There are many ways that a fire can start, it's always important to be aware!
No one likes thinking about the possibility of seeing their home damaged by fire, but unfortunately, it’s a harsh reality for a multitude of Americans.
One way you can help protect your home is by understanding fire hazards and knowing how to identify them. In this blog, we’ll be diving into two of the most common household fire hazards.
Candles can be problematic.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, during a five-year period from 2011 to 2015, fire departments in the United States responded to an estimated 8,700 home structure fires a year that were started by candles. In total, there were 82 deaths, 800 injuries and $295 million in direct property damage.
Candles caused 2 percent of reported home fires, with 3 percent of those fires resulting in death and 7 percent with injuries. There were an average of 24 home candle fires reported per day during those five years, with December being the prime time of the year for home candle fires.
Of all the candle fires during this time span, 37 percent started in bedrooms and were responsible for 36 percent of the associated deaths and 51 percent of the associated injuries.
When burning a candle, be sure it’s kept at least one foot away from anything that could burn and is in a sturdy holder that won’t easily tip over. Never use a candle if oxygen is used in the home and always blow out all candles before leaving a room or going to sleep.
Smoking can result in home disaster.
While cooking is the leading cause of home fires, smoking is the leading cause of home fires.
An estimated 17,200 home structure fires were reported in 2014 due to smoking materials, which includes cigarettes, pipes and cigars. Those fires resulted in 570 deaths, 1,140 injuries and $426 million in property damage per the Coalition for Fire-Safe Cigarettes.
If you’re a smoker, it is safest to smoke outside, as most deaths result from fires that have started in living rooms, family rooms or bedrooms. Fire-safe cigarettes are the best option, and a deep, sturdy ashtray should be used.
Douse all cigarette butts and ashes in water or sand prior to throwing them out and keep in mind that one out of four fatal victims of smoking-material fires is not the smoker whose cigarette started the fire.
Fire hazards could be hiding in plain sight.
While candles and smoking are two of the most common causes of home structure fires, there are also other lesser-known hazards that could be present in your home.
Did you know that some kinds of glassware in your home could be a fire risk? When sunlight passes through them, the concentrated ray could ignite flammable materials, which is why it’s best to move glass accessories away from windows.
Dust bunnies can also pose a fire risk when collecting near electrical sockets and floor heaters. Sweeping or vacuuming your floors regularly and cleaning hard-to-reach areas like behind the entertainment system can help prevent buildup.
Also, look out for loose outlets in your home. The movement of these electrical outlets could loosen the wires connected to the outlet and create dangerous arcing.
Fire and smoke damage can be devastating to homes, and in many circumstances, can be accompanied by water damage from firefighting efforts. If your home is damaged, know that SERVPRO of Medina County is here to help restore your home to pre-fire condition.