Protect Your Home by Knowing Common and Lesser-known Fire Hazards | SERVPRO® of Northeast Collin County/Greenville
In this blog, we’ll be diving into two of the most common causes of household fires.
Nobody likes to think about the possibility of seeing their home damaged by fire. However, it’s a harsh reality for far too many Americans.
One way you can be proactive in protecting your home is to educate yourself about fire hazards and how to identify them.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, during a five-year period that covered 2011 to 2015, fire departments in the United States responded to an estimated 8,700 home structure fires per year that were started by candle usage. All totaled, there were 82 deaths, 800 injuries and $295 million in direct property damage reported.
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. There were an average of 24 home candle fires reported per day during those five years, with December topping out as the prime time of the year for home fires caused by candles. These fires caused 2 percent of reported home fires, with 3 percent resulting in death and 7 percent with injuries.
Be sure the candle is kept at least one foot away from anything that could burn and is in a sturdy holder that won’t easily tip over. Always blow out all candles before leaving a room or going to sleep—and never use a candle if oxygen is used in the home.
Smokers caused fires that resulted in 570 deaths, 1,140 injuries and $426 million in property damage, per the Coalition for Fire-Safe Cigarettes. While cooking is the leading cause of home fires, smoking is the leading cause of home fire deaths. In 2014, cigarettes, pipes and cigars caused an estimated 17,200 home structure fires.
One out of four smoking-material fire fatalities is not the smoker whose cigarette started the fire. It is the innocent bystander.
The safest place to smoke is outside. Most deaths result from fires that have started in living rooms, family rooms or bedrooms.
Try using fire-safe cigarettes. A deep, sturdy ashtray should be used. Douse all cigarette butts and ashes in water or sand before throwing them away.
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 beam could ignite flammable materials, which is why it’s best to keep glass accessories out of direct sunlight.
Another possible fire hazard is dust bunnies collecting near electrical sockets and floor heaters. Regularly vacuuming and cleaning hard-to-reach areas like behind the entertainment system can help prevent buildup.
Watch for loose outlets in your home. The movement of these electrical outlets could loosen the connected wires and create dangerous arcing sparking.
Fire and smoke damage can be devastating to homes. Water damage from firefighting efforts can also cause significant damage. If your home is damaged by fire or smoke, SERVPRO® of Northeast Collin County/Greenville is here for you and to help restore your home to pre-fire condition.