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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Top 5 Causes of Fire Damage and How to Prevent Them

2/25/2019 (Permalink)

Fire is one of the most devastating calamities that can happen to a home.

Before you think that house fires won’t happen to you, think again. According to an NFPA report, public fire departments have responded 1,319,500 fires in 2017 with an estimated $23 billion in property damage. Fire departments in the U.S. have responded to a fire every 24 seconds.

While the numbers are rather grim, this is not the time to panic. Most house fires can be prevented by simply taking the proper safety measures. Here are the most common causes of house fires and the tips to prevent them.

5 Common Causes of Fire Damage and How to Prevent Them

1. Cooking

According to the NFPA, cooking fires are the number one cause of house fires.

Most kitchens have numerous potential fire hazards. You have appliances with faulty wiring, hot cooking oil, and unattended pots and pans. When you are cooking, make sure that don’t leave the kitchen. Fires in the kitchen can start in a matter of seconds. If you have to leave the kitchen, make sure that you turn off the stove.

In addition, don’t prepare or cook food if you are tired, sleepy, or have been drinking alcohol. Finally, children and pets should be off-limits from any active cooking area.

2. Smoking

Most fire deaths are due to fires that are started in the living room or bedroom.

If you are a smoker, make it a point that you only smoke outside. While you’re at it, make sure that you have thoroughly extinguished the cigarettes when finished. A good practice would be to soak your cigarette butts before throwing them away.

Smoking materials such as matches and lighters should be stored in a secure cabinet or any place that’s out of the children’s reach.

Fires have also occurred while e-cigs are being used. The common cause is usually battery failure. Don’t leave the charging e-cigarettes unattended.

3. Heating

Home heating is another common source of residential and commercial fire damage. As you might expect, heating fires commonly happen during December, January, and February.

Central heating doesn’t pose too much of a risk especially if it’s well maintained and inspected regularly. However, the same can’t be said with portable space heaters.

If you want to use a space heater, make sure that you operate in a well-ventilated space. Additionally, you will want to situate the device away from fabrics, draperies, furniture, and other combustible items. Invest in a heating product that has a proper working thermostat control and an auto shut-off feature.

4. Appliance Cords and Wires

Appliances with damaged or frayed wires can trigger a fire. Always make sure that your wires and cords are safely organized.

Regularly inspect all the wires and cords in your home as they can get damaged or worn over time. Once you see any damaged wire, you should replace it immediately or least stop using the appliance until the replacement.

Never overload your wall sockets and extension cords. When tucking away the wires and cords, don’t place them under rugs or furniture. Finally, it never hurts to have a qualified electrician perform a routine inspection of your home’s electrical network.

5. Candles

Candles can provide amazing ambiance and fragrance to any living space. However, you have to keep in mind that they are also a source of open flame and are common causes of house fires. Candle fires are very common around the holidays especially during Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

When it comes to candles, you should never leave them unattended. Make it a point to put out the flame whenever you leave the immediate area. Only light a candle on a stable and flat surface, preferably away from the reach of children and pets. Don’t position the candle near flammable items like fabrics, curtains, drapes, and books.

If you want a safer alternative, you can purchase a battery-powered LED candle for your home.

Call a Trusted Pro for a Stress-Free Fire Restoration

If your home has already succumbed to fire damage, a restoration is your best bet as it’s always quicker and more affordable than replacing the damaged areas.

For a reliable fire restoration solution, call SERVPRO of Rutherford County.

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