Household fires are a tragedy that can be easily prevented. While the vast majority of household fires are caused by smoking and cooking, there are a number of other common causes of household fires. Keep reading to learn about the most common causes of household fires and how to prevent them.
Electrical fires are a common cause of home fires and injuries. They can start with something as simple as a faulty wire or circuit breaker, and before you know it, your home is engulfed in flames. That’s why it’s so important to be aware of the signs of an electrical fire and to know how to put one out safely. If you see sparks or flames coming from an electrical appliance or outlet, unplug it and call the fire department. You should also call Electric Medics to fix the electrical issue and prevent the fire from happening again. If you smell burning plastic or rubber, there may be an electrical fire in your home, so evacuate and call the fire department immediately.
Smoking in the Home
Smoking in the home is one of the leading causes of household fires and can be very dangerous. In fact, smoking is the cause of more than 16,000 house fires every year. Smoking in bed is one of the most common causes of home fires. In fact, it’s the number one cause of fire deaths in the home. Cigarettes can easily ignite bedding, mattresses, and other furniture. So, never smoke in bed. Always put out cigarettes completely and don’t leave them burning in an ashtray.
Also, make sure they are cold to the touch before you put them away. Try to avoid smoking when you’re tired. You may not be as alert as you need to be and may not notice a problem until it’s too late. Make sure cigarettes are stored in a safe place, away from flammable objects. Lastly, never smoke around oxygen tanks or other medical equipment.
Fragrance or baptism candles that are left alone for long periods account for many household fires. According to the National Fire Protection Association, candles cause around 20 reported fires per day. These fires lead to more than 150 deaths and over 1,000 injuries. Most of these fires start when a candle is left unattended. When left alone, candles can easily ignite curtains, furniture, or other flammable materials in the home.
To prevent candle fires, it’s important always to keep an eye on candles when they are burning. Never leave a candle burning unattended, and always keep candles away from flammable materials. If a candle does start a fire, it is important to know how to extinguish it. Cover a candle fire with a lid, pour water over the flame, or use a fire extinguisher to put out a candle fire. Do not try to move the candle or blow out the flame.
Cooking fires are one of the leading causes of home fires and injuries. Many cooking fires are preventable, so never leave a cooking fire unattended. Also, keep flammable materials like oven mitts, wooden utensils, and food packaging away from the stovetop. If a cooking fire does start, try to smother the flames by sliding a lid over the pan or by throwing baking soda or salt on the fire—never use water to extinguish a cooking fire. If the fire gets too large, or if you can’t put it out, evacuate the home and call the fire department.
Portable heaters can easily overheat and start a fire. To prevent this, only use portable heaters that have been tested and approved by a recognized testing laboratory. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper use. Don’t place anything on top of the heater that could catch on fire. Keep combustible materials like curtains, furniture, and rugs at least three feet away from the heater. Never leave a portable heater unattended.
Household fires are a serious problem in the United States, accounting for deaths, injuries, and property damage yearly. The best way to prevent household fires is to be aware of the common causes in this guide and take steps to prevent them.