring causes a fire.
Take the time to look around your house and ensure the safety of your friends and family by checking these common fire causes. Do you have a fire extinguisher? A working smoke alarm? How about a carbon monoxide detector? While it may seem tedious to check these items and think ahead, you will be able to sleep more soundly at night knowing that you and your family are safe.