MOST COMMON CAUSES OF HOUSE FIRES
Did you know October was National Fire Prevention month? In 2017, there were an estimated 371,500 residential house fires in the US. Residential house fires can result in dollar loss, injuries, or even death, so here are some of the most common causes for house fires and a few safety tips on how you can help to prevent them.
Cause: Cooking –use of house fires for ten consecutive years. Gas ranges are the number one source of cooking-related fires. Let’s be honest; we’ve all forgotten to turn off the oven or burner before and we’ve all definitely over-cooked things. Some cooking related house fires can also be a result of microwave fires.
Before even beginning to cook, identify and remove any potentially flammable objects in or around the stove and oven areas. We all know the saying, “a watched pot never boils,” but let’s stop using it. Always monitor your cooking equipment. Use a timer as a reminder, but never use an empty microwave as your timer! You can read more about microwave fires and how you can prevent them in our other blog here.
Cause: Heating –
Heating equipment accounts for the second most common type of house fires. There were nearly an estimated 34,000 heating-related house fires in 2017. While you may think portable and stationary space heaters are the leading cause of heat related house fires, the truth is, unclean chimneys and heat ducts are.
Get your heating equipment inspected and/or cleaned on a yearly basis. It may be “another expense” to add to your list, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s one of the best ways to keep your home, family, and valuables safe. When using any space heaters, make sure no flammable objects like clothes or paper are nearby.
Cause: Electrical Malfunction –
The overall trend for electrical house fires has been decreasing, thankfully. But electrical malfunctions still happen, mostly due to faulty outlets or outdated appliances.
Improper installation of electrical items by homeowners can be avoided. Make sure a qualified electrician handles all residential electrical projects. Decorating for the holidays can become a competition, but refrain from overloading your outlets. Also, consider replacing outdated appliances.
Cause: Unintentional, Carelessness –
Sometimes house fires are the result of carelessness and sometimes they are completely unintentional. Accidents can and do happen.
Don’t smoke in the house! If you must, use an ashtray. Be sure to extinguish cigarette butts. Keep scented candles away from flammable objects. Never leave a candle unattended and be sure they are placed on sturdy surfaces – your pets can’t be trusted! It is also recommended candles are put out by their lids. Using the lid will snuff the flame and prevent any air-born debris, ultimately preventing a potential house fire. Pro tip… using the lid also helps to maintain the candle scent.
If your Baltimore home ever endures fire damage, we can help. Call ServiceMaster of Baltimore at 410-780-1700.