Identifying Fire Hazards in the Home
Who wants to think about the possibility of seeing their home damaged by fire? Unfortunately, it’s a harsh reality for too many Americans.
One way you can protect your home is to understand fire hazards and know how to identify them. In this blog, we’ll be discussing two of the most common household fire hazards.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, over a five-year period from 2011 to 2015, fire departments in the United States answered approximately 8,700 home structure fires a year that were started by candles. These were responsible for a total of 82 deaths, 800 injuries and $295 million in direct property damage.
When burning a candle, be sure it’s safely kept at least one foot away from anything flammable and is in a sturdy holder that won’t easily tip over. Never use a candle where oxygen is used in the home and always blow all candles out before leaving a room or going to sleep.
Candles were a cause of 2 percent of home fires, with 3 percent resulting in death and 7 percent resulting in injuries. There were an average of 24 home candle fires reported per day during those five years, with December 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.
While cooking may be the leading cause of home fires, smoking is the leading cause of home fire deaths. In 2014, an estimated 17,200 home structure fires caused by smoking were reported. Those fires resulted in 570 deaths, 1,140 injuries and $426 million in property damage, per the Coalition for Fire-Safe Cigarettes.
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 from smoking-related fires is not the smoker whose cigarette started the fire.
If you’re a smoker, it is safest to smoke outside, as most deaths result from fires that start in living rooms, family rooms or bedrooms. Fire-safe cigarettes are a great option—and a deep, sturdy ashtray should be used.
<h4are-lesser-known-fire-hazards-to-watch-for">Here Are Lesser-known Fire Hazards to Watch For
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 there is glassware you may have in your home that could actually pose a fire risk? When sunlight passes through them, the concentrated ray could ignite flammable materials. It’s best to move glass accessories away from windows.
Also, look out for loose outlets in your home. Movement of these electrical outlets could loosen wires connected to the outlet and create dangerous arcing.
Dust bunnies are also 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 entertainment systems can help prevent buildup.
Fire, smoke and water damage can be devastating to homes, including the damage caused by firefighting efforts. SERVPRO® of San Gabriel has your back and is here to help restore your home to pre-fire condition.